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Tacos Cancun-- Lambertville

j
jodell Mar 29, 2010 04:09 PM

Sometimes when you are wet, cold-- and starving-- the food gods will throw you a juicy, warm bone. Today (a Monday) at around 4 pm (Monday = chef's day off, an unlikely day to make a MAJOR find) the food gods threw a big one my way. I was in Lambertville, needing warm food. I stumbled onto a little corner grocery that flashed the TACOS sign in its window. I was on Main Street, near the corner of Church, when the food gods illumined my path.

Inside the door, a small grocety with a very active little kitchen in the back-- 3 kitchen workers. The woman at the counter produced a menu. My stomach growled-- the menu listed a selection of Tacos (all $2/each) and Tortas (around $7) and, pouncing, I ordered 3 tacos-- 2 different kids of marinated pork (one with pineapple) and one carne asada. I took one of 4 seats at a small counter, and awaited the food. Ten minutes and my plate came out--- wow. Three gorgeous tacos, piping warm and flanked by 2 salsas-- one a creamy guacomole, the other a fiery red caliente. The first one went into the red salsa and then into my mouth. Carumba! A reason to live, to continue seeking the true grail of flavor. And to discover here in rainy Lambertville. Not that I haven't had good food in Lambertville-- but usually accompanied with a strong check. The six dollars I was now spending at Tacos Cancun was bringing me the ultimate reward. REAL food, real flavor-- authentico-- the real deal. Suddenly, I was 2500 miles away, at a tacoria in southern Arizona, or even somewhere in sunny Pacific Mexico or Baja California.

Wherever a significant poplulation of Mexican people exist, be it somewhere in Illinois, New Jersey, or even Alaska-- there is a small spot just like Tacos Cancun to provide their real native flavors and textures. This Tacoria did just that. Tacos Cancun is a true blast of real savor. I will return there, and will go well out of my way even if I am not really hungry. Tacos Cancun serves the real deal, a glorious little flavor bomba rolled into a soft, warm taco. The puercos were stellar, the carne asada IMMENSE-- smokey, glorious street food. Go there, enjoy....

 
  1. t
    travisalta Jun 26, 2011 10:42 AM

    Good to know! We will have to check this place out! My husband (born and raised in Oaxaca) and I recently moved from New Brunswick to Flemington and are missing the abundance of authentic, cheap and delicious Mexican food. We've tried all the Mexican restaurants in Flemington and none of them compare to anything in New Brunswick. The only place that comes close isn't even a restaurant it's a Mexican/Central American grocery store with a small counter. (It's called Iztapamex.) Their tortas are pretty good. (Not as good as New Brunswick because they don't use fresh baked teleras.) The quesadillas are amazing because they make the tortillas on the spot. (I'm talking huge tortillas- more like a tlayuda.) Anyway, if you're having a hankering for Mexican in Flemington and you're feeling a bit adventurous you should check it out.

    6 Replies
    1. re: travisalta
      t
      tom246 Jun 26, 2011 11:31 AM

      Would love to know what your favorites in New Brunswick are. Have not had a lot of luck with Mexican there.

      1. re: travisalta
        g
        glutton Jun 26, 2011 06:28 PM

        I'm dying to know which places you liked in New Brunswick.

        1. re: travisalta
          s
          sadiefox Jun 27, 2011 07:45 AM

          El Tulé in Lambertville, pretty much across the street from Tacos Cancun, is excellent as well. It's an actual restaurant and is BYOB. Prices are still pretty reasonable. They also offer Peruvian food, and what I've had is delicious, though I have not had much experience with Peruvian food to compare it to.

          1. re: sadiefox
            ambrose Jun 29, 2011 07:12 AM

            You really need a program to keep up with restaurants in Lambertville! As you know, El Tulé was for a brief time Manny Taco Taco. Did you ever confirm that it was owned by the same people who own Tacos Cancun? There's a huge sign on the front of the building promoting new management but I guess the ownership could have stayed the same. I do understand that the chef is the same.

            Lots of positive comments about El Tulé on other sites. I'm surprised it has not got more publicity here, especially since it's offering some Peruvian dishes. Where else can you find Peruvian cuisine in Hunterdon County? Btw, I did read that the Peruvian dishes are NOT offered at all times.

            http://www.eltulerestaurant.com

            1. re: ambrose
              s
              sadiefox Jun 29, 2011 11:34 AM

              El Tulé is now operated (owned?) by a really nice family... the woman is Mexican and the man is from Peru... their adult children who have been helping out are also really sweet.

