Reading several of the recent tacqueria threads, I was reminded that no one Boston tacqueria seems to be universally great. Depending on what I'm in the mood for, I'll go to different places based on their respective strengths. This is my itemized personal "best-of" list. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I haven't spent much time chowing in Eastie or Waltham, and I have no qualms about visiting a chain if the quality is better. Lastly, I'm limiting this to counter service tacquerias, so Tu y Yo, Sol Azteca, Masa, Ole, etc. are not under consideration. Curious to hear other people's thoughts...
EDIT: since this thread has already generated a bit of controversy (particularly with respect to chains being my favorites in so many categories), I want to add this to the original post: I should emphasize that this list wasn't meant to be authoritative or comprehensive. It was simply intended as a forum to share opinions and experiences.
I hope this thread gets different items discovered from various local tacquerias, primarily for selfish reasons. I'd like nothing more than for someone to tell me that some shack in Chelsea makes terrific green chile salsa -- if it's true, I'll be there all the time!
Best grilled chicken - Qdoba. Excellent mix of spices, fire-grilled, impressively consistent.
Best steak - no clear winner. At its best, Qdoba is near perfect, but their steak is also sometimes chewy and tough.
Best pork - Tacos Lupita. Just the tiniest bit sweet, I'd still crave their pork if I were living back in the Southwest.
Best fish - El Pelon. Add their spicy mayo sauce and nobody else can come close.
Best grilled veggies - Anna's, neither overcooked nor undercooked, with a great selection of veggies. Felipe's is a close runner up.
Best chile verde - Anna's, possibly by default, but spicy and delicious regardless.
Best rice - Qdoba, love the tang and bite of the cilantro lime.
Best pinto beans - Tacos Lupita, great flavor and texture.
Best black beans - Chipotle by a considerable margin. Not sure why black beans seem to be harder to get right than pinto, but Chipotle's always have a great flavor and texture.
Best refried beans - Rosticeria Cancun. A recent discovery for me, I came to try the chicken, but the pleasant surprise was the beans.
Best pico de gallo - no clear winner or loser. Fairly hard to mess up.
Best mild salsa - Chipotle. Made with fresh, good-quality tomatoes. I should note that were we to add table-service restaurants into the mix, On the Border in Woburn makes the best salsa in town, with a hint of spice from fresh jalapeno.
Best hot salsa - Qdoba. My favorite is actually their extra-hot, made with habaneros.
Best green salsa - Chipotle, by a large margin. Unlike many tomatillo salsas, theirs actually uses green chiles as well.
Best black salsa - Baja Fresh. The fire-roasted chiles they add provide a fantastic smokiness to this salsa, possibly unique in the Boston area.
Best guacamole - Qdoba. Freshly made, properly thick and just a little tangy.
Best corn tortillas - no clear winner, although again, I have only limited Blue Line experience.
Best flour tortillas - NOBODY. The whole town is a gummy, flavorless disgrace. Again, if we consider table-service places, the homemade tortillas at On the Border in Woburn are excellent.
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