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Apr 23, 2014 09:29 PM

Central Ave. NE... our Upright Meat Street

Not too long ago, the only place on Central I could reliably get real meat (not Gyros meat-like-food-product-cylinders) cooked on a vertical spit was Filfillah.

Then a year or so ago, along came Maya Cuisine and their itty-bitty 1/4 size vertical spit for pork Al Pastor.

This week, I stopped in at Holy Land and they had real shwarma going (don't go early, it won't be ready until 12-12:30).

And today I hit El Taco Riendo and, whoa there missy, they had a full-size Al Pastor going that looked really good. And when I got a taco of it, it was ... AMAZING! Juicy, well flavored, tender, carmelized exterior bits mixed in...Get yourself to El Taco Riendo for the Al Pastor. Tacos are the purest form, but it's good in a burrito too.

So now there are 4 places on Central NE, 3 of them in the Broadway to 22nd stretch to get Upright Meat in tortillas or pitas.

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  1. Thank you for this report, Jim. I need to get myself over to Central Ave NE asap. Any other great restos on that street that I should check out?

    2 Replies
    1. re: soccermom13

      Mill Northeast and Ideal Diner come to mind.

      1. re: ChillyDog

        Karta Thai (better than Sai Yen Sai Lak, which is pretty solid).

    2. You like that meat on a spit I take it. :D

      1. Another reason, beyond the beer explosion, that I terribly regret moving away from NE Minneapolis. I once told Mrs. Gutgrease that someday there will be a rotating spit of reconstituted meat in our bedroom. I think that she half believes me. I think that I do to.

        1. We ate at El Taco Riendo a couple Satudays ago. I had a burrito with the Al Pastor and it was quite good. We have not been to Maya yet, but will in the future.

          1. Update: Today a buddy of mine went to El Taco Riendo and they served him Al Pastor that they'd been holding for an indeterminate amount of time and it was dried out and as a result not good. If you go, make sure you insist they give you fresh Al Pastor, (which can be in the steam table for a while without drying out) not dried out stuff from 4 hours ago.