“How’s the horchata?” I ask.
“We make our own rice milk,” is the answer. Of course they do. Virtually everything at this pared-down burger and taco shack is made from scratch using quality ingredients. The horchata is smooth and cinnamony – very refreshing, just like the house-made jamaica (hibiscus tea) that is an erotic shade of deep purple. Beverage alternatives include Mexican-bottled sodas and a catalog of three milk shakes: chocolate-chili, dulce de leche, and banana. I drank banana, tugging it up through the extra-wide straw with great difficulty – it’s that thick – and was wowed by the taste of freshly-peeled banana that the kitchen augments with its own banana custard and vanilla ice cream. An impressive shake!
Drinks are only the sideshow; the leading attractions are hamburgers and tacos. Needless to say, they are a cut above. Burgers automatically are doubles. Cheese, bacon, butter-caramelized onions, and roasted jalapeno peppers are extra cost options, but unless you say otherwise, each “Standard” comes accoutered with lettuce, tomato, crisp onion slices, kosher dill pickle chips, and a lather of Stand sauce, which looks like a dark version of 1000 Islands dressing but is spicier and not as sweet. This all makes for one rich, sloppy, and delicious burger, the meat itself fresh and full-flavored. That same Stand sauce makes a worthy dip for the kitchen’s thin, skin-on French fries.
Three kinds of tacos are on the menu: chicken, veggie, and short rib. That last one is outstanding. A pair of soft corn tortillas are piled with fallapart-tender, intensely beefy shreds along with pickled red cabbage, cojita, chopped onion, and cilantro. Ingredients of the vegetable taco vary with the season, always including quinoa, beans, and red cabbage.
The Stand really is a stand more than a restaurant: minimal indoor seating and a small patio, plus a drive-through window.