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Taqueria Alameda - Westland, MI

JanPrimus Feb 20, 2010 05:06 PM

Sure we have mentioned this place in a few threads....but GOSH DARN IT......this place deserves a lot of attention.

It is just a tiny place in a small strip mall packed between a Tax Prep place and a laundromat. I had passed it over for a long time after some bad Westland Mexican food experiences (Yes I am thinking about you Mexi-go). I don't recall what finally tipped me into going in...but I can hit myself for not going in sooner. Stupid Stupid ME!

For Taco's they have Suadero (Grilled Steak), Carne Molida (Ground Beef), Al Pastor (Marinated Pork), Campechano (Mixture of meats), Carnitas (Deep Fried Pork), Chorizo (sausage), Lengua (Beef Tongee), Pollo (Grilled Chicken), Cabeza (Beef Head), Barbacoa (lamb), and Chorizo with Huevo's (Sausage and Eggs). They have different sized Corn Tortilla's you can get it with and they are served traditional style with Onion and Cilantro. Now just having these various meats is not enough...the real question is how are they seasoned. I have eaten more Mexican food all around Detroit and can say with out a doubt that this is the place that is doing it the best (at least for the places I have visited, I still have a few to hit up). They are leagues ahead of everyone else in my opinion in this area.

They also serve a wide variety of Burrito's, Fajita's and Torta's...

For Soups...We get Menudo O Pancita, Pozole, Caldo De Camaron, Mole De Olla, Consome De Barbacoa, Barbacoa and Barbacoa Familiar. So far what I have tried has been delicious.

Then they have the Especialities! Sopes, Huaraches, Tostadas, Quesadilla's (Both Flour or Corn), and Gorditas. Here we have different meat fillings...Chicharon Prensado (More or less Pork Cracklins Hash), Tinga Del Pollo (Chipolte Chicken), Picadillo (Ground Beef), Papa (Potatoes), Queso (Cheese), Hongos Mushrooms), Papa con Chorizo (Sausage and Potatoes), Huitlacache (Black Corn), and Nopales (Cactus).

Lastly I report on the Tamale, These are all Hand Made Tamales....
Cerdo (Pork), Res (Beef), Pollo (Chicken), Jalapeno, and also a Queso y Dulce (Cheese and Sweet).

I have dropped into this place now maybe 8-10 times and I keep ordering from all over the menu....and each time I walk away more impressed. Tonight I got a bottle of Mexican Coke, The Chicharon Quesadilla's (Basically a Pork Cracklins Hash in there!) and about a dozen tamales to go. If you are ever in the area (not to far out of the way if you are going to be at Metro Airport)...do yourself the favor. Stop in...pop into a seat...and order.

906 S Wayne Road
Westland, MI 48185
734-727-0947
M-Sat 11am to 10pm
Sunday 11am to 9pm

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  1. v
    vtombrown RE: JanPrimus Feb 20, 2010 06:22 PM

    Thank you Sir. I'm convinced and will check it out soon, even though it is a drive. While your review seemed detailed and comprehensive, I remain curious as to whether I'll also be able to obtain my requisite Cuervo shots and jalapeno poppers. ;-)

    18 Replies
    1. re: vtombrown
      JanPrimus RE: vtombrown Feb 20, 2010 06:31 PM

      Sadly no....I pretty much do take out from here....I live maybe 1.5 miles away....so beer at home!

      I would love for this place to be able to step up to a liquor license....but with its current locations size....no way in hell.

      As for poppers...I can point to a few neighborhood watering holes that may have them :)

      Trying to think of a bar you could bring food into in the area but coming up short.

      1. re: JanPrimus
        v
        vtombrown RE: JanPrimus Feb 20, 2010 08:03 PM

        That's okay. I'll be plenty happy to just get some authentic Mexican food. By the way, weren't you the guy who first mentioned finding that Lazybones delivers to Dragonmead Brewery? That is a top notch combo! Although, the Lazybones people have long since become mighty weary from dealing with drunk, confused phone customers.

        1. re: vtombrown
          JanPrimus RE: vtombrown Feb 20, 2010 08:20 PM

          Delivered....I don't know about all that, but you can pick it up and take it over to DM. :)

          Edit: See below I was wrong....they do deliver!

