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La Corneta: A Simple Mission, A Speedy Success

A man with a mission brings fresh food and fast service to the Bay Area.

Well, summer has gone, and autumn is here. Which means the days are getting shorter, and your precious daylight hours are becoming less and less. Thankfully, La Corneta provides speedy service to get you in and out in a flash.

The cafeteria-style Mexican restaurant is so authentic, it's mind-boggling to know it has only been open since 1995. Founder Joel Campos opened the first La Corneta in Glen Park with the vision to provide fresh food and fast service for a good price.

With this simple recipe for success and a whole lot of faith, Campos opened a second La Corneta in San Francisco's Mission District, home of some of the city's most authentic Mexican taquerias and eateries, most of which had already been there for decades. Much to skeptics' surprise, the Mission District La Corneta flourished, and remains one of San Francisco's favorites today.

Lucky for us, the success of La Corneta spread down to the Peninsula to Burlingame Avenue.

Serving everything you would expect from a traditional taqueria and then some, La Corneta has an extensive Mexican menu. From tacos, burritos and quesadillas to entrees like enchiladas and chile rellenos, the food is completely fresh, and is all homemade right down to the freshly cripsed tortilla chips and the variety of salsas at the salsa bar.

Twelve different house brined, spiced, rubbed, roasted and grilled meats are prepared in house, from the classic carne asada (steak), pollo (chicken) and carnitas (pork), to mole de pollo (chicken mole), lengua (beef tongue) and chorizo (Mexican sausage). For a slightly lighter fare, prawns and fish are available, and vegetarians will also be thrilled to find tofu and mixed vegetables highlighted on the menu. For the more adventurous eaters, Menudo (tripe soup) and Birria de Chivo (goat stew) are also featured.

Portions are generous, but unlike most traditional taquerias, La Corneta provides options to keep your portions smaller with “baby burritos” and a variety of items offered as side dishes. For a satisfying lunch, a baby burrito or one heaping soft taco will do the trick, or, for a slightly heartier dinner, two crunchy tacos or the enhiladas are a great choice. And true to Campos' oroginal plan, prices are more than fair.

With a modest selection of wine, sangria and primarily Mexican beers, vibrant hand-painted murals and an energy that just keeps on keepin' on, a stop La Corneta is like an impromptu party. Entrees are served at the counter with a smile, and friendly banter tops off every drink. Televisions throughout make La Corneta a perfect spot to sit and watch a game of futból on a slow day. However, La Corneta has consistently proven time and time again to efficiently get guests in and out, keeping an always-full entry flowing comfortably.

La Corneta is ideal for a quick to-go lunch (that would make Speedy Gonzales proud), a casual and fun dinner, or even a catered celebration. It's some of the freshest food, quickest service and best prices in town, just like Campos promised.

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