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best Mexican in Durham/Chapel Hill?

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fara Mar 12, 2011 06:58 PM

So far I have Cinco de Mayo on Franklin st at the top of my list. (I liked the chile poblano and the carnitas can be good) But it can certainly be bland and I don't understand what happened the other day with my tortillas. THey have me flour, I asked for corn and they gave me these soft yellow ones that tasted terribly.
Anyway, the best tacos i've had were from the taco truck in Carrboro, but in terms of a sit down restaurant what do y'all recommend?
Thanks-

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  1. j
    jsb23nc RE: fara Mar 12, 2011 11:44 PM

    My favorites are Carrburritos for burritos, Los Portales near Southpoint Mall, and Fiesta Grill in White Cross. Many on here love Tonali but I was not that impressed. There are several taquerias in Durham that deserve mention but I have a hard time remembering which ones.

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    Carrburritos
    711 Rosemary St, Carrboro, NC

    Tonali Restaurant
    3642 Shannon Rd Ste 1, Durham, NC 27707

    Fiesta Grill
    45 Newnan Station Dr Ste C, Newnan, GA 30265

    1. Naco RE: fara Mar 13, 2011 05:36 AM

      Los Comales in Durham is one of the better taquerias I've been to in NC. La Vaquita gets a lot of love on here, too.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Naco
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        Tom from Raleigh RE: Naco Mar 13, 2011 06:56 AM

        I don't see much reason to go for sit down Mexican when there are so many good trucks in Carrboro. I've been really impressed by the taco truck that parks at Fitch's Lumber in Carrboro on the weekend nights. Great tacos, especially the lengua. I tried the Dos Hermanos taqueria near the Music Loft in Carrboro. Not impressive.
        There are many good spots in Durham.

        1. re: Tom from Raleigh
          Naco RE: Tom from Raleigh Mar 13, 2011 07:11 AM

          Six of one, half dozen of another to me. You're going to pay about the same at a hole in the wall taqueria as you would at a truck, and half the time the trucks are branches of a sit down place anyway, due to the commissary rule. Sit down places usually have platillos too, which is a bonus IMO, and what I often go for these days.

          But in any case, the OP asked about sit down options, so I gave some.

      2. b
        BullCityChow RE: fara Mar 13, 2011 09:02 AM

        I really like La Vaquita on Hillsborough Rd. in Durham. It's small and not fancy - but it is definitely sit down.

        It's owned by the same family that have the one with the cow on the roof.

        1. omoshiroi RE: fara Mar 13, 2011 09:06 AM

          The tacos al pastor at Cinco de Mayo are great and enormous. Make sure to get the Charro beans instead of the regular refritos for an extra dose of porkiness.

          1 Reply
          1. re: omoshiroi
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            Rory RE: omoshiroi Mar 13, 2011 03:48 PM

            I've always enjoyed Carrburito's; it's not uber authentic but it is very fresh. The fish tacos are excellent, Tuesday which is tofu night is always packed. Great prices, excellent quality. And there is seating inside and outside.

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            Carrburitos
            711 W Rosemary St, Carrboro, NC 27510

          2. b
            bbqme RE: fara Mar 13, 2011 08:29 PM

            Mexican cooked with culinary skill and high quality local ingredients, hands down it's Tonali. For casual taqueria food a second vote for Los Comales.

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            Los Comales
            2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

            Tonali Restaurant
            3642 Shannon Rd Ste 1, Durham, NC 27707

            1. brsmith2 RE: fara Mar 14, 2011 05:21 AM

              I vote for Tonali as well. For a (much) more casual experience, La Vaquita is definitely my favorite. The latter is technically "sit-down", but it's just a few picnic tables. Dos Perros in downtown Durham is pretty good and more upscale, but I can't really recommend going there considering all the other options available. People do like Fiesta Grill outside of Carrboro, but I didn't think it was amazing.

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              Tonali Restaurant
              3642 Shannon Rd Ste 1, Durham, NC 27707

              Fiesta Grill
              45 Newnan Station Dr Ste C, Newnan, GA 30265

              Dos Perros
              200 N Mangum St. Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701

              2 Replies
              1. re: brsmith2
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                cervisiam RE: brsmith2 Mar 14, 2011 06:48 AM

                i would love to go to tonali, but has their service improved? we had been there a few years back, and it was incredibly slow. then we went to try their brunch a few weekends ago. we arrived at 11:25. the sign said brunch at 11:00 AM. the door was locked, and a lady there came around the side and told us that they didn't open until 11:30. she seemed surprised that the sign said that brunch began at 11:00. but the front door could not be unlocked because her husband went to the store and had the key. no problem, we'll just wait outside.

