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Taqueria los Guillenes/La Canasta

equinoise | Mar 31, 201505:33 PM

Short version: a clear contender for best taqueria in the area.

At 13602 Ambaum Blvd SW in Burien there is a untidy-looking Mexican grocery called La Canasta. Out front, there are manekins modeling some women's fashions, and on the north wall a wonderful mural (pictured)* evokes the in-country Mexican feel that continues as one enters the building. Inside the grocery, adjacent to a very extensively stocked carniceria, is Taqueria Los Guillenes. At first glance the menu looks quite similar to your average taco truck, but on closer view one sees the meat selections include buche (stomach), suadero**, and other parts outside the gringo-friendly taco perimeter. Another wall painting depicts a cartoon pig boiling in a kettle (looking remarkably content considering its predicament), which suggested to me carnitas was a good pick, but alas, not avail today. I placed an order: chivo (goat), suadero, adovada, lengua (tongue). The counter-lady asked if I wanted handmade tortillas, and the response was obvious.

The tacos (pictured) were quite large, a fine value at $2.25 each. One makes note of the supple texture and griddle marks indicative of tortillas "hecho a mano." The goat was tender and earthy. The adovada was saucy, mixed with pineapple, and a glowing chile heat arose several seconds after the initial bites. The salsa selection included a very smooth light-colored tomato roja, a fairly standard tomatillo verde, and a personal favorite of mine: a hot and creamy guacamole taquero. One the table was a saucer with a gritty, oily chile sauce somewhat similar to what one finds during dim sum, as well as other condiments. A top rate experience.

The market, La Canasta, is remarkable in its own right. I had just a few minutes to browse, but the carniceria has scores of Mexican cuts, marinated meats, sausages, etc. There is a wide range of dried chiles, shrimps, spices, beans, etc. Most notable for me was that I located guaje, something that I had been searching out in Latin stores for a long while. Pinatas galore.

Big shout to the Yelp reviewer "Ash A." who was the only person that had discussed this place on the internet as far as I can tell.

* Bonus points for those who can tell me what "Guerrero V. de. Z." refers to.
**Hard to define precisely, see

La Canasta Food Mart
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