I’m trying to think of the best way to use the new software. In the past, I would have just appended to a previous recent post and changed the title ...
This is the third (redux, redux) post about four recent visits.
This report is about the tacos (soft & durado), gordita, burrito, guacamole and horchata.
Links to my two other visits are at the end. Here’s the cheat sheet of what I’d order at El Tapatio.
MEMORABLE – Birria de Chiva (goat stew)
Chavela (beer with clamato)
GOOD – burrito (but I’m no burrito fan in general. LOTS of burritos sold here).
The gordita was gooood. A corn tortilla was split and so stuffed that it lived up to its name and was pleasingly plump. The tortilla was fried, but there was a thin soft layer of masa lining the crisp shell. Yeah ...nice ... very nice. Everything was in there, meat, beans, cilantro, Spanish rice and it was topped with a generous dollop of sour cream.
The horchata was tasty with a creamy vanilla flavor. Refills are free.
So many people were buying burritos that I bought one out of curiosity to take home. It is not like I dislike burritos, but there are just too many calories that I’d rather use on other food. The El Tazamul burrito wasn’t worth the calories to me.
It was an impressive burrito ($4.50 for a super burrito) stuffed with rice, beans and large pieces of chicken stewed in a tomato sauce.
I’m not sure what might be the difference between a regular and a super burrito. There was a tiny bit of chopped tomato, cilantro, onion and sour cream, but I had to look closely for them. Maybe there was some chopped lettuce too. Not sure if cheese was part of the super burrito. There was not a lot of cheese.
The take-out salsa is different, smokier and hotter. While I liked the burrito itself, putting that salsa on the burrito so upped the flavor that it just might ALMOST be worth the calories.
The tacos however were forgettable and not much better than what the average taco truck would serve. The good news is they charge taco truck prices ($1.25).
The carnitas in the soft taco were slightly dry baked pork with absolutely no crispy edges. Cilantro and chopped onion were on top.
The durado, alas, to my sorrow, was not the wonderful version I had over a year ago. The shell was over-fried and the lenguna was chewy and tasteless.
A little indifferent shredded lettuce was carelessly tossed on the taco dishes. There was no radish, onion or other sort of perk.
The problem is the taco meats were barely ok. Not bad tasting, but I had to think really hard about which meat I ordered for each taco. There was al pastor in the gordita. If there is no noticeable difference between carnitas, lenguna and al pastor ... well, enuf said.
That was why I chose the chicken for the burrito which was the best of the meats I tried, but not fall apart tender or as tasty as some chicken can be.
Two dollars bought a heaping dish of guacamole. While it was fresh with chopped tomato and chopped red onion, I didn’t like it. It had too much lime in it which gave it that taste of supermarket guacamole. For all I know, it isn’t made in-house.
I didn’t try the oysters, but the part of the restaurant shaped like a taco truck and open 24 hours sells them for $1 each, $5 for half a dozen.
So if you have a raw oyster craving at three in the morning ... here’s the place. However, eating oysters on the half-shell at that hour in Richmond on 23rd street might not have the same ambiance of Hog Island or Sea Salt.
Previous report about the excellent goat stew.