Saturday, March 10, 2007

El Gallo Giro: El Corazón de la Cocina Mexicana

When it’s 10 am on a Wednesday and you have just experienced the misfortune of visiting a heavily fortified San Bernardino County parking lot for “recreational” vehicles, you can redeem your trip with a visit to the Fontana outpost of El Gallo Giro. El Gallo Giro, even in mid-morning on a weekday, is a lively and kaleidoscopic Mexican eatery with delicious tacos de carnitas, made all the more mesmerizing by its colorful stations for tamales, tortas, tacos, and aguas frescas.

El Gallo Giro’s carnitas are cooked slowly in a cazo, or large kettle, with orange juice (and zest) and garlic. In a nod to the traditional Michoacán style, El Gallo Giro inserts mesquite chips between the cazo and the fire, which they allege allows mesquite flavor to slowly suffuse the pork. (This particular contributor to Infinite Fress will not observe the quaint proscription against split infinitives in “standard” English grammar.) El Gallo Giro makes its tortillas with nixtamal, dried maize treated with lime and partially cooked. It fries them on a rotating device, essentially a crepe making machine, which sits next to the taco counter. One fault is that Gallo Giro offers tacos al pastor not cooked by means of a spit. (Perforce the pastor must be a perfunctory item and not worth trying.)

Nevertheless, with the complement of a moderately spicy salsa verde and a fresh tamarindo, Gallo Giro’s taco de carnitas debunks the myth that the Inland Empire is as painful as David Lynch’s eponymous movie. The carnitas are rich and, with their smoky nuance, live up to their billing as “nuestra especialidad.” The carnitas also avoid the vacuity of excessive spiciness and unlike El Taurino’s cheap thrills, Gallo Giro’s have substantial ramifications. Their quality compels re-examination several days later and some longing, too.

El Gallo Giro
10161 Sierra Avenue
(909) 355-0273


Anonymous said...

Nixtamal is treated with lyme, not lime! Very different.

Marisa said...

Well, aren't we superior today, O "Anonymous" poster.

Nixtamal is made with an alkaline solution known as "limewater," with an "i," not a "y."

If you're going to attempt to challenge my husband's authority, you best do your research properly. And don't wuss out with this "anonymous" b.s.

You can suck it.