Friday, May 14, 2010

Eat the Menu: Tacodeli, Day 4

This is part of an ongoing series about my quest to try all of the yumminess at local restaurant Tacodeli. See my eat the menu tag for the other parts of the series.

Before getting into today's selections, I'd like to clarify something about my mole scale. I noted yesterday that 1.0000 moles = the yumminess of a Tacodeli Mole Taco Chicken, but I didn't explain the lower end of the scale. I'd put most other fastish-but-not-fast-food taco restaurants in Austin around 0.3-0.5 moles. For those of you outside of Austin, your best Mexican restaurant might earn about 0.3 moles for their best tacos. Taco Bell is about 0.001 moles. Hopefully that will put things in better perspective. For example, yesterday's Tacolomo was a 0.6, which means it's only a little better than pretty much every other taco everywhere.

Speaking of tacos that are only a little bit awesome, today I was very excited to try the Guacasabi Tuna and Ceviche Yucatan tacos. Guacamole and wasabi, two of my favorite things, combined into one thing? And on a Tacodeli taco?? How could that not be amazing? Well, frankly, I didn't think it lived up to its name. It was definitely tuna-y, but there was very little guaca or sabi flavor. Sure, it had sliced avocados, but avocados alone do not guacamole make. I'd put it a little above Tacolomo but below Achiote Chicken, so that makes it 0.65 moles.

On the other hand, I didn't expect much out of the Ceviche Yucatan tacos. I've only had ceviche once before, and it was way too tart for my taste. Tacodeli's Ceviche Yucatan didn't fall into that same trap. Moreover, it actually had guacamole, not just avocados, making it even better. It was still only a 0.8, but I feared it might be much lower.

I also crossed two other things off the menu today: the Ceviche Yucatan as a side with chips (also 0.8 moles; I thought it'd take a hit for the lack of guacamole, but it held up on its own), and Chips & Salsa (Doña variety, only 0.75 moles but just because there are such better uses for the Tacodeli doña sauce; I'll go into that more in a later post).

In summary:
  • Guacasabi Tuna taco: 0.65 moles
  • Ceviche Yucatan taco: 0.8 moles
  • Ceviche Yucatan with chips: 0.8 moles
  • Chips & Salsa (Doña): 0.75 moles
I probably won't make it to Tacodeli over the weekend... but we'll see. If not, I'll be back Monday to try El Picosito ("Succulent beef tenderloin in a chipotle sesame pipian with fresh avocado and queso fresco") and something else that is yet to be determined (El Picosito is the only special on Monday, so that means I'll be venturing out into the regular menu). Your suggestions are very welcome in the comments.


Libby Hickson said...

That Monday taco sounds like Taco Heaven. Can't wait to hear if it actually is... And - I hope you're still eating Tacodeli all the time in a couple weeks from now so I can join again. :-)

Jon Harmon said...

Woah, after looking up pipian sauce (, El Picosito definitely sounds awesome. "It is part of a larger family of ground sauces known as moles, and it has a very distinctive, nutty, earthy flavor which some consumers find quite enjoyable. ... The key ingredient in pipián sauce or pipián verde, as it is sometimes called, is pumpkin or squash seeds, which may be roasted or simply dried. The seeds are ground before being seasoned with spices like cumin, pepper, garlic, and cilantro, and dried hot chilies are also thrown into the pipián sauce to give it a distinctive and rather fiery kick. Ingredients like lemon juice may also be added, turning the pipián sauce more runny, and less like a paste."

We'll see what pipian means at Tacodeli on Monday.

McCarron said...

I wish you luck on your pipian sauce. El Azteco is one of my favorite Mexican joints but their pipian sauce is basically peanut butter.