              The Peruvian menu is available in the evenings and ceviches are only available on the weekends, usually. If you go for lunch, they will typically have several Peruvian dishes available for lunch also.

              The Mexican food is good -- authentic and fresh.

              1. re: sadiefox
                flourgirl Mar 24, 2012 11:58 AM

                We ate at El Tule a few weeks ago - and it was the worst restaurant meal we have had in about 16 years. I posted at length about it elsewhere but suffice to say, we will not be going back there.

        2. s
          stillnotdon Mar 21, 2011 05:40 PM

          Tacos Cancun had a good write up in "Quick Bite" in the Metropolitan section of Sunday's NY Times. It's really like walking off the street into another (very tiny) country.

          1 Reply
          1. re: stillnotdon
            m
            madgreek99 Mar 23, 2011 10:37 AM

            Not very informative, but here is a link to the NYTimes article, for those interested.
            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/nyr...

          2. g
            glutton Mar 21, 2011 09:00 AM

            As two LA ex-pats starved for decent mexican food, we visited Tacos Cancun on Sunday. It was pretty good. My wife had the chicken taco and enjoyed it and the salsas very much. I had the pastor with grilled pineapple, which was also good. I wish they used housemade tortillas, but all in all, we were pleased and will likely return.

            When we were walking around, we went over to New Hope and saw a place called El Taco Loco -- anybody know if this place is good and authentic?

            -----
            El Taco Loco
            308 State St, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861

            1 Reply
            1. re: glutton
              s
              sadiefox Mar 21, 2011 09:20 AM

              El Taco Loco is not great. BLAND BLAND BLAND. Their ingredients are reasonably fresh and they do have a fresh salsa bar which is not bad. But it's definitely more of a California-style Mexican, not authentic. Or at least what east coasters think would be a Cali-style mexican.

            2. joannes33 Feb 22, 2011 05:51 PM

              www.tacoscancunnj.com

              4 Replies
              1. re: joannes33
                j
                JayinPortland Mar 3, 2011 10:59 PM

                Damn, no tripas? My favorite!

                :(

                Ha, thanks for the link anyways. This looks like a place I'm gonna try if I can get down to Lambertville / Frenchtown again in a couple of weeks. Grew up in North Jersey, coming back for a family visit in two weeks. I sometimes live off of our numerous taco trucks here in Portland (and back in Fruitvale when I was down in Oakland...) for what seems like weeks at a time these days; a little bit spoiled, but I'm looking forward to trying some places back there.

                Off to look up Mexican in New Brunswick on the boards now, closer to where I'll be staying...

                1. re: JayinPortland
                  p
                  pitterpatter Mar 4, 2011 07:26 AM

                  Jay, look no further than Cinco de Mayo on Rte. 27 in New Brunswick.

                  1. re: pitterpatter
                    g
                    glutton Mar 4, 2011 05:14 PM

                    What type of Mexican food do they offer?

                    1. re: glutton
                      j
                      JayinPortland Mar 4, 2011 05:38 PM

                      I think I found a menu here -

                      http://www.campusfood.com/restaurant....

                      A lot!

                      Thanks for the tip, pitterpatter...

              2. m
                madgreek99 Sep 4, 2010 03:52 PM

                Finally made it over to Tacos Cancun today. For sure, this place is authentic. We had tacos al pastor and tacos pollo. Both were fresh and delicious. The price was right, too. I did not have a burrito, but I saw them making one and it looked wonderful.
                The ony downside is that this place is more like a bodega and less like a restaurant. The seating is basically some stools at a counter. At least half of the stools are right in front of a large window air conditioner (I'm talking less than a foot away) so cold air is blowing right onto you and your food.
                I would definitely go back if I were in Lambertville and wanted cheap, fast, delicious and fresh Mexican food. I wouldn't however, make the trip specifically to eat here.
                BTW, not too far away, in Flemington, there is Huarache Azteca on Main Street whose tacos and tortas are just as authentic, fresh, and delicious, but they have tables and waiters. Prices are similar.

                -----
                Huarache Azteca
                136 Main St Ste 1, Flemington, NJ 08822

                11 Replies
                1. re: madgreek99
                  ambrose Sep 4, 2010 05:46 PM

                  Not long ago, I posted about what appears to be a new taco place in Lambertville. Didn't get any responses.

                  If I remember correctly, the new joint is just down the street from Tacos Cancun. Maybe you could do a comparison? (hint, hint, nudge, nudge). :-))

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7295...

