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Chubby's Tacos-Durham. Anyone else been there yet?

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LBD May 6, 2008 09:00 PM

Yet another taco place in Durham, 9th Street to be exact. I tried it Monday. Corn tortillas made to order and the asada, carnitas, and barbacoa tacos were all very good. It seems like they are going after the Duke crowd, not as many choices for taco fillings as Los Comales, Lopez, etc. and a few north of the border style offerings too. Waiting to see what the Durham taco militia has to say about this place.

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    wahpahh RE: LBD May 6, 2008 09:38 PM

    Good post at Carpe Durham:
    http://carpedurham.wordpress.com/2008...

    Looking forward to hearing more from others!!

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      beachbumdeac RE: LBD May 7, 2008 08:29 AM

      Went on Monday and it was VERY good. Very excited about this place

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        bbqme RE: LBD May 7, 2008 12:46 PM

        As a DTM member (Durham taco militia-- I love it!) my latest fetish has been with the housemade pastor and chorizo at Cliff's Meat Market in Carrboro. Cliff's butchers are Mexican and they have a large Mexican clientele so it makes sense that their pastor and chorizo are very authentic. The chorizo is slightly spicy, not overly vinegary like some of the store-bought chorizo, and texturally it's a little chunky whereas store-bought has more of a potted meat texture. The pastor is as tasty as anything I've had at a tacqueria. And for $2.99 and $3.29 a pound respectively, for the price of about two tacqueria tacos you can feed an entire family.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bbqme
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          wahpahh RE: bbqme May 7, 2008 02:00 PM

          What did you have, beachbum?

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          BryanZ RE: LBD May 8, 2008 03:05 PM

          I quite liked this place and think it's existing in an interesting niche. As others have stated it's not the full-on authentic taqueria experience. At the same time, it's definitely, and thankfully, not another Torrero's/El Rodeo clone.

          I'm just not sure how successful the place will be, even though I think the food is quite good. The location hasn't been the most successful, and I don't see students or the Hispanic community fervently supporting this place. Again, this plays into the not super authentic yet not completely gringo'd paradox. If anything, it'll be more of a locals spot. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

          I had a large lunch here today consisting of a barbacoa taco, a tilapia taco, and a carnitas torta. The barbacoa was well-spiced but a bit dry. La Vaquita is still my standard bearer of Barbacoa. The carnitas taco wasn't stuffed as generously as what one might get at a local taqueria but it was serviceable. The lack of avocado was also a bit of a downer. This was remedied an extra addition of the guacamole-salsa-hybrid sauce but I would've preferred full-on slices.

          I really like the fact that they make up for not having a salsa bar by putting out five really solid salas in squirt bottles. I think the squirt bottles will appeal to the gringo types who think salsa like ketchup or something. My only minor complaint here is that the holes at the top of the bottle are too small for the chunks, leading to the potential for inadvertent squirting. We all hate when that happens. There's a spicier once that tasted like it had been seasoned with a bit of floral habanero available on request.

          Finally, the whole "green' thing is cute and an obvious attempt to appeal to all the socially conscious types in the neighborhood. I understand that they products cost more but charging 25 cents for a cup of water to offset the costs of these items is going to piss some people off. College students like to think they're green but don't like paying for it, even if it's 25 cents for something they think they should be getting for free.

          2 Replies
          1. re: BryanZ
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            beebs RE: BryanZ May 10, 2008 12:50 PM

            On students -- It's graduation week at Duke, so since the place only opened on Monday, May 5.....it's understandable why it's not flooded yet by the younger set. I do think both the Duke and NCSSM students will find it -- cost is reasonable. Plus add in the ADF crowd this summer -- I think Chubby's will do well.

            I've been twice and had good experiences both times -- the grilled chicken taco and grilled tilapia taco on first visit with SO, who had a beef burrito (big enough to save half for next day's lunch), then I tried the ahi tuna on second visit -- very good....And, speaking to the owner on Friday afternoon, he mentioned that at least one patron had visited for lunch and dinner every day since opening.

            I'll be interested to see how friends react -- I think several went today to check it out...

            1. re: beebs
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              LBD RE: beebs May 10, 2008 02:11 PM

              I work a few doors down and have been twice. My boss was there for lunch and dinner opening day and has been back at least 3 other times this past week. A welcome addition to 9th Street. I do like La Vaquita's carnitas better though.

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            bkohler RE: LBD May 12, 2008 03:21 PM

            Is there any seating at this place?

            1 Reply
            1. re: bkohler
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              otto_pivner RE: bkohler May 12, 2008 05:23 PM

              There are several tables inside; there's a counter by the register; and there are one or two sidewalk tables. I've been twice now and like the place a lot; it's a good joint for someone like me who doesn't pork, chicken or beef. I've had the tilapia, tuna and grilled shrimp tacos -- all the seafood versions. They're flavorful, cheap, and quick. I hope the place succeeds -- I'll be eating there a lot.

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