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Now I think almost everybody in the world who is a fan of country music, and is over the age of 30 has heard of the city of Folsom, in California, partly due to the fact that the great Johnny Cash popularized the town, way back in 1968 with the song entitled Folsom Prison Blues. Ok, so I'm dating myself, and categorizing myself into the over-40, or is it over-50 crowd,  but I have to start somewhere and I have to set the scene for this restaurant write-up.  So what does Folsom Prison Blues has to do with the best-kept secret of a taqueria on the north side of the American River?  La Fiesta Taqueria, of course!

Left:  La Fiesta Taqueria, in Folsom, California.  Right:  Sharon shows me how to order declicous food, as she poses under the high-tech menu.

Not long ago, my co-worker and friend Sharon Angelo approached me, and asked if we could get together at Folsom Lake, as she wanted to take some photos of me for a photo journalism project that she was working on. As the "ham" and the exhibitionist that I am, I readily agreed, without question.  So after a couple of hours of modeling, and a couple of hundred digital photos later, she and I were tired and hungry, and I suggested that it might be appropriate to have a bite to eat.  Since the meal was to be on my dime, I was the one honored to pick the cuisine, and if you've surfed my web site for more than five minutes,  you can probably can figure out my choice of cuisine was: Mexican!  Are you waiting to see a few of the photos she took of me?  Well, just click on the hyperlink and you can see what a fool I made of myself that day...

Left:  Sharon is placing the order with our friendly counter guy, Manado.  Right:  The kitchen and order counter in La Fiesta Taqueria.

La Fiesta Taqueria is located in the greater Sacramento, California metropolitan area, specifically in the city of Folsom, near the intersection of East Bidwell and Montrose.  However, when you step inside the restaurant, you can leave your California attitude and your English at the door, as La Fiesta is located in a different world.

Naturally the place is spotlessly clean, and staffed by friendly and efficient folks.  If you're looking for a printed menu, forget it, as in the tradition of Mexico, the menu is posted above the order counter.  Differing from the low-tech, hand-printed menus found in Mexican taquerias, La Fiesta features a high-tech, well-lighted menu posted above the order counter.  La Fiesta does differ widely from Mexican taquerias, as you place your order at the counter, pay for it, grab your number, and pick your table, and sit down.  Not to mention before your food arrives, you help yourself the the chips, salsa and guacamole station.  However after you get past the north-of-the-border touches and you reach down inside, the rest is south-of-the-border, which is OK with me!

Left:  In California, how often do you see beef, being prepared for carne asada, roasted over a vertilal grill?  Right: La Fiesta features a clean and relaxing place to enjoy your meal.  Interestly the guy wearing the blue had strongly objected to this photo being taken.  

Take a peek into the kitchen of La Fiesta:  How can you describe it?  Well, maybe, spotless, efficient and, amazingly, they feature carne asada cooking over a vertical flame!  How often do you see beef cooked on a vertical spit north of the border?  I have to admit that I've been in many taquerias in the Sacramento area, but La Fiesta is the first taqueria that I've visited where I've seen carne asada cooked in this fashion.  The only thing that was missing was the onion and pineapple slice, common in Mexico, which is placed above the meat to marinade it and to give it that street vendor taste.   Well, I guess you can't have it all!

Left:  I take Sharon's picture at our table, seconds after our wonderful meal has arrived.  Right:  My menudo in the foreground and Sharon's tacos pescados in the background.  Truly a wonderful meal.  Oh gee, look at the awesome white Ford truck in the background.  Does that mean we've been four wheeling... ?

When we first came in, the staff was a little intimidated, as I immediately got out my camera and started taking pictures, as per my usual "mode of operation."  Of course, just to impress Sharon, I left my English at the door and switched into my somewhat halting Spanish mode, which seemedto work perfectly at this occasion.  Our friendly counter person, Manado, was at first a bit intimidated by all of the pictures that I was taking, but Sharon, in her best journalistic form, explained to him what I was doing, and the thought of everything seemed to put a big smile on his face.  Manado and everybody else who works at La Fiesta is perfectly comfortable speaking English, but if you leave your English language and attitude at the door and switch into Spanish, well, it just blends in quite well...

At the counter, Sharon orderd two fish tacos, and since it was Saturday, how could I resist not ordering a huge bowl of menudo, with corn tortillas on the side?  We also treated ourselves to cokes and the salsa bar.  The salsa bar you ask? Check it out, if you like salsa cruda, guacamole and several varieties of red salsa, and, of course, a bottomless amount of fresh tortilla chips.

Left:  Sharon takes my photo as I did into a delicious bowl of menudo.  Right:  How can I resist not to take another photo of our delicious meal?

It took me nearly an hour to eat my delicious bowl of menudo, partly due to the animated conversation that Sharon and I enjoyed, due to fact that you just don't eat menudo rapidly; that just seems to go with the territory of eating menudo on a weekend morning.  I sort of felt sorry for her, as she finished her fish tacos in mere minutes, and I had only barely started eating my menudo; you can't eat menudo rapidly. Good menudo is one of those things that you want to savor, savor, and savor again.  Heaven on earth is eating menudo, and you've reached that point at La Fiesta Taqueria.

If you're looking for outstanding food, authentic Mexican cusine, friendly and efficient staff, and you're in Folsom, California, look no further than La Feista Taqueria, on the busy street of East Bidwell.  No will not be disappointed!

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