Sunday, January 18, 2015

Taco Hunt: Taqueria Lower East Side | LES

After a fun night of celebrating a friend's work promotion, the only thing that could cure my hangover was going to be a greasy dose of tacos. This time I kept it local and visited Taqueria Lower East Side on Orchard Street with my friends Christine and Suzanne. The LA themed restaurant says "keeping it real" is what they're all about – only authentic and nothing else. Their menu proudly boasts "Los Diez Mandamientos" stating that nachos, fajitas, and ultra fruity margaritas will not be served under their watch. Consider me sold!

I was really digging the vibe when we first walked in. Traditional Mexican decor with pop culture references – you can tell they're not trying to be the latest hip place in town. Unfortunately, when it came time to eat I was a bit underwhelmed. I ordered three tacos and an agua de jamaica (hibiscus juice) and they weren't necessarily worth writing home about. Two of the tacos, barbacoa (marinated lamb) and cabeza (slow steamed beef head), were on the dry side and too salty. To be fair, I've noticed a lot of places struggle to knock these particular two out of the park. My third taco, nopalitos (grilled cactus), was a pleasant switch and ended up being my favorite. The cactus tasted fresh and the serving size was pretty generous. Almost redeemed. However, have you heard of a taqueria with better vegetarian tacos than their meat options? As my mom would say, "que vegetariano ni que nada!" I tried translating this but can't seem to find the proper words… essentially, just no.

I guess my overall impression could be described as "meh." Hold up. Did I really just give my first meh? Guess so. #SorryNotSorry – though I actually feel a bit messed up about it. lol


I probably won't be giving them another visit any time soon but what do you think? Did I just order the wrong thing? Do you have a Taqueria LES favorite? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me at @mromja!

PS - That first picture were the tacos dorados de queso (deep fried cheese tacos) that Christine ordered. One of my all time favorites. I should have gone vegetarian for the day. Next time!

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