Announcing Tortilla Tuesdays! In Search of OC's Best Tortillas...


It was while I was at Trader Joes, looking at their hideously overpriced pack of barely edible corn tortillas, that I remembered something: we're blessed with tortillerías in Orange County. We don't have to rely on Maseca's masa monopoly for our tortilla needs--from San Juan Capistrano to La Habra, Westminster to even Rancho Santa Margarita, mom-and-pop tortillerias fulfill the daily bread of Mexicans and gabachos alike

But which are great, and which should be avoided like Trader Joes tortillas? Hence, the unveiling of yet another new column: Tortilla Tuesdays, in which we'll review the county's mom-and-pop tortillerias, one at a time, with a letter grade. The first: El Indio Tortilleria in SanTana.

El Indio has only been around since 2001, yet it already has an iconic presence in its neighborhood--how could it not, with a logo like that one and being housed in a stucco building that looks pulled from Tijuana? It's a great place to grab a Mexican breakfast--chilaquiles, huevos rancheros and various chilango egg preparations.

Unfortunately, El Indio is middling in the main reason for its existence--tortillas. Their corn versions are far too thin, harden too fast upon cooking, and have the annoying habit of splitting even when just getting warmed. The quick cook doesn't allow the masa to properly cook, leading to a pasty flavor that means I'll never buy a pack from them again.

Grade: C-, but do visit for their food, which is quite bueno.

El Indio Tortilleria, 1502 W. 5th St., Santa Ana, (714) 542-3114;

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