Thursday, January 25, 2007

Restaurant Review: La Tapatia

Mary and I checked out the newest outpost of Taqueria La Tapatia in our area of the ‘burbs. It’s always packed and Spanish is definitely the language of choice, so we figured it was a good bet.

This restaurant is located in the Anderson Mill center where Hole in the Wall used to be (wish it was still there!). It advertises Jalisco-style food and several of their offerings supported this: carne asada tampiquena, flautas, and tortas. Unfortunately, the pozole, menudo, and caldo de mariscos are available only on weekends, so that will require another visit.

Our experience was mixed. The agua fresca de Jamaica (hibiscus flower juice) was sweet and refreshing. Other aguas, such as tamarind, melon, and horchata looked yummy. The migas (known as chilaquiles in Mexico) were luscious: cheesy, seasoned just right, and topped with a slice of ham. Unfortunately, the accompanying flour tortillas were cold and chewy. They weren’t made in-house, simply picked up at the grocery store.

I ordered the gorditas with pork al pastor and they were good and greasy and very satisfying on a blustery winter day. You cannot be afraid of lard if you eat here!

Other menu options were typically Mexican. You can have tacos, burritos, tortas, or tostados with beef tongue, carne guisado, pork leg, or beef barbacoa, among other choices. The Cuban torta caught my eye: ham, cheese, cream, salad, and your choice of meat.

All in all, La Tapatia offers a good value -- especially the $3.99 lunch specials. But it is certainly not a foodie paradise. A Mexican restaurant that doesn’t make their own tortillas or, at least, buy fresh ones locally is simply mediocre.

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