The Brit and I recently visited one of our local (hole in the wall) Mexican fast food places which are located in the Cordelia/Green Valley area right off the 80 freeway. Our friend Maria always refers to it as”The Evil Side of the freeway” as that side is loaded with fast food no-no places rather than quality healthy cuisine. Mi Sazon Mexican Grill though is fast food in the same spectrum as way more well known Chipotle but in my opinion, with better food, and cheaper prices. You can custom order your food and as the old Burger King slogan says: “Have it your way”. You can choose how healthy, spicy, meat-filled, veggie filled, carb laden, low carb, low fat, high fat or just about any combination of these you can imagine.
I have been to Mi Sazon many times in the past. The service is always friendly and fast. The restaurant itself is clean and well organized. The seating is plentiful enough, with extra tables placed on the outside of the restaurant.
My favorite things on the menu are the tortilla-less burrito bowl (heck call it a salad will ya?) the tacos, and the burritos. The Brit often orders a simple quesadilla with cheese and meat. (I think he just likes to stick to simple to eat foods where he doesn’t have to worry about it falling all down his shirt. British people have a hard time eating with their hands, and I think he still feels awkward doing it in public. Ha!)
On this particular visit, I ordered the tacos. They are the small tacos, so three seemed appropriate for my appetite. I ordered one of each, Carnitas, Chicken and Carne Asada. They came fresh out fresh and appetizing looking. I noticed as I watched them put my order together that everything looked good. The veggies were crisp looking, and the meat didn’t look all dried out like it had all been sitting out for a long period of time. On my tacos, I kept it simple; onions, cilantro and a bit of cheese with green salsa served on the side. I wanted to make sure that I could taste the flavors without adding a bunch of extras.
I am really glad I kept the rest of the flavors as simple because I got a big surprise with my carnitas. A good surprise. I got the pleasant taste of baking spices in the meat. Cloves? Cinnamon? I ate my flavorful taco thoughtfully trying to figure it out. Finally, I asked the owner of Mi Sazon what that spice profile it was. He confirmed it was cinnamon. It really added dimension to the meat. which made it a huge win. I have never had that before in Carnitas, but after having it, it makes great sense. I have made many pork tenderloins spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. It is a great combination of flavors.
My next taco was the spiced chicken taco. On this occasion, the chicken was perfect, juicy and flavorful. The chili spice notes are there, but they are subtle, making this a dish just about everyone can enjoy without fear of burning your mouth. I have to say that I have had overcooked dry chicken from this place in the past, so I always look at it before ordering. That is one of the good things about seeing the ingredients of the food as it is prepared. You decide as you go along if something appeals to you or not.
My last taco was filled with carne asada. For a place that makes food in this style, I think theirs is generally very good. The meat is more cooked than I truly like, however, that really is the dish rather than the quality of the cook on it. They don’t cook it to death so it tastes like dried shoe leather or jerky. The meat is well spiced and plentiful in the taco. I give it a thumbs up.
To sum up our visit, I would give Mi Sazon a visit this place rating if you are looking for quick and plentiful Mexican food.