There is a new taqueria in town and I feel obligated to try their Chile Verde. It is a never ending quest to find the ultimate plate of cubed pork in green chile gravy. ‘Taqueria Dona Maria’ has been open for several months and I have passed by wondering and dreaming that this could be the place. A quick call to my friend and south of the border interpreter, Ray, and we were on a mission to sample their culinary offerings.
Dona Maria is a small, clean and tidy establishment. You order at the counter and your food will be brought to your table. Like a lot of our Mexican restaurants in the area it is always nice to have somebody that speaks the language. I placed my order with Ray and he relayed it to our hostess. There is a small salsa bar that you can help yourself to three different salsas. A salty green tomatilla salsa, a fruity hot habanero and a dried red chile puree were offered for your pleasure. While we were sampling the salsa our server came to our table and informed us that we they were out of Chile Verde. I substituted carnitas. Our server told us the carnitas had just came out of the oven. Our food arrived and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had covered the carnitas in green chile gravy. Steam was rising from the plate.
The carnitas were hot and flavorful. The green gravy that covered and surrounded the meat was lacking in peppers and flavor. It did not have the pizzazz and wow factor that I crave. The whole plate was comforting with the fresh beans and tasty rice. I enjoyed this plate but it was not the ultimate dish of Chile Verde. I would like to mention the dessert case full of home made treats. I bought a cheesecake covered in dulce leche and brought it home. I needed to be near a couch to imbibe in this sweet snack. Overall we enjoyed our meal. I will give it a second chance and see if they have Chile Verde available. I would return just to have another piece of cake.
Taqueria Doan Maria
3550 San Pablo Dam Rd
El Sobrante, CA 94803(