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May 6, 2007 06:55 PM

La Verdad (with pics)

Managed to hit it a 2 weeks ago for lunch (no ball game, so it was fairly empty) and tried a few different soft tacos. They are probably 3 bites each, though fairly well piled as you can see from the picture. The fish ones were good though not as tasty as I thought they'd be (couldn't taste much of the fish); batter was extremely light which is a good thing (I thought the ones at P*cco were tastier, but they have more batter in comparison, so I'm not sure that's a good thing). The pastor traditionale was ok; I didn't taste pork that much. The chorizo was the best of the ones I tried...much spicier than other chorizos I've tried w/o being Pops salty. Tried the corn as well (picture didn't was misfocused unfortunately)'s a whole ear of corn w/ cheese on top; the corn wasn't as sweet as I expected from what folks have said.

All in all, the experience was ok. Parking in the area is horrible even w/o a game. The food came out 15min after ordering (probably because of the corn). The waitress (dressed like bar waitresses rather than mexican place waitresses) took care of us w/o problems and memorized the orders correctly. You'll need probably 4-5 to be full (the plate in the picture is a standard sized dinner plate so you can get an idea of how big it is).

Hmm...guess you always have to upload "square" pictures. The ones I uploaded were rectangular :-P

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  1. Spike, this isn't really directed just at you but it seems that many people on CH comment on the size of the tacos at La Verdad as being small. I do not understand this; most of the corn tacos I have tried in Boston, Georgia, LA, and elsewhere are small - typically about 3 bites each. It's street vendor/finger food to me. For example, are the tacos at La Verdad the same size as the ones at Lupita or Anna's?

    9 Replies
    1. re: Dax

      They use a single tortilla. Many tacquerias use two. The amount of the filling is perhaps a little less but not by much.

      1. re: Dax

        I normally don't eat soft tacos, so the only experience I have is the stuff from supermarket el paso boxes. If you consider that the "norm" (aka, what people are used to), the La Verdad ones are between the size of that and the size of a tostada (had some in Mexico w/ the freshest guacamole I remember :-).

        I vaguely remember the soft tacos I've seen at Anna's and Boca Grande being bigger though w/ less filling compared w/ the La Verdad ones...

        1. re: Dax

          Dax. These are pretty tiny. They involve a small single tortilla (tasty though) with a dab of filling. More like 2 mouthfuls, not 3 or 4. I don't think that's the problem with these tacos, however. I think it's the lack of flavor. I would have expected KO's stuff to be sublime, like the tiny bites at Uni or Toro. As a point of reference, the ventresca tuna tapa at Toro is just one bite, but it's so good that it doesn't leave you wondering if you missed it.

          1. re: yumyum

            I'm beginning to think it depends on which one orders--at present they're still having trouble with the drier preparations, but the saucier ones are spot on, least they were for me...

            1. re: tatamagouche

              Ironic, since the saucier ones really cry out for doubled up tortillas. After seeing that video of KO making the torta I really want to try it next time I'm in the neighborhood which is rarely.

              1. re: yumyum

                Totally agree about two tortillas: it's not just for better integrity, but also for the added corn flavor. I'm baffled why they shifted to one; they served two-tortilla tacos on my earlier visits, and they were better.

              2. re: tatamagouche

                p.s. FWIW, I'm in Denver at the moment and I'm being told that these are pretty representative sizewise of what you'll find in any taqueria or taco truck here, the only difference being there are indeed always two tortillas to prevent breakage...

                  1. re: Dax

                    Quite frankly, I was taken aback that there weren't two tacos/serving the one time I was there. In my old (Mexican) 'hood in Chicago, there were ALWAYS two tortillas. I was really bummed out that I had to partly eat the shrimp filling before eating my taco due to tortilla insufficiency.

          2. Tacos in Mexico are generally QUITE small - a couple of bites at most, with less filling than you get at a place like La Verdad. I think it's all about getting expectations right in terms of what constitutes a "real" taco. (Pizza crepe taco pancake chili bag notwithstanding.)

            1. I've been there a few times since openning, and it's been up and down. The size of the tacos is small, but only if you compare it to taco bell or Ana's (aka, American). The size is exactly on par with what I've had in mexico and some of the more authentic mexican restaurants in the area. Besides, how much do you expect to get for $2.50? If I'm in the Fenway area, I'd much rather have a plate of three different tacos than spend $8 on a crappy italian sausage from a street vendor.
              The Torta there is one of the best sandwiches I've had. It comes on a custom-made sesame bu from Iggy's, and has a really nice sweet chipotle sauce. Very tasty. As for the tacos, I've had all of them, but my favorites were the tripe (saucy and spicy), the tongue (yes, the smoked tongue tastes like something you'd get in a Jewish deli rather than a taqueria, but it's tasty nonetheless), the fish, the chicken pibil, and the carnitas.
              My one complaint would be that the quality is a little inconsistent. I've ordered the carnitas three times, and got three completely different versions. The one time when it was crispy and salty, it was one of the best I've ever had. The other two times it was a little soft and greasy.
              They do a better job with the corn over at Toro, but it's great at La Verdad nonetheless.
              Despite the cheapness of the food, I've managed to rack up some major bills on drinks. The margaritas taste great, but they go down really quickly. You can order one of every taco on the menu -- enough to stuff two or three people -- for under $20/person, but expect to pay a lot more for your drinks if you're going to make a night of it.

              Still waiting to get back now that they have the full menu going.

              3 Replies
              1. re: kenjialt

                I haven't tried the tacos at La Verdad but most tacos (excluding fish) tend to be less than $2 each at the "authentic" places around town. Even Ana's al pastor tacos (which seem the ususal size as other places) are around $1.75. However, none of these places are facing the huge rents like Verdad.

