The specs: #0339
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JM ate the large carnitas burrito with rice.
John ate the 2 giant tacos, one fish and one chicken, with an horchata.
Nichole ate the 3 regular tacos, one suadero (beef shoulder), one al pastor, and one chorizo, with an horchata.
The bill was $22, or $7.33/person, plus tip.
JM and John gave Lucky 7 an A-; Nichole gave Lucky 7 an A (see our grading rubric).
On the outside, Lucky 7 is scary. It sits in half of a duplex-type building in a non-commercial (and somewhat infamous) part of town, the other half of which was vacant when we were there. On the inside, though, it's an OK if idiosyncratic space. One end of the narrow, dim dining room has a big screen TV, around which were gathered a few futbol fans; the other end is anchored by a large, disused fireplace that evokes a late-model ranch house aesthetic. Life-sized cardboard hotties advertise beer, and you can buy Avon from a glass counter in the center of the room.
We took a seat and moments later a young man, a la La Queretana, brought us menus - full-color, bound, bilingual, and surprisingly deep and useful. The first two pages were the usual tacos, burritos and enchiladas (with more interesting fillings like ceviche, tongue and tripe) but further back, dinner specials, soups, seafood and desserts fleshed out the offerings.
The homemade starter chips were superior: hot, crisp, and multi-layered, with plenty of body for scooping up the delicious green salsa of garlic, avocado, cilantro and onion. Later a red hot sauce came out, too, so those fans of peppers should be sure to ask for it early. The horchatas were on the watery side, but had a nice coconut overtone. The water was served sans ice.
Of the trio of tacos, the beef shoulder was the least interesting. (Nichole would have had tongue, but it wouldn't be ready until 9 - weird until we remembered Lucky 7 is open until 3am). The al pastor was a little gristly but moist, beautifully seasoned with herbs. The true star was the chorizo. Light, not greasy, it had an awesome smoky flavor and rated an A+ from us all.
John's 2 "giant tacos" were held shut by cocktail toothpicks, a sweet gesture. The fish taco was good, but not distinctively fishy. He thought the chicken taco was even better than Juanita's, his current regular place to get "real" Mexican. Diced and spiced and very juicy, he said it reminded him of Taco John's chicken, which is good because he likes their chicken; though obviously Lucky 7 is the original and TJ's is the copy.
Six bucks at Lucky 7 buys a lot of burrito. La Bamba ain't got nothin' on my head! And there's one size even bigger than this, the "large":
JM's overall opinion was that the burrito was good but not fantastic. His choice of carnitas turned out to be just OK. Had he gone with the chorizo, the burrito would have been superb. As it was, it was just as good as baseline Mexican. (And he did find a small bone in it.)
We've heard Lucky 7 is not a place to try to eat in a hurry - one report of a visit on a 25-minute lunch break ended in frustration. But it's definitely a diamond in the rough, a little place with a lot of promise.