          1. re: JanPrimus
            b
            boagman RE: JanPrimus Feb 20, 2010 08:27 PM

            ::coughs, looking for credit where it's due::

            ;)

            1. re: boagman
              JanPrimus RE: boagman Feb 20, 2010 08:43 PM

              I mentioned it back in Oct 2008! :)
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/564622
              Where is your mention Mister? hahaha

              And now looking at the Lazybones Website....they do deliver.
              I always just stopped in first to get it.

              1. re: JanPrimus
                b
                boagman RE: JanPrimus Feb 20, 2010 08:45 PM

                Dude! I mentioned it back in, like, 1973! I'm just that good! ;)

                1. re: boagman
                  JanPrimus RE: boagman Feb 20, 2010 08:49 PM

                  BBQ was not even invented till 1995!

                  Oh god have you been drinking too?

                  1. re: JanPrimus
                    b
                    boagman RE: JanPrimus Feb 20, 2010 08:51 PM

                    Only to excess! (Still a great off-the-cuff joke from Alan Alda's Hawkeye)

                    Hey, be sure you check out my comments on Neehee's in the other thread. Thanks again.

                    1. re: boagman
                      JanPrimus RE: boagman Feb 20, 2010 08:56 PM

                      I did sir! Very nice!

                      Tomorrow I am going to wake up and wish all of this never happened. Drunken Chow Postings most of the time are very regrettable. Like the time where I challenged Miller's Bar fans to tell me what the hell is so special about the burgers. Yes I am one of the few that don't pray at the alter of Millers.

                      1. re: JanPrimus
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                        boagman RE: JanPrimus Feb 20, 2010 09:03 PM

                        Well, when they're on, they're on. The last time I was there, I was distinctly disappointed in the burger I received. I still ate it, but there was no magic in that burger the way I've had them in the past. I wonder if they're slipping a bit.

                        1. re: boagman
                          JanPrimus RE: boagman Feb 20, 2010 09:07 PM

                          I have been three times and each is sadder than the last....

                          FWIW I measure my burgers against the "Thurman Burger" from Columbus.
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFR5ln...

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smb6cj...

                          I used to be a regular there back when I hunted Buckeye women.....

                          1. re: JanPrimus
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                            boagman RE: JanPrimus Feb 21, 2010 01:18 PM

                            Really? *That's* your measuring stick, JP? I gotta tell ya...that thing looks absolutely disgusting. And I don't mean that in some "street thug parlance" if there is such a thing for the word "disgusting", like "phat" or "stoopid". No, that just looks awful. Ham? On a burger?

                            I fully admit that I tend to like my burgers simple, but those videos just made me kind of wince. Yuck.

                            1. re: boagman
                              j
                              Jim M RE: boagman Feb 21, 2010 01:31 PM

                              Funny that this should come up here ... the taquería serves something called a Torta Rusa, a Russian Sandwich. It has beef and ham on it. I haven't worked up the nerve to try it. Nor do I know why Mexicans think of it as Russian. But who knows, maybe it's good.

                              1. re: Jim M
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                                boagman RE: Jim M Feb 21, 2010 01:40 PM

                                I should note that, for all intents and purposes, ham is probably my least favorite typical pork product. Please don't start asking about "pork brains" or their eyes or feet (yes, I know they exist and are, apparently edible)...that's not stuff that I'd consider food, quite frankly. Ham certainly qualifies, and while there have been occasional exceptions in the past (certain Honeybaked hams have been like candy to me), ham is just sort of there, most times. It's okay, but certainly nothing I'd want on my burger.

                              2. re: boagman
                                JanPrimus RE: boagman Feb 21, 2010 01:49 PM

                                All I can say is "Don't knock it till ya try it!"....

                                If I wanted a simple burger....I would fire up my own grill.

                                I know there is more than one school of burger...but even in the "simple" category....Miller's does not really do it for me.