                1. re: Dax

                  Dax -- I don't think you'd dig it. Maybe just me (certainly enough people are trying the place AND I still want to check the torta), but I left feeling down about the $2.50 tacos simply because they had no flavor, except for the smoked tongue and the saucy tripe. The $1.85 tacos at Tacqueria La Mexicana are so superior, and if you spring for a whole $5.25 you can get the tacos plate with rice and beans and two tacos.

                  Because of the KO connection and his super-finicky nature, I expected better bijoux ingredients from La Verdad, for which I'd gladly pay. So far they haven't delivered.

                2. re: kenjialt

                  I had the tripe taco as well and I thought it was divine. I've only had tripe in a korean preparation so this was a great new experience for me. I'm used to it being extremely chewy and tough (which is how I like it) and was suprised to find out how tender it can be. It had that really delicious tripey, organ, flavor that I love.

                  How was the tongue seasoned? There were so many tacos to try that I didn't get to try the tongue the last time I was there.

                3. Tried the fish taco. Tasty, but way too much mayo. The batter was very light. I'd order it again but I'd made sure it wasn't swimmining in mayo.

                  Also, tried the pork which was overcooked and very dry. There wasn't any tomato, cilantro or onion or sauce.

                  Both were served on a single tortilla which was very small.

                  Taco Lupita doesn't serve fish tacos but for a pork taco, head to Taco Lupita. La Verdad doesn't come close to Taco Lupita's rendition.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bearzie

                    After visiting La Verdad, I had to remind myself about the tacos at Lupita and MAN are they great -- $1.99 and chock full of meat and a bit of oniony pico de gallo. Green and red salsas that pack the heat served alongside, a lime to squeeze over, and done in the standard two-tortilla style.

                    The grilled chicken is my favorite, as they don't have carnitas, the usual standby. The pork al pastor has some kind of allspice or clovey taste in it, which isn't my bag baby, but it appeals to many.

                    Perfect lunch of a pupusa followed by a couple of these babies, and I walked away with change for my $10. I know that's not what Oringer is trying to do with LV, but after remembering how good these are, I don't need to go back to Fenway and pay twice as much for half the enjoyment.

                  2. I've got a question... .does anyone know what kind of cheese they use on their corn at Toro/La Verdad? Or more importantly... where can I get something similar?? Any ideas?

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: heWho

                      It's an aged cheese (queso anejo) called cotija. It's salty and crumbly. We've found it in some of the Market Baskets and other grocery stores with a good Latin section (I think the last time we bought it at the Market Basket in Chelsea).

                      Check out this recent thread too for other spots:


                      and this one:

                      Replicating corn from Toro/La Verdad

                      1. re: Rubee

                        That's right, and you can pick it up at Market Basket. Probably the Hi-Lo in JP, and I've seen it in my local Shaws (Somerville).

                          1. re: yumyum

                            I do most of my shopping for latino goods at Market Basket, La Internacional, and Tony's foodland (on Broadway which gets less press here than La Internacional, but is also worthy). However, the Twin Cities Shaws has a pretty eclectic selection with a lot of columbian products and other things not available at the others (goya acerola juice, etc) which focus a bit more on salvadoran and guatemalan goods. Not certain which Shaw's YumYum is mentioning (the Broadway one is a bit sad and I haven't been to Beacon much recently), but twin cities is interesting.

                            The Chelsea Market Basket has a lot of things the Somerville one doesn't have. Cuban bread, packets of 3 avocados which seem a bit more reliable than the $.99/ea ones in Somerville, more frying oils, more cheeses and frozen products, and even unusual stuff like panela/piloncillo (hard unrefined sugar from cane). Its a quick ride from Somerville, but prices on meat and produce can be slightly higher than the Somerville store.

                            1. re: itaunas

                              Thanks, this is an awesome low-down on latino groceries! I'm actually going to be out in Medford tonight... not too far from Somerville I guess, but I was thinking of stopping by the Stop and Shop across from Kappy's. Anyone know if they'd have Queso Anejo?

                              Thanks for all of your help everyone!

                              1. re: heWho

                                Not certain. The Stop and Shop further down 16 in Chelsea definitely carries it, but if you go that far continue across the railroad tracks to Market Basket.

                                In Everett there are several stores, although I have mostly gone to La Sultana (Broadway and Ferry) which is a bit more south american focused. However, by the time you head down 99 and deal with the traffic lights, you could have gone to the Chelsea MB. I usually turn right onto Second Street at the car wash, follow that past the Rosev Dairy, and turn left on Spruce St which is right about where the cobblestones start. Market Basket will be on your left.

                                1. re: itaunas

                                  Thank you! One last (dumb) question. Is this sold in the cheese case where you'd expect to find Parmesean, gouda, etc? What will the packaging look like?

                                  1. re: heWho

                                    With Market Basket this depends on the store.

                                    In Chelsea, enter by the right side of the store and walk towards the dairy section. Just past the muffins, there is a section of more or less weekly specials which sometimes has some interesting latin stuff. You will pass an aisle on your left with latino dry and canned goods. The aisle with the dairy section has dairy products on one side, a freezer in the middle, and hot-dogs, bacon etc on the other side. Mozzarella and american cheese are in the dairy section, plus Salvadoran cream (which you could spread on the cheese) and possibly a dry crumbling cheese (fresh, not aged so not what you are looking for) in plastic containers. At the far end of the aisle is the goudas, parmesans, etc, and that is where you should find. Cojita can come in a block or already crumbled, etc, so look for queso cojita, anejo, or seco on the packages.

                                    In the Somerville MB the latino cheeses are right in the dairy section, past the gouda, swiss, etc right at the corner of the cooler. They sometimes have a crumbled semi-cured brazilian cheese which I haven't seen in Chelsea that is great for pao de queijo and would probably make a tasty corn.