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Montgomery County Taquerias -- Taco Bar and Tortacos (and R&R in Elkridge, not MC)

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Encouraged by posts here, tried Tortacos last week. The reviews are accurate -- family-run; very fresh; everything well above-average for these parts. Limited menu, but they're focused on what they do well. Revisited Taco Bar (gas station, Gaithersburg) this weekend for comparison. Much busier than Tortaco -- indeed, much busier than I've ever seen it. I love the posole at Taco Bar, which is reason enough to stop by frequently. But the tacos were very good, too. Only item I had in common with my order at Tortacos was a sope al pastor. Fine rendition at both places; slight edge to Tortacos, where the flavors were more distinct.

P.S. Not that it's in MC, but R&R Taqueria, in a gas station in Elkridge, is indeed very good, although perhaps not quite the nirvana that Todd Kliman and Tyler Cowen describe.

All three of these places are well worth your patronage.

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Tortacos
9629 Lost Knife Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

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  1. Is Pepito's still going in G-Burg, and is it still good?

    I apparently do need to try Tortacos.

    And note for anyone else, when talking R&R, note that there are a number of trucks in the area (mainly along Rt 1) and there is a full shop (Lily's) that makes their own tortillas.

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    Tortacos
    9629 Lost Knife Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dennis S

      Pepito's closed a while back.

      Tortacos also has specials every month. This month, it is $1 tacos de pollo every Tues. and Thur. To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, they had $1 tacos all around. Good homemade horchata too.

    2. IIRC, you posted once that you've been to Super Rica in Santa Barbara. After that experience, it's hard to glorify anything served around these parts.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Steve

        Just to be clear -- none of this compares to my memories of La Super Rica! But we should be thankful for what we have . . .

      2. IMO Tere's Market on Route 40 West in Ellicott City is significantly better than R&R.

        1. Glad you enjoyed Tortacos as much as I did. So many people line up at Chipotle when they could have experienced this place.

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          Tortacos
          9629 Lost Knife Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

          1. Finally got off my butt to try Tortacos (sad, considering I live around the corner from it) and I'm disappointed that I waited that long to go! It's definitely comparable to Taco Bar, and the owner is just so friendly! Also their horchata is awesome. I'm just rehashing what everyone else has said but the meats are awesome (we tried the chicken, steak, carnitas and al pastor and then went back for seconds of the al pastor) and the topping bar is good and fresh.

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            Tortacos
            9629 Lost Knife Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

            1. We stopped by R&R Taqueria today after picking my gf up from BWI, and was not really all that impressed. It was solid, but from everything I heard, it was just that solid not very good and definitely not great. The al pastor (not really al pastor since there was no spit) was decent, but very salty. The cochinita pibil - again, not cochinita pibil, but seemed like they just put habaneros and onions in the al pastor - was a little better than the al pastor due to the spice, but again very salty. I also ordered a suadero taco, but this was actually just barbacoa de res, which was probably the best meat. They really need to double up their tortillas too. Sometimes I prefer just one single handmade, but here, their tacos were so "wet" that the tortillas fell apart. I had a sope de asada, and this was a little better than the tacos, but not as good as others (even around the DC area). The asada was better, but wasn't the typically asada that I am used to. And it seemed like they put parmesan on it instead of cotija - and yes, I know that cotija is like a "mexican parmesan", but I prefer cotija on my Mexican. Oh, and no crema on the sope either. Oh, and their salsas were not spicy and lacked much flavor.

              Again, my tone is probably making it come across that I didn't like it, but I thought it was solid, esp. for the DC greater area, but doesn't hold a candle to the best taqueria: La Mexicana.

              6 Replies
              1. re: mdpilam

                Also, there's something to be said about expectations, which can cover a LOT of ground. Overly hyped places, in my mind, rarely stack up, and then of course the reverse is true.

                Their tacos are wet, indeed. I usually eat in the parking lot or at the cabinets. Have you tried Lily's or one of the taco trucks nearby? There is a lot of good food in the area.

                1. re: Dennis S

                  IMO although R & R serves decent food, I have come to prefer both Lily's and Tere's on Route 40 near across the highway near the Normandy shopping center. Tere's serves excellent pupusas in addition to their Mexican fare.

                  1. re: Dennis S

                    Very true re: expectations. I've tried to not let them affect it, but it's damn near impossible. Especially, I figure if everyone raves about a place, then it should be very good to great.

                    Haven't tried anything else in the area because I'm never in the area, and was only over by there because we were on the way back from the airport.

                  2. re: mdpilam

                    What does "solid" mean? Good enough to eat yourself but not good enough to rave about on a food forum? ;)

                    1. re: MikeR

                      Heh, I use that term alot I think, and to answer your question, yes. Good enough for an average meal but not necessarily worthy of raving about. To quantify, I'd say solid is 3 to 3.5 stars out of 5.

                      1. re: mdpilam

                        I finally made to R&R a few weeks ago this place is the real deal they serve standard mexican street food no frills. It reminds alot of the small local taco joints in and around Cabo. I really enjoyed the R&R Tacos Enchilados. Very affordable I love seeing local family owned business doing well

                  3. Hey Marty, Tortacos is good, isn't it? We recently moved from the DC area and we went there on one of our final nights in MoCo. The food isn't AMAZING, but it's quite good and the folks working behind the counter have always been really friendly at finding vegetarian options in their menu.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Smokey

                      Smokey: moved from DC?! say it ain't so. On what CH Board shall we now find you?