                                1. re: JanPrimus
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                                  boagman RE: JanPrimus Feb 21, 2010 02:06 PM

                                  Oh, I'm not knocking it! I'm just saying that it's not for me, that's all. Oddly, the simple burger is something that often tastes quite different on my own grill than it does from restaurants. Yeah, I know that it's typical, but burgers are even more so. Don't understand it, myself, but I like both mine and outside versions. They're just very different from each other.

                2. re: boagman
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                  vtombrown RE: boagman Feb 21, 2010 06:42 AM

                  Ooops. Pardon the oversight, Boagman. I didn't have time to conduct proper research (as my wife was calling, "what the hell are you doing on the internet?") And, thanks again....

                  1. re: vtombrown
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                    boagman RE: vtombrown Feb 21, 2010 01:20 PM

                    S'alright, VTB. There's some controversy over who actually made that recommendation first, so I may have posted out of turn. Totally worth it though. Glad you liked the combination.

        2. j
          Jim M RE: JanPrimus Feb 21, 2010 09:42 AM

          Have been to this place several times and can second this all the way. BTW, the last time I was there they suggested when I was paying that I try the mamey smoothie. (I usually have one of the more common ones.) That's an unusual item for this area, so next time I'm going to go for it!

          1. v
            vtombrown RE: JanPrimus Feb 22, 2010 06:52 PM

            Okay JanPrimus, On Sunday, after I put the kid in the carseat and finished loading the groceries from Whole Foods Troy into the trunk, I look and see that he has suddenly fallen asleep. Since the wife was at religious study, I figured why not pass the time by driving to Westland... rather than driving home and risk waking up the kid trying to get him out of the carseat and into bed to finish his nap? Off to Taqueria Alameda.

            Anyway, I got three tacos and I bought some mole negra paste (La Soledad brand, which I'm hoping is better than Dona Maria and the other crap sold by Meijer). The tacos were two Carnitas and one Al Pastor. Wow, were they good! Very simple, but that is what made them so nice--particularly the tortillas (not sure how the heck they did those). I have to admit that the cook did not put a lot of effort into the Carnitas. Maybe she just shallow fried a couple lean pork steaks, diced them and then kept them in a hot covered baking pan to soften. The point is that the meat didn't ruin the otherwise perfect taco. The Al Pastor meat much more held its own. The hotter sauce is a requirement. Yes, I would be hard pressed to find a better taco in town.

            Some people will be apprehensive, given that this is really just a little Qwickie Mart that happens to prepare food in the back room, using a propane burner, a second hand residential refrigerator, a bathroom sink and a card table. I guess they capture the true essence of a taqueria. Gosh, the owner (cook's husband) is a really nice guy.

            Lastly, my original order was for lamb Barbacoa, but despite the fact that he says he always makes big batches on Sundays, he ALREADY was sold out by the time I got there (3:45pm?). Guess I'll have to seize a future opportunity to go back. Thanks for making the afternoon really interesting. You would have been proud at how voraciously I scarfed down them tacos.
            PS--I don't want to sound dumb, but have you tried the place just northwest of there on Ford Rd named "Enchilada Hut?" Someone told me it was good. I wasn't inclined to believe her, but she was Hispanic and she had tattoos, so maybe it's worth a try.

            3 Replies
            1. re: vtombrown
              JanPrimus RE: vtombrown Feb 23, 2010 03:23 AM

              I went to the Enchilada Hut once....just once.

              1. re: JanPrimus
                z
                zeussa RE: JanPrimus Oct 31, 2010 02:18 PM

                My wife and I go to Enchilada Hut on a regular basis. It's fair, but the classic guacamole is fantastic. Honestly, we go just for the guacamole. They deliver to a wide radius, too.

                -----
                Enchilada Hut
                37628 Ford Rd, Westland, MI 48185

                1. re: zeussa
                  JanPrimus RE: zeussa Oct 31, 2010 06:48 PM

                  Maybe I need to make you some Guacamole......I would pit mine against any in the nation as long as I had good produce. :)

            2. y
              yorbacus RE: JanPrimus Mar 22, 2010 10:32 AM

              I stopped in today and had 3 Al Pastor tacos. Amazingly fantastic tacos. I agree that the meat is wonderfully seasoned, and the tacos had quite a lot of meat on them. I will be back very soon!

