Best Mesquite-Grilled Chicken:A fine reason to contribute to global warming

Taqueria Durango

Look for the roofline’s battered Raiders helmet (spray-painted silver as high as its painter could reach) and, on weekends, the billows of smoke drifting lazily skyward. Taqueria Durango turns out some of the moistest, tastiest grilled chicken in Fruitvale. Late Saturday mornings, splayed bird carcasses stack up on the parking lot’s two barrel grills like a PETA nightmare. But they eat like a dream. The birds’ spunky marinade and the carbon burr of mesquite charcoal come through in the meat and skin, pulled from the bones and wrapped in scraps of housemade tortillas. Eat off the hood of your car: Like all Mexican-style grilled chickens, these taste best as fresh from the fire as possible — they tend to dry out a bit as they cool. Oh, and don’t forget Durango’s norteno-style nopalitos salad (you get your choice of that or mashed potatoes). Tangy, shreddy, and full of flavor, its tangle of onion and cactus strips is an essential condiment.

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