                20 minutes later, no sign of anyone, so with now-cranky tot in tow, we left and went to rick's diner. shame.

                1. re: brsmith2
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                  BullCityChow RE: brsmith2 Mar 15, 2011 08:07 AM

                  The La Vaquita on Hillsborough Rd. is in a strip mall - and it definitely has indoor, sit down tables. The one with the cow on the roof has only picnic tables.

                2. b
                  burgeoningfoodie RE: fara Mar 14, 2011 09:05 AM

                  Are you looking for Taqueria or Tex Mex or it doesn't matter? We were sad to learn that the Los Portales at South point is pretty much like what you'd get from any other tex mex joint.. compared to the original Los Portales that was in Durham. I like Los Comales though parking is a pain. People have brought up El Superior on this board, El Cuscatleco, Taqueria Mi Pueblo (but I don't think they exist) Orellana and a few others. For quick service chain, Chubby's isn't horrible. Also for some reason, people love Cosmic.. I personally think it is crapola adn would rather go to Carrburritos which isn't mexican so much as it is Calif. Mission Burritos.

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                  Los Comales
                  2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                  Carrburritos
                  711 Rosemary St, Carrboro, NC

                  Taqueria Mi Pueblo
                  1000 Holloway St, Durham, NC 27701

                  El Cuscatleco
                  5110 Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27701

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie
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                    fara RE: burgeoningfoodie Mar 14, 2011 11:53 AM

                    I'm looking for authentic Mexican, but I love stuffed poblanos and enchiladas. So somewhere that serves more than just tacos. I am definitely going to try La Vacquita, and I'll look into Tonali. We live in Durham so it's pretty convenient.

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                    Tonali Restaurant
                    3642 Shannon Rd Ste 1, Durham, NC 27707

                    1. re: fara
                      b
                      brokegradstudent RE: fara Mar 14, 2011 12:10 PM

                      most of the places I go for tacos (Vaquita, Super, Superior, Comales, Mi Rancho in Cary, Guerrero in Graham, etc.) also do plates and more elaborate dishes, especially on the weekends.

                      Is it just me or did there used to be dozens of taqueria threads on here, back in the day?

                      1. re: brokegradstudent
                        Naco RE: brokegradstudent Mar 14, 2011 12:46 PM

                        Yeah, there used to be a lot more. The way I found CH was by looking for information on taquerias.

                        There used to be a ton of taqueria reviews on Carpe Durham too, and I don't see much of those anymore, either.

                        1. re: Naco
                          ToothTooth RE: Naco Mar 14, 2011 01:05 PM

                          I plan to address the recent lack of taqueria reviews on CD this week.

                          1. re: ToothTooth
                            b
                            burgeoningfoodie RE: ToothTooth Mar 15, 2011 06:28 AM

                            Please in your CD post tell us what is gone and what is still going strong and what has opened. Like Lopez use to be good, but then went south and closed not long after... at least I think it closed.

                    2. re: burgeoningfoodie
                      b
                      bbqme RE: burgeoningfoodie Mar 24, 2011 06:40 PM

                      Parking in front of Los Comales is always busy but around back there is always space.

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                      Los Comales
                      2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                    3. b
                      bbqme RE: fara Mar 16, 2011 07:22 AM

                      You may be interested in reading this beautifully written article about Los Comales in IndyWeek. Pretty sure it's written by one time Chowhound poster David A.

                      http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/heir...

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                      Los Comales
                      2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bbqme
                        t
                        Tom from Raleigh RE: bbqme Mar 16, 2011 08:40 AM

                        Great article. Thanks for the pointer. Definately makes me want to hit up Los Comales again when I'm up that way.

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                        Los Comales
                        2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                        1. re: Tom from Raleigh
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                          photai RE: Tom from Raleigh Mar 24, 2011 06:59 AM

                          I really enjoy Taqueria Tres Amigos in Carrboro - pretty much the same options as any of the area trucks, but you can grab a beer or Mexican coke, and they have decent daily specials.

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                          Tres Amigos
                          109 W Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

                      2. f
                        fara RE: fara Mar 24, 2011 12:06 PM

                        I tried La Vaquita, imho nothing to write home about. There is however a truck that comes to the UNC campus that makes pretty good authentic tacos for $1.59 each. They even serve it with a pickled slaw. I am next to a construction site and it is here at least on Tuesdays.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: fara
                          b
                          brokegradstudent RE: fara Mar 24, 2011 12:55 PM

                          which construction site? Around what time?

                          1. re: brokegradstudent
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                            fara RE: brokegradstudent Mar 24, 2011 06:46 PM

                            the one off mason farm rd (near 86). at lunch time. they're not always there, but i had it this past Tuesday.

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