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Secret Spots - Tacos, anyone?

"At this taco stand, they are known for preparing all kinds of meats, and all parts of animals."

K.L. Moore

OK, Listen up, tacos, Mexican style, are not what you think they are. Forget Taco Bell, Old El Paso Taco Shells and anything resembling a curved fried tortilla. To a Mexican, tacos are flat, non-fried, tortillas topped with varying kinds of meats, veggies and spicy salsas. Really, any combination of meats, beans, vegetables, and cheeses constitute a true Mexican taco. My three personal favorites are tacos al pastor, carnitas, and alambre (all three are ways of cooking the meat). If you want a taste of true Mexican food, a trip to any of our area taco stands will satisfy your taste buds very well. After having sampled many tacos stands with my two taco buddies, we have decided on the four below....read on...

Los Braceros

Located on Calle Ejido, is the largest of the taco stands in town, and has expanded its traditional 'just taco' menu to include some other general Mexican dishes. Always full of tourists and locals, it has some excellent choices of many different kinds of tacos and alambres. This is a place to try if you are not ready for a 'just tacos' place or, shall I say, stand. It is more of a restaurant atmosphere. And, the best thing about this place, is all the different kinds of tacos they offer. The menu is in English, so you can start here and sample what you like and then venture out to some smaller places. *Note * I am particularly fond of the green sauce here.....very very spicy and always fresh.

El Pastorcito

My personal favorite and located within close proximity to my domicile, El Pastorcito offers up some of the best alambre in town. Alambre is any type of meat, usually pork or chicken, thinly sliced and grilled on a hot fiery flat comal. Add in julienned green peppers, onions, tomatoes and bacon, topped with melted white cheese, a plate of hot flour tortillas and you have a great meal all for the low price of thirty pesos. You can also order a beef (bistek) alambre or some others with various vegetables. El Pastorcito also has various other types of tacos, including tacos al pastor. There are three salsas on the table, a salsa mexicana, (diced tomatoes, onions with cilantro) a spicy green sauce and an excellent red one. The place is open late for those of us who suffer from late night munchies. Spanish is spoken, no English. So get out your dictionaries if you need to. Located in the center of town on the street, Nicolas Bravo. Well worth the trip.

La Flechita Roja

I would have to say this place is one of, or if not, the most popular place in town. Located on Av. Morelos headed in the in-town direction, it is always crowded. It is a walk-up, sit down on a bench facing the fire, place your order and eat place. The first time I ate here was with a friend, Alex, who actually recently opened his own taco place in Ixtapa, so always consider the source. The 'tacos al pastor' here are amazing. What are 'tacos al pastor'? Well, it is way of preparing pork smoked on a roasting spit. Depending on the restaurant, the preparation varies, but in order to get a little true taste of the country, they are what you need. Here, at La Flechita Roja, they are served with diced onions and many sauces to chose from. The 'tacos al pastor' here are juicy, flavorful and served up quick. For an order of three you pay 8 pesos. At this taco stand, they are known for preparing all kinds of meats, and all parts of animals. Once again, only Spanish is spoken, so take your dictionaries. They usually have 'barbacoa' tacos and al pastor every night, but the staples vary depending on the ingredients and the chef that day.

Taqueria Ely

Located down the street from Glob's café, on Calle Nava nestled in the small vegetable and meat market, it is the fourth taco stall on your right. Here is where you find some great salsas. We tried an order of 'tacos al pastor' and 'tacos bistek', which are thin strips of beef grilled with onion, all of the above served on small corn tortillas. The tacos were good, but, what made them excellent, were the salsas we had to choose from. They have this spicy peanut sauce that is to die for. And, my taco buddy, Shelly, was pleased to find, pickled beets. There are several different red sauces and one divine green sauce. Once again, this is a sit on the bench and order up place. Also, dictionary necessary, if needed.

So there are four recommendations. Everyone has a favorite taco place. These are just a few of the good ones. I am sure there are more out there and I am also sure that some people will make a point to tell me theirs. Please do, I am always on the search for the perfect taco.

Buen Provecho

January 2001

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