Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Los Tacos

Los Tacos is a popular Mexican fast food restaurant on East Charleston between Maryland Pkwy and Eastern. I was first told about it by my sister-in-law Maggie and have been eating there ever since because it is good, cheap, and refreshing in that there are actually some healthy options. They even have freshly shucked oysters, which simultaneously grossed me out and intrigued me on my first visit. Judging by how crowded the place was, I could tell they had the turnover necessary to serve fresh seafood, but I chose shrimp instead (on a later visit I had the oysters, which were certainly fresh but of too large a variety for me to enjoy without copious amounts of hot sauce).

Although I always eat some of what Ian gets each time we go, I stick with what I had that first time, the tostada di camaron (shrimp tostada, $4.24), because it is as delicious as it is light. It consists of a freshly fried corn tortilla (that's the tostada) topped with fresh shrimp ceviche and their finely chopped house pico (I add sliced avocado for an additional $0.85 because it is always perfectly ripe and adds a creamy component). It is served with a juicy lime that I squeeze until only the pulp remains, and I like to top it all off with a few dashes of hot sauce to give it a kick. It is satisfying and unchanging, like everything else on the menu, but unique because it's hard to believe you're in a fast food place.

The burritos are probably the best thing you can get if you want something more filling, which you can have stuffed with either pork (al pastor), steak (asada), shredded chicken (pollo), or beef head (cabeza). The cabeza is actually really flavorful but it is also rich and somewhat of an acquired taste. We tried it once and enjoyed it but have not ordered it since. This time Ian opted for two chicken soft tacos ($3/each), which were also great but messy. Their chicken is incredibly tender and they go through the extra step of grilling the inner corn tortilla of each taco before stuffing it which gives it a nice toasty flavor and melts the cheese (traditional tacos come with two corn tortillas because the idea is that you pick up the inner tortilla and eat it first, allowing the filling that escapes from it to fall onto the second tortilla so you can have another taco). You can opt to add extras such as sour cream (crema), salsa, cheese, but each one will cost you $0.45. You can also add avocado ($0.85) or rice and beans ($2). They ask you if you want everything when you order ($1.50), but if you agree know that this just includes cheese, avocado, and sour cream. These little extras can add up and make your meal not quite so frugal, and it's a little frustrating they charge $0.75 for a cup of water, but you'll still be able to enjoy a great meal for a good price.

Today's Food Rating:
Shrimp Tostada: 8.5
Chicken Tacos: 7.5 (I like the burritos better)

Would I go back? SI SENOR

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