                  1. re: ambrose
                    b
                    brucefanz Sep 6, 2010 01:47 PM

                    Went on a motorcycle ride today, passed through town and remembered jodell's post.

                    Couple of observations: It is hard to spot. The location is between Church and Bridge on the South side of Main St. I have attached a picture.

                    The food was fantastic and we had various Taco's and a Chicken and Cheese Enchilada
                    Six Tacos and Enchilada was $23.00. Food was excellent.

                    We were the only non Spanish speaking folks there and everyone was real nice. Seemed as if the customers thought it was funny we were there! We all exchanged Hola's.

                    Note in the picture how we sat on the porch. Seating inside is marginal. No bathroom.

                    Not sure I would bring the Mrs. there, but I will be back.

                     
                    1. re: brucefanz
                      j
                      jodell Mar 10, 2011 01:59 PM

                      In warmer weather thgey have really nice seating outside, in back... jodell

                  2. re: madgreek99
                    EthnicNJ Sep 6, 2010 07:37 PM

                    I look forward to trying Tacos Cancun. I can also recommend Huarache Azteca - their torta cubana is possibly the perfect sandwich: roasted pork leg, chicken milanese, chorizo, cheese, avocados, pickled jalepiños, lettuce, tomato, and onions – on a soft Portuguese roll.

                    -----
                    Huarache Azteca
                    136 Main St Ste 1, Flemington, NJ 08822

                    1. re: EthnicNJ
                      g
                      glutton Sep 7, 2010 03:01 AM

                      Do they also have huaraches on the menu? Those are hard to find, but wonderful.

                      1. re: glutton
                        s
                        sadiefox Sep 7, 2010 06:59 AM

                        Tacos Cancun has huaraches and they are delicious!

                        1. re: glutton
                          EthnicNJ Oct 18, 2010 08:22 PM

                          Following a tip from JustJake (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5768...), I went to Joyce's Bakery & Taqueria in Bound Brook. Very good tacos (though I prefer the tacos at Taqueria El Chivo across the street) and excellent huaraches - the fried corn masa was nice and chewy.

                          -----
                          Joyce Bakery
                          203 E Main St, Bound Brook, NJ 08805

                          Taqueria El Chivo
                          220 E Main St, Bound Brook, NJ 08805

                        2. re: EthnicNJ
                          m
                          madgreek99 Sep 9, 2010 01:21 PM

                          OMG!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the torta cubana at Huarache Azteca. I have told my husband exactly what you just said... this is the perfect sandwich. I have also told the cook there that he has made possibly one of the best sandwiches I have EVER eaten! Getting hungry....

                          -----
                          Huarache Azteca
                          136 Main St Ste 1, Flemington, NJ 08822

                          1. re: madgreek99
                            EthnicNJ Oct 18, 2010 08:16 PM

                            I hear you, it is sandwich nirvana.

                            1. re: EthnicNJ
                              joannes33 Feb 22, 2011 05:51 PM

                              tacoscancunnj.com

                            2. re: madgreek99
                              e
                              esjro Mar 14, 2011 06:59 PM

                              The Torta Cubana at Tacos Cancun is soooooo good, though it is a heart attack on a bun - loved the sliced hot dogs they put on there!

                        3. h
                          hepdog Apr 15, 2010 05:35 AM

                          Thanks for this tip. I am in NJ visting family and friends and searched this place out on Monday. I ordered the Taco de Chorizo and Taco al Pastor, both were fresh and delicious. I'll be in the area again today and I'll probably stop in for more.

                          1. s
                            sadiefox Apr 5, 2010 02:27 PM

                            Yup, this place is amazing! The burritos are excellent and come topped with crema, lettuce, pickled jalapeno and cojita cheese, and are served with that delicious guacamole. I think they are $8 but usually enough for 2 meals for me! Their tortas are great, especially the cubano. And they also were serving atole this winter, not sure if they do year round. Atole is a hot beverage made from corn and not too easy to find around here.

                            1. flourgirl Apr 2, 2010 07:09 AM

                              I am making a point of getting there in the next week. Thank you so much for the post!!

                              1. ambrose Mar 29, 2010 05:31 PM

                                Jodell, thanks for the report. I was in Lambertville about a month ago and saw this place. Then, only a couple of days later, someone else on the board mentioned that Tacos Cancun is very, very good. I may have to find an excuse to go back to L'ville ASAP!

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