              3 Replies
              1. re: yorbacus
                j
                Jim M RE: yorbacus Mar 23, 2010 06:52 AM

                Also try the tinga de pollo, spiced chicken. Superb. I've had it on tostadas.

                1. re: Jim M
                  jjspw RE: Jim M Mar 26, 2010 02:15 PM

                  Even better are the cabeza and chicharron!

                  1. re: Jim M
                    JanPrimus RE: Jim M Jul 6, 2010 10:31 AM

                    OK this is not really related to the Restaurant...but if you like Alameda...you will love this recipe.

                    http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Ting...

                    Real Deal Holyfield Punch you in the face Mexican. I changed the recipe up to my taste but still....yum. I used Belly instead of shoulder, a wee bit more garlic and use one cup each of tomatoes and chopped onions.

                2. d
                  donbui82 RE: JanPrimus Mar 31, 2010 08:26 PM

                  Had my first Alameda experience...

                  and holy cow that was one tasty meal.

                  Attempted to order the Barbacoa, but, of course they were out. My date had the Huaraches with steak and chicken. I ended up with the chicharones quesadilla, tacos al pastor and lengua.

                  We eat a lot of tongue in Vietnamese cuisine (at least it seems like it), and this had to be one of my top three lengua experiences. Soft, tender, super flavorful. WOW that was one really, really, really good taco. Equally on par with ANYTHING I've had in LA.

                  The Al Pastor was good, but not espectacular. What I really liked about it were the chunks of pineapple inside. I'm not sure if that's authentic and if he's using it for flavor or tenderizer, but it works. Just enough kick to it. I actually still prefer the al pastor at El Barzon but its still solid here.

                  The quesadilla was just rediculously good. Heaping amounts of soft, gooey cheese. The quesadilla was overflowing with some super tasty pork meat. OMG that thing was good. Not too salty, but very flavorful. its an absolute MUST TRY.

                  the Huaraches were interesting. long, oval shaped tortillas that were stuffed with I think refried beans? On top was meat, lettuce, onions, and cheese. While good, I think there's much more interesting things on the menu to try.

                  Washed it all down with a large horchata. Its a milky white drink that's made from rice with hints of cinnamon. Very refreshing and tasty.

                  overall, huge thumbs up. Can't wait to come back.

                  don

                  p.s. super nice owners. Try chatting them up if they don't look too busy.

                  -----
                  El Barzon
                  3710 Junction St, Detroit, MI 48210

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: donbui82
                    JanPrimus RE: donbui82 Apr 1, 2010 06:20 AM

                    Glad you enjoyed.

                    1. re: donbui82
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                      boagman RE: donbui82 Apr 1, 2010 12:38 PM

                      Again, though...this seems to be one of the prevalent things with Mexican cuisine: cheese is everywhere (as well as refried beans). That's fine if you like (or love) such things, but as a disliker of such things, it doesn't really call to me.

                      Question: what is "lengua"?

                      1. re: boagman
                        JanPrimus RE: boagman Apr 1, 2010 01:30 PM

                        No No No.....Get the Taco's and avoid the cheese and beans. Aron....there is a lot hear that is missing both.

                        Lengua is cow tongue by the way. I noticed you called yesterday.....any thing good?

                        -----
                        No No's
                        PO Box 322, Newburg, WI 53060

                        1. re: JanPrimus
                          b
                          boagman RE: JanPrimus Apr 1, 2010 01:37 PM

                          Nothing that can't be solved by dropping my laptop in a vat of smelting steel. Can you call me later with a bit of advice on *possibly* getting my laptop's hardware issues resolved? Thanks!

                        2. re: boagman
                          m
                          moose734 RE: boagman Apr 1, 2010 07:02 PM

                          That's a quality of Tex Mex cuisine, not real Mexican cooking. Huge, gloopy mounds of cheese aren't usually found in taquerias. Unless, of course, they're catering to gringos. The lengua here is absolutely top notch. Very tender ( I hate when places cook it too long and it gets all tough and rubbery)

                      2. JanPrimus RE: JanPrimus Apr 1, 2010 06:16 AM

                        They also have Cuitlacoche on the menu....but everytime I have asked for it they have been out (twice).

