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Swankalicious Oct 27, 2012 05:34 PM

I have found paradise, and it is in Waltham. Mr. Swank and I went to TEA today after running errands, and I enjoyed what is, hands down, the best taco I've ever had in my life. Pork chili topped with a tiny smidgeon of onion and cilantro. Mouthwatering, juicy, tangy, and wrapped in two warm, sturdy soft tortillas. A little drizzle of smoky salsa and swoon! Mr. Swank got beef cheeks topped with green sauce, rice, and beans. He was blown away. My taco also came with a burrito (!) which was majestic in its largesse, packed with fatty smoky pork chili, tomatoes, onions, and just a hint of sour cream. I am still on a high. I will never go to another taqueria!!! Plus, our meal was incredibly cheap: Young Swank's child's quesadilla was $2.

  1. h
    hyde Oct 27, 2012 05:40 PM

    hey im with you.


    but some dont see it and if you go regularly you may find it a touch inconsistent. but when its on its great.

    1. Allstonian Oct 27, 2012 06:41 PM

      Yes, count us as fans as well. Very nice people and delicious food.

      Did you happen to be shopping at Russo's while you were in the neighborhood? Jenny Ondioline & I tried to go there a little before 4 this afternoon, only to find that Pleasant Street was closed and full of police cars, fire engines, and other emergency vehicles from Bridge Street all the way to Seyon Street, and there was no way to get near Russo's. (Very annoying when one gets there by Zipcar...)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Allstonian
        Jenny Ondioline Jan 5, 2013 03:48 PM

        (the revival of this thread reminds me that I should fill in the rest of this story, which I learned later: it turned out that one of Russo's delivery trucks had taken the turn off Pleasant Street too fast and toppled over, although no one was injured.)

      2. MC Slim JB Oct 27, 2012 09:52 PM

        Pretty much the epitome of a Chowhound kinda place: nothing much to look at, but delicious, traditional, a great value, genuinely nice people behind it, and just off the beaten path enough to be unfairly overlooked. My favorite taqueria in Greater Boston.


        1. MC Slim JB Oct 29, 2012 08:27 PM

          A side note: this thread reminded me I hadn't been back in a while, so I fixed that. I just missed the last of the menudo, which was on every table in the joint -- I was the only customer without good Spanish-speaking skills -- so I happily fell back on my default weekday order, tacos especiales de cabeza, gorgeous as always, and $5.50 for a plate of four. Thanks, Chowhounds, for the push.


          6 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB
            Luther Oct 31, 2012 04:50 AM

            I remember a trip there about 6 or 7 years ago, I kept asking for menudo but I guess my accent was bad enough, I didn't look like someone who was going to order menudo, or I was just mumbling because they kept bringing me more menus.

            1. re: Luther
              LStaff Oct 31, 2012 06:51 AM

              Maybe a case of not wanting to give away something their regulars come in for every week?

              1. re: LStaff
                Luther Oct 31, 2012 01:26 PM

                They gave it to me after it became clear I wasn't asking for el menú.

              2. re: Luther
                MC Slim JB Oct 31, 2012 06:55 AM

                The "not for you" issue is real at some places, like when I try to order traditional Thai dishes at S&I Thai (I just persist until they relent). But at least on this visit, they really had run out: a couple of Spanish-speaking guys of obvious Latin American ancestry who ordered menudo after me were likewise disappointed.


                1. re: Luther
                  grant.cook Oct 31, 2012 07:27 AM

                  Maybe you didn't pass the tripe test..

                  1. re: grant.cook
                    MC Slim JB Oct 31, 2012 08:14 AM

                    "The first rule of Tripe Club is..." They have served menudo to me before, but it has been a couple of years. Maybe I let my membership lapse?


              3. c
                ColoradoXJ13 Oct 31, 2012 02:11 PM

                El Amigo is one of the few benefits of having to work in Waltham.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ColoradoXJ13
                  StriperGuy Nov 1, 2012 06:30 AM

                  Gosh, you have great Indian grocery stores, Mulan, Kebab and Tandoor, Gordon's Wine (possibly the best wine store in Greater Boston) the nice little Italian and South American Grocery stores on Moody, etc etc etc.

                  1. re: StriperGuy
                    bear Nov 1, 2012 06:34 AM

                    Agreed, as well as easy access to Russo's from Waltham Center. D & L Liquors is also right near Russo's if you're not headed out toward Gordon's. Not bad for wine and beer.

                2. g
                  gltsoi Jan 5, 2013 02:55 PM

                  I stopped by on Fridat night and tried the Tacos Especiales plate ($5.5) is four small tacos; you can pick between steak, chicken, pork carnitas, veggie, tongue, and beef cheek. I got 2 tongue and 2 cheek and I also got a side of guacamole ($2.5) and a side of rice ($1.5).

                  The guac was excellent; perfectly seasoned and chucky with tomato and onion. It’s a very generous portion for the price. The rice was plain, but well cooked and exactly what I wanted it to be. The tacos were supremely delicious! The cheek was meltingly tender and the tongue had a perfectly springy texture and chew. They were topped with onion, cilantro and a perfect slice of avocado. I loved them. I will be back again and again, as they are only a few blocks away from Russo’s, my favorite market.


                  1. m
                    mrtan May 26, 2013 10:37 AM

                    It's a must to sample all the varieties of pork in the tacos especiales: cabeza, lengua, al pastor, carnitas. Ask for extra lime, add the hot sauce, then let it all marinate for as long as you can stand to wait.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mrtan
                      Jenny Ondioline May 26, 2013 01:47 PM

                      The lengua is almost certainly cow tongue, not pig tongue. Only cuisine I know of where a lot of pig tongue is eaten is Filipino, and given the dearth of Pinoy restaurants around here, cow tongue has to be considerably easier to source.

                      1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                        Allstonian May 26, 2013 02:02 PM

                        Cabeza is beef as well, I believe.

                        1. re: Allstonian
                          mrtan May 26, 2013 06:03 PM

                          Thanks for the corrections. There is a decided dearth of Pinoy restaurants in the area.

                    2. t
                      tysonmcneely May 28, 2013 09:46 AM

                      I saw on yelp that they were now closed on Sundays. Can anyone confirm?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tysonmcneely
                        Jenny Ondioline May 28, 2013 11:54 AM

                        Yes, now closed on Sundays, but now open on Tuesdays.

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