Monday, May 24, 2010

Eat the Menu: Tacodeli, Day 9 and 10

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.

I got distracted from posting on Friday, and then, well, kinda forgot over the weekend. Don't worry; I maintained my almost creepy obsession with eating everything at Tacodeli. I just didn't get around to posting about it.

Friday I had the Heather and Al Pastor (I had to get them to go, which greatly reduces their yummy appearance, so don't be too harsh on them based solely on the photo).

The Heather is described on the menu as "Grilled Mexican queso fresco, refried black beans, with guacamole, lettuce and tomato. Wow!" I inherently distrust any menu item with "Wow!" in its discussion, so Heather was starting against a bit of a wall. As expected, the Heather was good, but I'm not sure "Wow!" was called for. I rate her at 0.7 moles.

The Tacodeli Al Pastor is a fairly standard Al Pastor, "Diced and trimmed pork marinated and cooked in our homemade adobo sauce using chipotle, ancho and guajillo peppers. Garnished with cilantro & onions." One of these days I'm going to have to put up the Tacodeli Al Pastor vs. the Al Pastor at another local taqueria, Changos, because frankly the Tacodeli Al Pastor didn't blow me away. I give it 0.6 moles.

Today was both stronger and weaker than Friday. To make up for the meh-ness of Friday's choices, I finally crossed a second mole off my list: the Mole Taco Sirloin. I paired it with the Tacoloco, "Adobo braised brisket with caramelized onions and mushrooms topped with guacamole, cilantro and queso fresco." Pretty much every word in that description is among my favorite foods, but somehow Tacoloco didn't really do it for me. I give it 0.4 moles, which I'm pretty sure is my lowest non-hat rating so far.

In contrast, the Mole Taco Sirloin ("Grilled steak smothered with a traditional, made-from-scratch mole. Garnished with cilantro, onion and crumbled queso fresco.") was excellent, and honestly I'm not yet sure which I'd rate higher in a blind test. I'm giving it 0.95 moles (because I think chicken is every-so-slightly better), but it was so very delicious.


  • The Heather: 0.7 moles
  • Al Pastor: 0.6 moles
  • Tacoloco: 0.4 moles
  • Mole Taco Sirloin: 0.95 moles
Tomorrow I'm going to do something slightly different. The readers of the Austin Chronicle awarded Torchy's Tacos "Best Taco" and "Best Taqueria" in their annual poll. I'm pretty sure I prefer Tacodeli, but perhaps that's just because Tacodeli used to be far away and thus more "exotic." To test that out, tomorrow a coworker and I are hitting both (well, I'm going to Tacodeli and he's going to Torchy's) and bringing to-go orders back to the office for a head-to-head. I want to go with something I know from Tacodeli, so I'll be pitting my beloved Mole Taco Chicken from Tacodeli against... something from Torchy's. I want whatever I pick to be pretty much the best thing at Torchy's, but so far there isn't a clear winner among my friends (and one of the recommendations was something I know isn't my favorite at Torchy's). So... any suggestions?

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