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Tacos el Costalilla

Down Richmond Highway, just past the big shopping center, there is a wonderful Taqueria called Tacos el Costalilla. I had four tacos and one sope. I had an al pastor, two carnitas and one Carnaza al Vapor. I have never heard of Tacos al Vapor, but it apparently is a style from Jalisco. Carnaza is beef. The people are very nice. The salsas are hot. They have the carrots with serrano chilis that I love. We were in taco heaven. The sopes were fantastic. You can get cabeza, lengua, tripa and buche' tacos, which I never order because I am not that kind of adventurous but it is always a good sign that they are the menu. If a Mexican place has one of the those items on the menu, or birria (which they also had) or rabbit (canejo) it is a sign that they are catering to Mexican and not American tastes. I will definitely be back, especially since the owner said he would make me some machaca. Unfortunately, my Southern Californian idea of machaca is not the same as his. But, if a chef will make you something special, you shouldn't say no.

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  1. Four tacos and a sopa. DUDE. That's a lot of food.

    Can you give more specifics on location. Richmond Hwy past the big shopping center is pretty f'n vague. I'm guessing just South of where Glebe empties to Rt 1, but you know what they say about assumptions.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dennis S

      Sorry, it's in Fairfax, just past the Mt. Vernon Plaza/Hybla Valley shopping complex and just before you get to the Walmart. It's in a little strip mall. There is a sign. I will go back again, but there are other Mexican places in the area that I need to try first. This is the real deal Mexican food, taqueria style. They have ceviche, menudo, tortas and a few other items.

    2. Tacos El Costalilla
      7862 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA zip code
      (703) 704-9088

      This seems to be the same address as Guadalajara Tacos y Tortas, a place I've been to twice for excellent huaraches con birria. I guess Guadalajara probably closed...... their phone number is disconnected.

      It is a bit difficult to see from the road. It's at a big intersection in a small strip which faces north on the right as you drive south from Route 1. So it doesn't face Route 1.

      1. Awesome find. Two carnitas, two lengua for lunch. Love the self-serve fixins bar, so you can load your taco just the way you like it. And the pickled carrots/chiles/cauliflower give it just the right tang to compliment the meat. Most places I've tried the lengua, they finely dice/chop the tongue. Here, you get two whole slabs of moist, juicy meat. I washed mine down with a fresh, homemade cantaloupe "melon water."

        1 Reply
        1. re: monkeyrotica

          Next time try either the Sopes or the tacos al vapor.

        2. This sounds awesome. Thanks for the reports.

          1. I Try to eat here once a week if I can - and have a new favorite - The Tacos ARE excellent but for kicks I tried a chicken quesadilla - It blew me away! I need to go back on the weekend for posole.....

            3 Replies
              1. re: ChewFun

                I did today upon your rec - Delicious! Next time I'd eat it more quickly, got 1 pastor Sope, chix quesadilla, and Taco - But the crispness quickly faded - Next time It's an appetizer before the rest so it doesn't get soggy! Thanks...

                1. re: tommyskitchen

                  FYI - I have been very hesitant to try the Ceviche here for obvious reasons - But as I walked in yesterday at opening I saw the Chef eating it - So I ordered it - Boy, am I glad I did! For $2.50 I got a tostada with a fist-size portion of some really good shrimp ceviche - tasty and tangy, good lime and cilantro flavor. All in all, one of the best deals around.