By Robin Garr
What is tikka? Based on a Punjabi word meaning “small pieces of meat,” it’s an Indian dish of marinated, tandoor-roasted meat. Eat them right up, or serve them in a creamy sauce as tikka masala.
Okay, then, what’s a taco? You’re kidding me, right? Everyone knows what a taco is.
But what happens if for some inexplicable reason someone decided to put these two things together? Shazam! Now we’ve got Tikka Tacos, a curiously delightful new spot on Preston Street near Audubon Park.
Continue reading Indian? Mexican? Treat yourself to both at Tikka Tacos
By Robin Garr
If I’m going to go out for Mexican food, I’d really rather find my way to a taqueria or other small eatery run by immigrant neighbors. Someplace where the food is the real thing, where I need to be prepared to order in my awkward Spanish or by pointing at an item in the menu with a smile.
Someplace, in other words, like El Mariachi Restaurante Mexicano. This East End eatery, more than just a taqueria, has long been one of my favorite local spots for Mexican fare thanks to the quality of its food, the breadth of its menu, and its colorful, happy-making decor.
Not long ago, running an errand out Lagrange Road, I noticed to my surprise that things have changed. Continue reading El Mariachi, a favorite, moves and grows
By Robin Garr
Hola! I finally got back to a favorite taqueria, El Mariachi, last week, and oh, did it make me happy.
Now I wish it hadn’t taken me so long, but I felt uneasy about the idea before I finally got fully vaccinated. There’s typically some language barrier for me at the storefront places I love best – I can read Spanish fairly well, but I’m not good with conversations en español – so I couldn’t gear up to investigate a favorite spot’s takeout and curbside delivery options.
Now that’s over, and I hope it’s over to stay. Continue reading A happy return to El Mariachi, a favorite taqueria
Imagine yourself with a burrito on your plate. A hefty El Compadre burrito from Taco Choza, that’s a good one. Are you getting hungry? I sure am! Lift it, feel its weight, admire the tasty char marks on its textured wheaten surface. Mmm, mmm, good.
This is what I love about a burrito: When you bite through that tasty flour-tortilla wrapper, your first mouthful incorporates a collection of goodies. With Taco Choza’s signature El Compadre that’s going to be meat, reddish-tinted Mexican rice, two kinds of beans, some salad greens, a dash of pico de gallo, a taste of guacamole, a bit of sour cream, a drizzle of queso, all coming together in one symphonic gulp. Continue reading Taco Choza’s burrito is bigger than your sled. Well, almost.
I should have probably gotten out to I Love Tacos in Jeffersontown sooner. It certainly got my attention when its owners were brave enough to open up (takeout and curbside service only) on March 25, one week after Governor Andy shut down dining in across the state.
And then there’s that “I ?? Tacos” logo with an emoji heart. I don’t think I’ve ever checked in at a restaurant with an emoji in its name until now. Continue reading We love tacos, and I Love Tacos does them right
There’s a special place in my heart for Mexican eateries like La Sierra Tarasca.
First, and not least, in a time when the president calls our Latin American neighbors thugs, criminals and rapists and orders refugee families separated at the border, it’s time for the rest of us to stand up for our Latinx brothers and sisters, whether they have green cards or not. That matters.
Second, but far from least, I love Mexican food, especially carnitas. Continue reading La Sierra Tarasca’s carnitas warms our hearts
While I was binge-watching the Taco Chronicles on Netflix last week, I got to the sequence on carnitas, and immediately realized that I had to get up and go either to Michoacán or, at the least, to a really good local taqueria. Once I checked my wallet, La Catrina Mexican Kitchen in New Albany got the nod. Continue reading La Catrina deliciously satisfies our taco craving
Let me tell you why I love El Mariachi so hard: Even the chips and salsa that drop on your table the moment you take a seat are exceptional. These thick, deeply corn-flavored treats, fashioned on the premises from fresh-made tortillas, are positively addictive. They’re so crunchy that I had to look twice to persuade myself that they weren’t lightly breaded before they were fried.
Yes, the salsa is first-rate, too, a finely mashed reddish-brown puree of red chiles, tomatoes, and herbs, just spicy enough. But those chips? Perhaps the best I ever ate, I really could make a meal of them, if that didn’t involve missing out on the rest of the menu. But I can’t do that. It’s too good to skip. Continue reading El Mariachi is so good that even the chips excel
Some time during recent months, pushed by the arrival of the excellent taquerias Taco City in the Highlands and Taco Choza in St. Matthews, the metro area quietly, without any publicity, achieved full taco.
What’s that, you ask? Simple. The numbers are a little vague, but by my best count, hungry Louisvillians now have at least 65 locally owned, independent places to buy tacos, surpassing the roughly 60-plus local pizzerias.
Given all the cranky jokes about this being a city with a pizzeria on every corner, this is no small achievement. Continue reading Tacos surpass pizza as Taco City and Taco Choza arrive
Can a dining decision be political? You bet! When nightly news shows horrifying images of immigrant parents ripped from their families while partisans shout for a border wall, it’s time to call B.S. The best way I know to do that is to take my dining business to local restaurants run by Latino neighbors, such as the spectacularly good La Lupita in Clarksville.
And while I’m there, happily noshing, I want to thank the owners and servers and tell them I’m glad they’re here: “Me gusta que tu eres mi vecina,” I’ll say in fractured Spanglish, reaching out with a few words in their language. “I’m happy that you are my neighbor.”
Continue reading La Lupita stands out in Clarksville