Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 18
Long Line, Short Menu at Las Cuatro Milpas
I have "almost" gone to Las Cuatro Milpas in Barrio Logan on several occasions, always to be deterred by the long line out the door. I am not a patient woman. But after three people either mentioned it to me in person or posted pics of their "Las Milpas" (as most referred to it) grub, I finally decided to suck it up and check it out.
Even at 11 a.m., the line was long. I'm told some people wait over an hour for rolled tacos served by the third generation of owners of this establishment.
I have no idea why the line moves so slow, as all of the food is pretty much ready when you get to the counter. A glance informed us as to what was available, and the options aren't vast. Tacos, rolled tacos, tamales, beans, and rice (EDIT: also chorizo and burritos). We were told all of the meat was a mixture of "chicken and pork" together, so no choosing there. You get what they're serving, which lends to the simplicity of the assembly line. Once you reach the door, you grab a tray and slide it along as the ladies behind the counter hand over the items you want.
Once our trays were filled, finding a table was no problem. The door may be narrow and the line around the block, but that inside space is HUGE, and we did not have to wait for a seat. It took half as long to eat the food as it did to order it. My rolled tacos (filled with that mixture of chicken and pork) were awesome, though a tad on the greasy side. I loved the cool classic combo of sour cream, shredded lettuce, and queso fresco, which serves to balance the severe spice of their homemade hot sauce.
David got the tamales, which he enjoyed with a pinch of salt. He also ordered the beans and rice, which came with a giant (and delicious) flour tortilla (pictured at top).
All of this food, and two cans of soda, we got for around $12. It's a great deal, but in order to get it, you need to have an extra hour to kill during your lunch break. Though I'm not into waiting in long lines, I love that so many people do, because it supports a family-owned business that has outlasted just about everything else in the area.