Thursday, October 14, 2010

El Taquito Mexicano

I've eaten at the El Taquito Mexicano taco truck many times over the years, never with a disappointment. But until yesterday I'd never been to the brick-and-mortar El Taquito. I passed by the one on Fair Oaks for years but never bothered to stop. Yesterday I decided to hit up the El Taquito on the corner of Lake and Villa. There were a half-dozen people in line ahead of me but the girl assembling the food (every person got tacos except one, who got a "wet" burrito) moved quickly.

The chips and mild salsa were the same ones you've had a million times, which is to say good. But nothing outstanding. 

The carnitas tacos with cilantro and mild salsa: I tend to stay away from carnitas these days, as too many places serve dried-out pork, one of the great disappointments you can get in a restaurant. But these carnitas were juicy and flavorful, one of the better carnitas tacos I have had in Pasadena. 
Al pastor with onions, cilantro and hot sauce: This was by far the best of the tacos I tried. The pork was bursting with flavor. The hot sauce was spicy but I'm not sure if it was necessary - it somewhat distracted from the flavor of the meat. I will absolutely get one of these again, but I will either get mild sauce or refrain from sauce all together. 

Taco de pollo with onions, cilantro and hot sauce: I love chicken, but I don't usally get chicken tacos. I prefer beef or pork. But every once in a while I come across a chicken taco that I think is really good. This was one. The chicken was very tender and, unlike the al pastor, was complemented nicely by the hot sauce. I would get one of these again, and there are only a handful of taco places where I can say that about chicken tacos.

Taco de chorizo con papas: This taco (Mexican sausage with potatoes, as the menu points out to those who do not speak Spanish) was the only one that I did not care for. The sausage had no flavor and the mushy potatoes added nothing to the taco.

Overall I liked El Taquito. Lunch for two of us cost $9.33, and we both were satisfied. But it's only two blocks from La Chona, which I like much more, so I'm not sure how frequently I will return to El Taquito.


Nosh Gnostic said...

On your recommendation, I will definitely try the tacos al pastor. Although I have my go-to place in Pasadena for them (Rosarito's on Colorado), I find this preparation to be the most variable in style.

I'm looking forward to see if they can beat my fave.

JustinM said...

I have never been to Rosarito's but I have a friend who used to be addicted to their horchata.

Nosh Gnostic said...

Yes, the horchata is very good - so good that I considered mentioning it in the above post.

Also, to clarify, Rosarito's used to be on Walnut next to the In 'n' Out.
They have changed location twice since I discovered them about 18 years ago on Lake Avenue near Washington!

ben wideman said...

This is my go-to place for tacos and it is where we take family when they are looking for an experience of SoCal's taco/burrito culture. The al pastor burrito is what I usually order. Really tasty.

But this has got me thinking that I really do have to go to La Chona sometime soon to compare the two.

JustinM said...

Of the five things I have tried at La Chona, none were as good as the al pastor taco from El Taquito. But adding up those five things and comparing it to the sum of the things from El Taquito, I like La Chona more. And La Chona's chips and salsa were much better, if you care about that kind of thing.