About one month ago a new taqueria opened near me. The place is small, definitely an Independent joint and it has been recently painted yellow. I can not believe it took me a month to get there. Yesterday I finally made it. The food is great. I ordered 3 tacos. One lengua one carnitas and one al pastor
I appreciate that they dress the tacos with only chopped onion and cilantro. They also add some radish, cukes and lime on the side. In addition each diner gets two bottles of their salsa, One green with a bit of heat and one mild red. The green wasn’t really hot but both had some great flavor. The tongue was very good. Moist and tender. The Carnitas was a touch dry but still good. By far the Star of the plate was the Al Pastor. Pastor is the chile and pinapple marinated pork steaks that are traditionally roasted on a vertical spit with pineapple rings. Similar to shawarma. As I said all of my tacos were excellent but the Al Pastor was even better. So if you want a taco keep this joint in mind. I had 3 tacos and a lime soda for $11.30 with tax. Don’t feel like tacos well they have other stuff as well. They don’t have a web site but they do have a good sized menu
The building that houses the Patio used to be a fast food place.( Arby’s?) Now it is a some of this, some of that Mom and Pop joint. The menu is extensive. They called themselves a Mediterranean Restaurant. Well they have that covered with Gyros and pizza. They also toss in a few BBQ items, some Mexican choices as well as fried fish, burgers and Tenderloin. A big menu. The Gyros were recommended but we felt more like BBQ.
This is not a place I would normally order ribs from. To me ribs cry out for a smoker and this place has none. So they would be baked; hopefully not boiled beforehand. Well I think they were boiled a bit before baking but they were still pretty tasty. They reheated them on a flat top and then sauced them. The meat wasn’t falling off the bone but you could separate the bones with a plastic knife so I think they passed the tender test. I was surprised at how meaty the ribs were, often spare ribs are a bit sparse. The slaw was very good. A mayo based dressing with a bit of vinegar that gave it a very nice acidity. I agree with Pat about the fries. They were fried perfectly. Crisp exterior and tender in side.
The only weak link would be the toast. Their attempt was laudable ( a touch of rosemary ) but it could have been toastier. However in the operators defense he may have felt hurried. Pat was up to retrieve the food prematurely so the guy may have felt like he had to sell it asap. However you could make a point he should have dropped the bread sooner. But that is such a nit I won’t attempt to pick it. Any more than I already have.
So we had a very nice full slab of ribs dinner for $19.25. We ordered an extra side of slaw and I think they gave us an extra side of toast and our total was about $22 ; including tax.
All of their prices seem more than reasonable and as big as the menu is if you can’t find something you want you aren’t hungry.
Well another new joint opened up Downtown. The spot the owners picked has been a problematic one for previous tenants as it has seen 4 different restaurants open and close in the last 6 years. That is a high number even in the high mortality world of food and beverage. The space is very narrow, and the kitchen is downstairs, which can lead to some interesting situations.
They don’t offer draft beer; which is odd for this area; and their selections are not very spectacular. They had 3 different cocktail specials and for a food special they offered a club sandwich for $6 discounted from $7.50. I don’t usually eat clubs because they can be difficult to fit into your mouth. Unless you dis-assemble them,which can be fun.
There wasn’t anything exceptional about the sandwich. It was well-built and included both ham and turkey with the bacon. Some places like to omit the turkey and add a slice of American cheese,which I don’t particularly like. The fries were exceptional tasty. They were your standard Sysco straight cut fries but they were fried and seasoned well.
On Mondays they discount their menu to 5 bucks. Everything but steaks and an appetizer combo. Also on Tuesday they feature 25 cent tacos. A true taco Tuesday. The place is solid. No flash, no bang, no hook. In the long run that shouldn’t bother them. It is a tough gig and I wish them nothing but the best.
Pat is out-of-town so I am left to my own devices this week. I was torn between Asian and Mexican. At the last-minute I opted for Mexican. The joint I chose has a pretty good record of reviews;although none more recent than 2013; and the menu seemed more than adequate. I had planned on ordering chilaquiles. I mean they named the joint after them. However I decided on tacos instead. Chilaquiles are okay but a good taco is always welcome to me. I know you are thinking. It is a tortilla with stuff in it,so what is the big deal? Well there are tacos. And then there are Tacos. What does a good taco look like? Something like this.
But more on that in a minute.
Normally a Mexican style joint gives you chips and salsa with you first come in. This joint offers up toasted bread and quince jelly. I think that is a pretty good alternative.
They offer tamales on the menu. Two with beans and rice for $5.99. Unfortunately they were out so rather than think it through I just ordered beef tongue tacos. Three tacos with beans and rice for differing prices;depending on the protein option. The lingua tacos were $7.29.
I wasn’t being entirely facetious when I was going on about the noble taco. It is tasty and wondrously simple. It doesn’t need all of that lettuce and tomato and cold shredded cheese. Not in my estimation. It needs to be a good amount of meat in 2 warm,yet soft corn tortillas. Warm enough to be pliable and fresh enough to smell the aroma of corn as you bring it to your mouth. These qualify. The cilantro and onion were an optional addition. They added a few radish and cucumber slices as well as a lime wedge which is more than enough for me. As for the beans and rice I guess they have become obligatory. The beans were pretty good. Nice and creamy. The rice was pretty boring. White rice cooked off with Sazon or bijol to give it that “saffron” color but no real flavor. Nothing more than a plate filler in my estimation.
The tomatillo salsa was pretty good also; it added a bit of zip to the meat. Of course the star was the tongue. Exceptionally moist and tender and as you can see a good amount of it
My eyes were bigger than my stomach though. For some strange reason I ordered a Mollettes single. A yeast roll cut in half,buttered and topped with beans and cheese for $3.99. You can buy 2 rolls, 4 pieces topped with various chiles and meats for differing prices. The 2 I ordered were really good. They would be a wonder bar snack. Mollettes and cerveza. Now that would definitely work.
Four bucks for that. Amazing. Well it is nice to know that the quality of the food is still high,even though folks aren’t writing reviews. The service was pretty good. I can see a possible language issue and if they get really busy the pace might have to be increased but the 2 young ladies I dealt with were quite pleasant. They also open at 9 AM for breakfast. To me chilaquiles is a breakfast dish. Red chile,sausage and eggs. No better way to start your day.