100% Taquito with Danny and Dave

The trouble with going out to eat is that the eating can be fast, but it is so much fun to sit around with friends and family, talking. Result? We eat too much, drink too much. Solution? At 100% Taquito you order at the counter. So you can order a few things, wait for them, eat them, and then order a little more. It was empty when we went at 6 pm on a Thursday, which made this strategy easy. Or you could wander around the dark, cavernous space that wants to be Mexico City. There are tiles around the door, like Sanborn’s Casa de los azulejos in Mexico City. There is a VW bug taxicab, complete with dummies. But there is none of the energy, or noise of Mexico City.

This is basically street food, and so you could pretend you are strolling through La Merced and eating what appeals to you. I would start with a Tecate, and order the lime, chili, and salt drenched slices of oranges, jicama, and cucumber, served in a cup. This is really the highlight dish of the place, simple, and delicious. Then go back for an order of tacos. Each order is three small tacos, and if that’s all you are eating, 2 orders is only enough for light eaters, but 3 is too many. The tacos were, frankly, a disappointment. The corn tortillas were not as aromatic as they might have been. We got the asada, pastor, mole, and tinga tacos, and they tasted depressingly similar (except the mole). They were dry, and the tinga was like the spent strings of meat from a rich broth. The tinga torta got more of that broth, and was moist, but not at all dense in flavor. The salvation is the salsa bar, especially the pico de gallo (tomatoes, cilantro, onions, jalapeños), and the salsa verde.

What makes a great meal? Circumstance, company, variety, appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel, and joy of eating are components. Some foods are great cold, like the orange slices. Others can be fine tepid, like a goat cheese and arugula sandwich. Some only work hot, and this is true for corn tortillas. I like them best right off the gas stove burner, singed, salted, maybe buttered, and rolled and eaten on the spot, a favorite Mexican childhood snack. Vehicles for flavor are water, alcohol, and fat. These tacos were not hot enough, and they were not fatty or brothy enough. It doesn’t take a lot of fat, but it must be there, and well spread. Maybe this place has been in upscale West University a tad too long, and has had the delicious fat squeezed out of it. Even the chicharrón crumbles were dry.

Will we go back? Yes. Maybe it was a bad day.

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I never saw such a clean taxi in Mexico City.

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Dave and Danny waiting for the food.

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The highlight dish, oranges with chili, salt, and lime.

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Pastor tacos, I think, with cilantro and onions.

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The tinga torta. I never did eat tortas in Mexico City – avoiding the lettuce and tomatoes.

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About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
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2 Responses to 100% Taquito with Danny and Dave

  1. Neil Butters says:

    I’ve been here – one of the few places! Good old Danny took me when I first arrived in Houston. I had the brisket. Absolutely wonderful! Is there a good Mexican cookbook you could recommend Joan?

  2. There’s no better English language Mexican cookbook than Diana Kennedy’s The Cuisines of Mexico. I have it, and have cooked from it nearly since it came out. Like no other, it has the feel of Mexico at its best, like the market in Toluca. She has some newer ones, but I haven’t used them.

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