Great food, great value, dingy appearance.
El Norteno has phenomenal Mexican food. Their Monday lunch special is an enchilada style beef burrito. It comes with beans and rice and costs $3.99. Their entire menu is great, the only drawback is that there are often homeless hanging around and the area is not well maintained. Certainly not a reason to stay away, though.
Great Food--Bad Location.
Well, I would love to recommend this little shop more heartily, but the neighborhood is just so rough. Every time I go there I get panhandled. If the manager could change the image a bit, he'd have more of my business. That said, the beans are hearty and richly flavored and the salsa is as good as anywhere in town! These are 2 of my requirements for a great Mexican restaurant. The last visit, I had their mexican pizza, and I must have been thinking Taco Bell. What came out was huge, meaty, with all the sides on top and very hearty, and it arrived in a full sized pizza box!
Their enchiladas are a wonderful melty, rich cheese embued with tiny diced onions and their red enchilada sauce is delicious. Great for takeout, but the outside seating is always filled with flies. Take a large boyfriend or two if you go after dark.