El Tacoriendo/Whatever on Sandy and 114th Ave

Went to work on my dad’s computer earlier, and my dreams of baked potatoes with all of the fixings seemed to be a little long on the prep side once I was done. I had seen El Tacoriendo (this is what it says on the front. There’s a sign on the side that has a different name) from the street a couple times, it’s got a very happy looking bipedal taco on the sign, if I’m not mistaken, firing his guns into the air in celebration of his taco victory. Pulled in to one of the three parking spaces on the side, got the “Taco Trinity” (stolen shamelessly from Pollo Elastico‘s idea bag), a carne asada, a carnitas, and a pastor ($1.50 apiece). It’s interestingly laid out, when you’re at the counter you can see directly onto the grill, so I got to see what the cook was making. Paying attention to this was a mistake.

He reached into a stand up freezer and grabbed a fist full of meat, threw it on the grill, attempted to break it up a little with his griddle scraper. Once it thawed down a little and he broke a piece off, he decided he had taken too much out and scooped a third of the meat back onto the spatula, and flung it into the freezer tray again. I resolved to not look back at what he was doing again.

Fargo ordered a machaca burrito and we got a beans and rice ($1.25 per side) to share. The food came out fast, the carnitas was not very good, it had an OK flavor, but it was a little old, felt like it was nuked maybe. The carne asada was heavy on the crispy, light on the flavor, which was odd. The pastor was easily the best taco there, but it had a strange flavor, not exactly what I associate with pastor. It was very sweet, a little like barbeque sauce, but nicely cooked and flavorful. Carnitas came with onions, no cilantro, others had heavy cilantro. Sauces at the table were standard issue red and green, red was hotter than I have come to expect, green was mostly flavorless (or was overpowered by the cilantro, not sure). Didn’t get a lime wedge to squeeze on them, which disappointed me.

Fargo’s burrito didn’t interest me much, looked like pretty standard “let’s smear a whole can of refried beans and an inch of rice and then try to wrap it up” burrito fare. He finished it, but he didn’t seem to relish the task.

The beans were from a can, or no better than from a can, and the rice was meh. The total came to $14.00 with the drinks, so it wasn’t a very good value either. With De Leon only a couple blocks away and serving MUCH better grub, and Muchas Gracias serving up prime crap about half as far, this will be reserved for drunken staggers only. Seeing him dump the steaming hot meat back into the freezer tray, I will firmly say, no seafood. Ever.

One thought on “El Tacoriendo/Whatever on Sandy and 114th Ave

  1. I’ve found the machaca burrito to be a solid test of a place. Like filled pasta at an Italian joint, you quickly figure out how much these people enjoy their jobs.

    The dude who reheated this and mixed the ingredients up was good at it. Everything was combined well and cooked thoroughly but not to death. I could have lived without the can of beans and rice in there, for sure. The big letdown was the actual beef. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t much of anything at all.

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