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San Francisco Neveria & Paleteria

February 6, 2023

  • 2838 Portage Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • (269) 216-3272
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s been a while since I’ve had tacos and I was really hungry for tacos.

I had kind of an odd day on Friday. My co-worker didn’t really need to leave the office but I did. I started to head towards Battle Creek but then realized I didn’t actually need to do that so I turned around.

I did have something I needed to do kind of in the Southside Neighborhood. That put me pretty close to Portage Road and there’s a taco place on Portage road I haven’t been to yet.

San Francisco Neveria & Paleteria is on Portage Road just before Portage Road splits in to Lovers Lane. The business has been a few Mexican restaurants in the past. It was Huarache Kzoo when we moved here in 2009 then a much more popular El Gallo Blanco. El Gallo Blanco closed a few years ago and a sign for a new Mexican place has been there almost since.

The parking lot is still really weird. It’s best if you park in the angled parking on the south side of the building because that’s where the entrance is. I went all the way around the building and parked on the northside but then decided to go back out on to Portage Street and enter the parking lot again on the south side. It was snowy and icy and I didn’t feel like walking around the building.

The restaurant looks nothing like the previous restaurants in this space did. San Francisco Neveria is counter service while the previous restaurants were sit down. In Spanish, a “Neveria” is an ice cream parlor and this place looks to be more of an ice cream place than a taco place. The long counter has all their different ice creams. A number of TV’s hang from the ceiling with both the sweet and savory menus.

I noticed a sign on one of the glass cases for Birria tacos so of course that’s what I got. I also asked if they had fries…because, yeah, I’m the guy that likes fries at a Mexican restaurant. The guy taking my order said yes so I added a side. He rung me up at the register at the end of the long the counter. The bill was right around $15.

The seating area is really bright. I didn’t take pictures inside of restaurants before I got an iPhone….yeah…I used to do this blog with a digital camera that wasn’t my phone….so I only have a few memories of what the place used to look like…but it was never this bright. The tables are green and white plastic chairs which are a stark contrast to the white floors and walls. There’s some pop of colors throughout the space that really jump out.

It took less than ten minutes for my food to be handed over the counter. I headed back to the office to eat.

I started with the fries because we all know cold fries are the worst. The Styrofoam container was filled pretty full with some pretty simple, frozen fast food style fries. Nothing wrong with them but nothing really great either. Just a good filler.

Birria tacos are my favorite. There are three tacos with the order. They are filled with Birria beef, onions, and cilantro then fried in the oil from the meat. It had been 10-15 before I got to these so they were a little soft but there was still some crunch. The tortillas were filled almost to the point the fillings were trying to bust out of the side.

The tacos come with a cup of consomme and there’s always way too much. I made sure to really dip each of the tacos in there to soak up the delicious broth but I three most of it away just because I didn’t need it.

Another great taco place in Kalamazoo. I didn’t really pay too much attention to the ice cream but that’s going to be what makes San Francisco different from the other places in town.

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