Monday, May 23, 2011

Taco Taquito

Taco Taquito
2618 Derek Drive
Lake Charles LA

Monday thru Sunday 10 AM to 10 PM $1 to $8

This establishment has taken over the former Backyard Burger building. They painted the outside a deep red and yellow, very festive. Inside got the same colors although much remained the same. They are also a counter service venue so there is a new menu board. They utilize the drive thru also. They seem to be a fast food version of a Taqueria. They offer a limited menu of what I consider street food. Nothing fried here and don’t think of it as a Taco Bell, it isn’t. They offer fresh corn tortilla, flour tortilla, jumbo taco (quesadilla like), and strangely fully loaded baked potatoes. You can get the taco one at a time, orders of 2 or more and the combo. The combo consists of a certain amount of tacos, half a baked potato, charro beans, and a drink. Unfortunately they offer no aqua fresca just the standard fountain drinks. You can order five different meats. They have beef fajita, bistek (beef similar to fajita), pollo (chicken), molleja (sweetbreads (thymus glands)) and tripa (tripe (small intestines)). All of the above are typical of “Street Stall” cooking.

I went the drive thru route the first couple of times because of time constraints on my part and went inside once. First time I got a half order of corn tortilla with one being fajita, one chicken, and one sweetbread. Tacos consist of two small griddled tortillas together with a line of meat, chopped onions and cilantro down the middle. The accompanying grilled onions, salsas, and lime wedges allows you to dress it how you like it. The two salsas are a spicy roasted tomato and pepper one and an atomic tomatillo and pepper one. I experimented with all of it settling on a combo I liked and ate every bite. Next time through I tried a jumbo taco combo. It was basically a 10 inch flour tortilla folded on the fillings and griddled quesadilla style. I got tripa which was combined with mozzarella cheese and avocado. Along with the salsas I received half a loaded baked potato and some charro beans. The potato had butter, cheese, sour cream, and bacon melted on it. There were few beans and much more liquid. However the broth was so flavorful I just drank it up and was satisfied

The venture inside proved all right. It is as I said counter service and you get your own drink. However you get a number and they bring the food out to you. First they bring you a cup of charro beans on the house. This one had more beans but still brothy. Not a problem for me. What beans it did contain were cooked perfectly. Still whole but melted in your mouth when chewed. Salsas are on the table in squeeze bottles. I got a half order or corn tortilla with sweetbreads and single flour tortilla with bistek. An eight inch soft tortilla folded over with again a line of meat, onions, and cilantro. The plates had the grilled onions and limes on them.

Be forewarned the sweetbreads taste of liver and the tripe is not honeycomb stomach but small intestines. Both are cleaned well and have no barnyard smell or taste. Early on the meat which is chopped small and griddled seemed to come out dry and chewy. Later on only the tripe had this problem which I suspect is inherent to this protein. It has to be braised a long time to get it tender. The meat itself is seasoned mildly with the intention of you adjusting it to your taste and heat level with the condiments. I encourage you to try this place at least once to see and eat this street food. It may not be to your liking but you can never tell. The drive thru makes it easy on me to come back.

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