Sometimes you need to do something a little different to set yourselves apart from the norm. There are restaurants, trucks and pop-ups by the hundreds that serve Mexican food. But Tacos El Tlahco broke the mold and introduced me to the world of tlacoyo.
Tacos El Tlahco is a little pop-up stand that can be found at Mercadito Hispano Nomar which is a Hispanic market held at NoMar International Market at the northwest corner of 21st and Broadway.
Tlacoyo is an oval-shaped pre-Hispanic Mexican dish made of masa. They are fatter than fresh corn tortillas and stuffed with cooked ground beans, cheese, fava beans, chicharron or other ingredients and fried or toasted. Tlacoyos can be served as an accompaniment to soups and stews or as appetizers for celebrations. This dish is similar to the Salvadoran pupusa.
The owner made them all on an circular grill; she told me what it was called but I was too busy smelling the food to take note. Everything was truly fresh. You could also order anything with your choice of meat. Al pastor was my favorite.
Once my food was done, I was told to head over to a little condiment bar and add toppings such as salsa, cilantro and cactus.
For safe measure, I also ordered a taco which I should note, they made using blue corn from Pinole Blue.
They also had a had cups of tapache available for a dollar. Tepache is a drink made using fermented pineapples, fruits and spices. It was very reminiscent of something you could purchase at Songbird Juice Co.
I LOVED the tlacoyo. It had the thickness and texture of a pupusa except a majority of the toppings were on top. While there were beans inside the tlacoyo, it wouldn’t have been complete without the ingredients placed over the bed of masa. For portion size, one was very filling and delicious. The cactus slaw, for lack of a better description, really made it pop and added not just a vibrant color but taste to it all. I was concerned the masa would make it all taste dry and dense but that wasn’t the case. The tepache complimented it perfectly. It was a messy but worthwhile meal.
The only downside was the taco which fell apart immediately when I picked it up. The tortilla completely ripped open; I was in dire need of a fork or some napkins for my fingers.
Aside from the taco, the tlacoyo was magnificent and a nice change from what everybody else serves on their menu. I loved how unique it was and how friendly the staff was. They were explaining everything to me and I wish I recorded everything they were saying.
They didn’t have a menu available but tlacoyo was $6 and the taco was $2.
Tacos El Tlahco is a stop you’ll have to make this summer!
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