                        http://boingboing.net/2005/04/05/cuit...

                        Have to try again soon.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: JanPrimus
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                          moose734 RE: JanPrimus Apr 1, 2010 07:03 PM

                          Same thing happened to me. The only experience I've had with Cuitlacoche was at La Casita in Ypsi.

                          1. re: moose734
                            JanPrimus RE: moose734 Apr 2, 2010 08:54 PM

                            Three times now....and for the record I have added a food to my very short list of things I do not think I will be trying again. Tripe!

                            Ordered some Menudo finally, The broth is fine...just do not like the texture of the Tripe.

                            So Tripe....buddy up with headcheese, cantaloupe, cranberry's and ambrosia salad.

                            1. re: JanPrimus
                              m
                              moose734 RE: JanPrimus Apr 3, 2010 10:06 AM

                              Have you only tried beef tripe ? There's a big difference between beef and pork tripe as far as texture. Pork tripe seems to be a lot less rubbery and chewy , not to mention sometimes beef tripe can come off as very bland no matter how it's prepared ( I've had a couple good renditions at some Chinese restaurants). One of my favorites at Dos Hermanos Mkt. in Ypsi is getting some pork tripe with the pork skin they steam there.

                              And I completely cosign with you on cantaloupe. Can't eat it at all.

                              1. re: moose734
                                rainsux RE: moose734 Apr 3, 2010 12:24 PM

                                I'm with you on the tripe. Cantaloupe? One of my favorite "salads" is cantaloupe
                                sprinkled with crumbled blue cheese. Better than it sounds, unless you dislike
                                cantaloupe. <g>

                                1. re: rainsux
                                  JanPrimus RE: rainsux Apr 4, 2010 06:51 PM

                                  Well blue cheese is one of my favorite things in life. Here we put Maytag on Apples and walnuts. One of Audry Hepburn's favorites.

                                  1. re: JanPrimus
                                    m
                                    moose734 RE: JanPrimus Apr 5, 2010 12:34 AM

                                    bleu cheese is fabulous, but I question it's ability to make me like the wretchedness of cantaloupe.

                          2. re: JanPrimus
                            JanPrimus RE: JanPrimus Apr 30, 2010 01:48 PM

                            I finally got the Cuitlacoche Huaraches. Not nearly as scary as some have made it sound. It reminded me of a earthy woody mushroom that I never had. :)

                            I would not say that it is all the special....it just is another ingredient I can knock off my I have not had list now. I most likely would not order it again, but then I would not turn it down if offered either.

                            Now that Mango Smoothie I had, I will get that one again.

                          3. m
                            Michigan Mishuganer RE: JanPrimus Apr 7, 2010 09:29 AM

                            thanks, it's great to have another place to eat near DTW.
                            we tried it after an airport pickup. food was pretty good but again no cuitlacoche.

                            1. o
                              orangewhip RE: JanPrimus Apr 28, 2010 06:43 PM

                              This place sounds great! My favorite Taqueria is Senor Lopez, but this place is a good deal closer to my place. It sounds like they have a pretty extensive menu. I'll have to check it out.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: orangewhip
                                JanPrimus RE: orangewhip Apr 28, 2010 07:54 PM

                                I think we might be neighbors. :)

                                1. re: JanPrimus
                                  o
                                  orangewhip RE: JanPrimus Apr 28, 2010 09:16 PM

                                  I'm on the Dearborn Heights/Livonia/Westland meeting point. Right where they all mash together.

                                  1. re: orangewhip
                                    JanPrimus RE: orangewhip Apr 28, 2010 09:45 PM

                                    Merriman and Cherryhill for me...

                                    Not close enough to walk home from after too many beers though....

                                    1. re: JanPrimus
                                      b
                                      boagman RE: JanPrimus Apr 28, 2010 09:57 PM

                                      Sissy. No dedication. ;)

                                      1. re: boagman
                                        JanPrimus RE: boagman Apr 29, 2010 09:59 AM

                                        No...bad sense of direction after too many...I would end up in your Waterford neck of the woods...

