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Los Taquitos de Puebla

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very good

Last visited: #of visits: cost Where? What to Get What to Skip
01/07 4

inexpensive

(3 tacos for $5)

1149 S 9th St
(at Federal)

215-334-0664

Tacos al Pastor, Guacamole, more Tacos al Pastor eyeball tacos (unless you're into that kind of thing...)

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Sign The southern edge of the Italian Market had been looking pretty dismal since the mid 1990s, with more and more shops and stands closing-up, or turning into junky bargain shops. But in the last few years an infusion of life has been seen, mostly in the form of Mexican groceries, shops and restaurants. It's looking positively festive lately, with fresh paint and new stores and enlivened traffic on that part of 9th Street. And the best part is that many of these places are serving food better than we'd even dared to dream of a few years ago!

tacos al pastorAnd this includes a place to get authentic Tacos al Pastor, the meat roasted on a vertical spit, and served with chunks of pineapple. These tacos are served a few places around town, and can be quite tasty, but this is the only place I know that uses the rotating vertical spit, a piece of equipment used by middle-eastern immigrants to Mexico making schwarma in the traditional way. I'm not sure if it's known where and when someone decided to use this device to roast slices of pork, with a pineapple dripping juices from above, and make tacos out of the results, but whoever decided to do it, we offer our thanks! These are just the best tacos ever, with charred roasted meat, sweet pineapple and soft fresh tortillas making a taco that needs no salsa or other interventions. It's just perfect...

 

Spit

There's more on offer here than just Tacos al Pastor, but that's really the outstanding item. This place has gotten a bit of attention for serving unusual (around here) fillings for tacos: beef cheeks, mouth, tripe, and yes, eyeballs.... And I'm sure there are folks who just love this stuff, but I've found many of those ingredients to be texturally interesting, but not all that flavorful, and when one has the opportunity to order the truly superlative al pastor, getting odd offal tacos seems like a waste.

The Cemitas, a large roll stuffed with the same things one can make a taco with, are about the size of one's head, and only $7. Personally, I like the balance of the fresh corn tortillas as my container for the fillings, but I can imagine that the sandwiches would make a satisfying meal.

Guacamole is quite good, but the quesos fundidos are a little plain. If your tacos don't come with them, order some Cebollitas, the grilled young onions are terrific partners for any of the tacos.

FrijolesWe quite enjoyed the Frijoles a la Charra, tender beans in a smoky broth studded with bacon and chorizo, a flotilla of crunchy pork rinds crowded on top. It's a nice side dish, or I could imagine it being a hearty lunch for one. Totally worth $6, even if it's basically a bowl of beans...

 



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