An inmate cook displays two trays of beans, cheese sauce, taco shells and soy-based taco meat at San Francisco County Jail No. 5 in San Bruno. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Review: Taco night at SF County Jail No. 5

The dinner (served around 3 p.m.) on the menu for roughly 500 inmates in San Francisco’s San Bruno jail on July 7 was soy-based meat substitute tacos with two yellow corn tortillas, pinto beans, cheese sauce, lettuce and a wafer for dessert. The beverage: milk.

Served on a thick, brown plastic tray, the meal was piping hot, and not tasteless. The tortillas were raw, which made it hard to form a taco with them because they tended to crack.

SEE RELATED: Meal upgrade may be on the menu at SF County Jail

The main ingredient, the meat-like soy, did in fact have some meat flavoring. The chuck-like soy was slightly spiced and had a give like beef.

The beans constituted the largest portion and were hot, but needed salt and spice. Still, they did not taste bad nor had they been overcooked.

The yellow soy-based cheese sauce was watery and milder than what one might find at a 7-Eleven. But the sauce did add a layer to the taco.

The small serving of green lettuce was fresh, crunchy and tart.

But the raw yellow corn tortillas, which might have tied the meal together, instead left the taco less than desired.

Still, the serving was enough for two and, in all, was not better or worse than most cafeteria food — minus the salt and/or fat some may come to expect with such food.

This reviewer, who was pleasantly surprised by the meal, gives it three out of five stars.

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