                              2. JanPrimus RE: JanPrimus Nov 16, 2010 02:03 PM

                                Talked to the owner last night a bit and there was talk of Mole and a new location. She told me they make Mole for some clients if she is asked in advance. Not sure if anyone else is wanting in on some Mole action, but if you are maybe we can get her to make it for more than just lowly little old me.

                                They also have started to talk about a new location (Still in Westland) to replace the current location. They would like to offer more sitting and possibly a larger menu.

                                JP is Happy!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: JanPrimus
                                  b
                                  boagman RE: JanPrimus Nov 16, 2010 02:52 PM

                                  Hmm. One of these days I'll have to get over to this place. You're one of the champions of this place, and I trust your judgment. It's just that Westland is even further than Canton, and Mexican just doesn't call to me as strongly as other food types do. Perhaps I just haven't had good enough Mexican food?

                                  1. re: boagman
                                    JanPrimus RE: boagman Nov 16, 2010 05:32 PM

                                    If you come down 275 to get to Neehee's then you are about the same exact distance to this place. I think the flavors are not as massive as Neehee's but if you are a fan of REAL Mexican (Not Texmex) this is a great place.

                                2. JanPrimus RE: JanPrimus Dec 2, 2010 05:01 PM

                                  Sometimes you get a Black eye...

                                  My boy "Boagman" just tried to get in at 8:40 when they have a 9:00 close and was denied. I will have a talk with the owners about it.

                                  1. v
                                    vdoucette RE: JanPrimus Dec 8, 2010 04:46 AM

                                    I stopped in for lunch Monday. The hits were great. The misses weren't
                                    I ordered a burrito -- can't remember which variety. A few leisurely minutes later I got my chips and salsa -- those were fresh and excellent.
                                    A few more minutes later the burrito arrived, with the accompanying rice and beans. Here's where the problems started.
                                    The beans were ice cold and the rice lukewarm at best. The burrito was supposed to include refried beans, but there weren't any beans in the burrito. The burrito was very tasty, no doubt, but one of the ingredients was missing. And I could have done without the blaring TV above my head.
                                    It's a pretty long haul from my house to this place. I don't know if/when I will go again. It was SO CLOSE to being great ...

                                    1. a
                                      aea6574 RE: JanPrimus Dec 8, 2010 05:45 AM

                                      Howdy All:

                                      I hope you are well.

                                      Count me in on the group that loves this place. Went here for lunch on Saturday and had the beef, pork and lamb tacos which were just scrumptious with a little hot sauce. My companion had the burrito, 3 tamales and the fried plantains. The fried plantains were just so tasty that this will now become a regular stop for us.

                                      I love all the little things about this place, the little grocery area, sodas from glass bottles, the tv playing a telethon in Spanish, friendly staff, small 5 or so tables, hidden away in a strip mall. So many good things.

                                      Thanks to all for the recommendations.

                                      Best regards, tony

                                      1. g
                                        goatgolfer RE: JanPrimus Apr 19, 2011 12:05 PM

                                        Made an Ikea run today so Taqueria Alameda it was... Tacos lengua and cabeza and a tamale res. Tasty! Cool vibe too (it's a small store too). The cabeza was very tender and the salsas were both flavorful and tangy. It's and hour drive for me so I'll probably stick to Pontiac but if you are heading that way it's worth it. BTW - 3 tacos + tamle = $5.65 - beautiful.

                                        1. Bada Bing RE: JanPrimus Jul 30, 2012 01:38 PM

                                          Is this place still going strong? The most recent post in this thread is over a year old. I'm from out of town but will have a chance to try some West-Burbs locales this weekend.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Bada Bing
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                                            boagman RE: Bada Bing Jul 30, 2012 09:52 PM

                                            So far as I'm aware, it is. Last time I was there was about 2-3 months ago, and the Al Pastor tacos were still plenty good. Mind you: the place is the very definition of "hole in the wall", but you're not paying for glitz...just good food.

                                            1. re: boagman
                                              j
                                              Jim M RE: boagman Jul 31, 2012 05:12 AM

                                              I was there last month. Personal favorite is the tinga. Excellent licuados.

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