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food in the hood: Las Palmas

Annie Abernethy

Charlie’s Las Palmas Restaurant,
5941 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA 94605

Open 11 a.m. until 9:30

Charlie’s Las Palmas, located near the back gate entrance of Mills College, has what seems to be a menu full of Mexican food. Don’t be fooled. As we hunkered down at our desks for a feast, The Weekly team dove in to find out what this place was all about. Four tacos, a dozen burritos and a huge order of nachos later (OK, so these are more American than Mexican, but we couldn’t help ourselves) we were left in a daze.

Excited, we tore open the Styrofoam nacho box first. The hot burst of cloudy steam cleared and, to our horror, there was Velveeta style cheese all over them. One of us broke the deafening silence and awkward stares with words of eternal optimism. The kind you say when you know something isn’t going to be all right, but you want to convince yourself otherwise. “Maybe they’ll be really good.” Not so.

Our disappointment wouldn’t end there. The tacos were huge, but were so overloaded with lettuce and sour cream that we had to eat them with forks, completely defeating the purpose of a taco.

We figured you couldn’t really mess up a burrito no matter how hard you tried. Although they were enormous and were the best thing we had tasted all night, they were mediocre still: mostly beans and dry rice and the chicken burritos seemed oddly greasy.

The best thing about Charlie’s Las Palmas is that it’s conveniently located and the portions are large enough for two people to share. That’s always good when you’re living on a budget.