So I’m happy to say that I’ve found my favorite taco place! Taco El Cuñado, on Burton Street.
I owe my friend Alejandro a huge thank you for his recommendation. After the Garibaldi tripe thing, I asked him for his opinion, and he enthusiastically told me that the best ones could be found at Cuñado on Burton Street. After visiting three times, I wholeheartedly agree with him. The tripas tacos here are fantastic! Cleaned well and great texture. You can ask for it tender or crispy, or in-between! Also, their tortillas aren’t too greasy. Love it.
They also offer cabeza, or beef head. I mention this because it’s the only place I’ve seen it on the menu. It’s good but the tripe is my favorite.
There are several Tacos El Cuñado. I’ve only been to this one and the one at the Downtown Market. I’m not sure if all the owners are the same or related or what, but I have heard that there are definitely some locations that are better than the others.
They have good prices and good service. They have a small parking lot that can get packed, but you can usually find a spot on the street. Bonus, they also stay open late!
Garibaldi Restaurant is a Mexican spot that is located on Division Ave.
When I visited for the first time, I tried their tripa tacos and I fell in love. I just had to have them again, so I visited a second time…and they tasted very unclean. Still hopeful and wanting to see if it was a fluke, I went a third time. Not as good as the first time, and not as bad as the second. So the lack of consistency is disappointing.
The lengua was very good, but the second time I had them, they were waterlogged. The nopales taco was salty, but I’m beginning to think that it’s the cactus itself that tastes that way. Or perhaps it’s the way cactus is prepared. I’ve tried it at three different locations, and at every one I found it to be too salty.
Their homemade corn tortillas are fantastic, and I like that they don’t fry them.
Menudo (I’m going to reveal my age here but no, I’m not talking about the popular Latino boy band from the 80’s) is a traditional Mexican soup made with beef stomach. It’s served with tortillas, onions, cilantro, and lime. I’m not sure if I was supposed to add all that in there but I did anyway. I thought the broth was kind of bland, but the beef stomach was incredibly tender and clean tasting. I think they only make this and Pozole on the weekend.
Garibaldi is located in a nondescript location. It’s actually inside a big building that also houses a Mexican store, and the entrance is on the side, not the front. The one pictured above will take you right to the cafeteria that Garibaldi’s is located in.
I love the layout of the place. It reminds me of a hawker center or food court, on a much smaller scale. Plenty of seating available, and I hear that it gets packed on the weekends!
There is an Salvadoran restaurant on one end of the hall and I think a dessert place down the other end?
I’ve received good service here every time, and the prices are low. It’s a great spot, but with a few inconsistencies. Check it out!
Taqueria San Jose located on Division Avenue is a popular little spot. The space is tiny but there are several tables that you can sit at inside. Otherwise, when it’s nice out, there’s plenty of seating outside at their picnic tables.
The star of the show was definitely the Carne Asada taco. The beef was much more flavorful than anywhere else I’ve tried! Delicious and tender. The Lengua was good as well. Not a fan of their tortillas, however. They were too greasy for me.
I visited here with my friend Alex. I think we were both surprised when we saw the long line inside. Despite that, the we got through fairly quickly and didn’t have to wait too long for our food.
Prices are low, service was good, and they have an easy menu for English speakers to understand!
So I kinda have this thing where I become fixated on a certain food and I don’t stop going after it until the next new obsession comes along. It can take months for me to get over it, sometimes years. My mom will attest to this, as she is so lucky to have raised me and experienced this endearing trait of mine. Subway sandwiches, Sichuan potatoes, pizza, pho, Ethiopian food. And now?
Tacos. Give me all the tacos.
I’ve had Taco Bell. What American hasn’t? I’m talking about authentic Mexican tacos. The type made with soft corn tortillas that comes with just meat or organs, onion, cilantro, and fresh squeezed lime. Simple and delicious.
So I’ve been running around town like an eager little newb, checking out taquerias and Mexican restaurants and trying all the tacos. So far, Tamales Mary located on Burton Street is one of my favorite spots!
I refrained from ordering Al Pastor tacos at first. I try not to eat pork anymore, but it’s not just that. I’ve had them in the past and the meat was always pulled, and served with pineapple chunks. I found them too sweet, and I’m also not a fan of pulled or shredded meat. So I was surprised when I tried this, because I loved it! The flavor and sauce was delicious, and the pork tender.
Another thing that I like about Tamales Mary are their tortillas. They are only lightly greasy, the perfect amount really.
I apologize for the non aesthetically pleasing photo, but I wanted to show what was inside. While I’ve never been a fan of tamales before, this one changed me. Very flavorful and not dry at all. And, I finally got to try mole sauce!
CHOCOLATE FLAN CAKE
They have a dessert case with a variety of different types to choose from. I’ve never been a sweets person, but I wanted to try something new. The nice lady working saw me looking and came up to point out what everything was, and offered some recommendations. I went with this cake pictured above. I love flan but hate cake, so I was curious.
Typically, I’ll have two to three bites of cake and feel nauseated from all the sugar. This cake? I ate almost the whole thing. It was so good. Seriously! Incredibly moist, not too rich or sweet, and the flan was delicious. I saved a sliver of it and had some co-workers try it. Our opinions were unanimous.
They list the tacos as American style, but you can definitely get them Mexican style (only onion and cilantro). That’s the way I prefer them. Prices here are higher than most of the other authentic taco joints, but in general, the prices are still low.
Tamales Mary does specialize in tamales, so they have a large variety. They also have lunch and dinner buffets daily. Something else that’s a plus, is that they have Pozole and Menudo every day!
The service was friendly and helpful and I came in at an off time, so the food didn’t take long at all. I can’t wait to go back!