Oakland >Food & Dining > Cactus Taqueria
5642 College Ave, Oakland, CA | Directions 9461837.844071 -122.251734
M-Sa 11a-10p Su 11a-9p
East Bay college kids swear by this small local chain that serves cheap, fresh, generous portions of Mexican fast food. – The Scene
Long a favorite with families and college students, the cafeteria-style service is quick and kid-friendly. The place has a festive air, with wooden chairs and tables lacquered in primary colors, and the open kitchen lets you watch the cooks power-chop an assembly line of tomatoes. Mealtimes are almost always busy, and the noise level increases accordingly.
A massive menu of fast-food renditions of Mexican dishes offers plenty of variety for big and small appetites. Fat foil-wrapped burritos are loaded with a choice of beans (black, pinto or refried), salsa and nine meat, seafood or vegetarian fillings. The nutty, spicy pollo con mole rojo is one of the more inventive choices. Messy, overstuffed tacos are served in soft, warm corn tortillas. A deserving favorite, the sweet husk-wrapped corn tamales with fiery poblano chilies are surprisingly authentic. Enchiladas, tostadas, nachos--whatever you order, count on fresh ingredients and generous portions.
Rude staff = no return business – The food at Cactus is tasty and relatively cheap, but the service is anything but stellar. Here's a hint for management: You're surrounded by many equally good burrito joints, so when your staff is surly and confrontational, don't expect customers to just deal with it. Get rid of the lousy attitude -- you're not that good.
Rude Service Has Driven Me Away – I used to be a Cactus regular, eating there at least twice a week. Ever since they moved to their new corner location, however, I have been sorely disappointed. The food quality has gone down, but the thing that is keeping me from ever wanting to go back again is the RUDE service. For instance, every time they messed up my order (which was pretty much every time I ordered, even though I was very clear about what I wanted), they had the nerve to tell me it was my fault. Used to be a loyal customer; now I'm going to better (and friendlier) burrito shops.
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