Quest for the 45-Cent Taco
My arrival at Tacos Mexico started with me finding easy parking. At first glance it looked like any other taqueria with the name Tacos Mexico… but no, this was the Tacos Mexico at Glendale and Alvarado.
At second glance I observed the window (with a paper “4” taped next to a painted “5” on the window) with a surprise on the rest of the sign saying tacos on Tuesday. After a quick check of my watch, I noticed today was in fact Tuesday. (45-Cent Taco Tuesday!) Things are definitely going my way.
I ventured inside to investigate what the paper “4” was covering. To my chagrin it was a “3,” so my surprise was temporarily struck down by a lost opportunity of 35-Cent Tacos. Alas. But the almost-crisp 20 dollar bill in my pocket would carry me far, as the tacos would normally be 95 cents. The only taco on the menu that measured a cost more than that on any given day was the chorizo taco at $1.49.
I happily stepped up to the counter with the jukebox blazing hits ala Chihuahua y Zacatecas, and ordered up two tacos carne asada and one con pollo. I said ’what the hell’ and selected a carne asada burrito as well. I used my somewhat better-than-broken Spanish to request “una botela de la Coca Cola fria.” She obliged and gave me my initial receipt of $8.06 for the above order. I moved to the small sauce counter and picked up some onion/carrot medly that was quite tasty, spicy and not too sweet as some establishments put too much sugar in the mix. I also took 2 cups of red sauce and one of green and took my seat.
Checking the decor, I immediately saw the Los Angeles County Board of Health rating on the window. I must say, my pulse quickened a bit seeing the big green “B”, but that doesn’t usually disuade me from enjoying tacos. I checked around at the other happy customers ordering up 15 tacos “por aqui,” meaning that they were going to consume all of them on their own. This was a good sign.
My order came up and I happily stepped to the counter to receive my Tuesday special. Setting back down to my table I admired my, somewhat smaller than most stands’, tacos. They were about 3.5-4 inches across on fine paper china, and loaded with onions, cilantro and red sauce on the asada, green on the pollo. I took their sauce serving-size suggestion and took a bite with no addition. Excellent. The meat extremely moist [sweaty-not a bad thing] from time sitting in a pan. (Def of meat sweat -the sweat that comes with a massive morning preparation of asada in anticipation of a busy day, left to sit in stainless stell steaming pan). Immediately, however, my desire for a spicy taco caused me to pour another helping of the red onto it. Perfection! Onto the chicken as I knew the second asada taco would be a good finish. It was equally as good and not too moist. Firm, and tasty with the same fixin’s other than the salsa verde. Finishing them took this 220-lb irishman just over two bites each.
On to the burrito, with about 1/2 my bottle of Coke down. It was excellent. I asked for it with everything which included asada, onions, cilantro, a bit of red sauce (I’ve established it was not enough), and mexican rice. I only found one bite of rice that had no meat in it and got all the way down to the bottom without any excess tortilla folding or an overabundance of rice. After all, who am I to change their serving suggestion by asking for light rice upon my first visit? I had used up both my two cupfulls (smaller than a Robitussin™ plastic shot) of red, and one of green and then polished off my icy Coca-Cola. After seeing the two other patrons order a seemingly obscene number of tacos, I questioned, ’when I was going to make it back over the hill for such a sumptuous quality deal?’ I decided to order four more tacos [a llevar]. At this point I realized how much of the red sauce had actually touched my lips and that the rest of my mouth was feeling the heat. I needed una otra botela de la Coca Cola fria. Four more tacos, and one more bottle of frosty Coca-Cola was $3.95! My total for the afternoon of Tacos Mexico was $12.01! Not bad! And in looking at my receipt it must have been tasty as my initial order was timestamped 1304, and my subsequent order (post consumption) was timestamped 1324. [!! — Note that The Receptacle ate three tacos, polished off a giant burrito with aplomb, guzzled 32 ounces of Coke and managed to order four more tacos and a second Coke all within 20 minutes’ time. — ed. ]
So in closing, the service is surely quick, the jams definitely authentic angelino, price progressively affordable, and the service surprisingly stellar (register lady let me use her pen when mine died and even smiled and spoke only in Spanish to me-smiling more broadly when I spoke back to her).
Glendale at Alvarado