Taqueria Jalisco is a tiny Mexican restaurant just off of Main Street in Downtown Chattanooga. They serve delicious authentic Mexican food.
If you’ve read much of Chattavore, you probably know of my love for this little place in Soddy-Daisy called Delia’s. It’s pretty much ruined me on other Mexican joints in the area. I’ve been hearing so many awesome things about Taqueria Jalisco, just off of Main Street, that I knew I was going to have to check it out and soon. I went to a Mexican restaurant that shall remain unnamed (not Delia’s!) for lunch yesterday (yes, my friends….it’s that time again. School starts back Thursday!), kind of thinking, “Well, I guess I’m going to ruin my appetite for Mexican” but that didn’t happen, so after scooping up a couple of awesome finds at McKay, we headed on over to Taqueria Jalisco.
Now, this place is seriously tiny. We found a parking spot on the street (there’s no parking lot but street parking was pretty abundant) and walked on in. There’s a screened in patio and a small dining room…we grabbed the last table in the dining room and were handed menus. The menu is simple….appetizers, tacos, a handful of entrees, and tortas (Mexican sandwiches). All of the drinks are bottled-bottled water, Pure Sodaworks sodas, Mexican Coke (real sugar!) and Jarritos. Actually, if I had realized that the water was bottled, I would have ordered a Jarritos…I love that stuff!
We also ordered chips & salsa for $3.00. Some of the other appetizers included guacamole and pupusas. The salsa was pretty spicy, but not unbearably so, and very smooth (i.e. not chunky) which is just how I like my salsa. The chips were nice and crisp, unsalted (as they are in most Mexican restaurants). The chips were good, but they did not beat the thick and always freshly cooked chips at Delia’s.
I decided on tacos Mexicanos, with corn tortillas, onion, cilantro, and choice of meat. You can also order tacos Americanos, which are served (obvi) in the American style with cheese and sour cream. For my meat I requested al pastor, which is chunks of pork marinated in a whole bunch of delicious spices, and barbacoa, basically slow-cooked shredded beef. Each taco was served on two corn tortillas with a good portion of meat, plenty of chopped cilantro, and diced white onions. Now, another thing that you know if you read my blog much is that raw onions pretty much reduce me to tears…except here. Don’t ask me why, but for some reason raw onion in Mexican-style tacos does not bother me, and in fact I feel like ordering them without would take away from the flavor. So I leave them on and I’m glad I do. Both meats were delicious, the pork perfectly seasoned and cooked perfectly, not dry in the least, and the barbacoa shredded and seasoned, tasting like the best pot roast you’ve ever eaten. Actually, the special was two tacos with rice & beans for $5.50, so we ordered that and found that their rice and beans were also excellent, very fresh (no skin on top of the beans-score!) and seasoned just right. Delicious.
Philip ordered the same thing as me, except that he ordered his standard chorizo as well as a lengua taco. Yes, that’s right. Beef tongue. He has been wanting to try beef tongue for quite some time and, as it is not exactly an easy-to-find meat…this was his first opportunity. While I do tend to be a bit freaked out by unusual meats (Philip is not and will try anything once), I was adventurous and gave it a try…and it was good! Looking at it you would definitely know that it was not your run-of-the-mill meat, and the texture was different in a way that I can’t really describe (but, in my opinion, not an off-putting way at all) but it was delicious…like the barbacoa, tasting like a great pot roast. Philip really enjoyed it, but his real treat came when he took a bite of the chorizo, immediately proclaiming it to be the best he’d ever had. I tasted it as well and indeed it was delicious and I was a little jealous that I hadn’t ordered it, though I would have had to eat three tacos because no way would I have given up the pastor or the barbacoa taco.
So, we both pretty much licked our plates and then we asked for the one item on the dessert menu: tres leches cake (cake with three milks, duh and yum). Alas, they were out and tears were nearly shed (and we had to have a consolation treat of Biscoff cookies with our afternoon coffee) but our server assured us that it was delicious (thanks for rubbing salt in that wound, buddy!). We’ll have to go back soon to sample it. At $17 and some change pre-tip, it was a pretty good bargain too.
So the verdict….well, it’s a toss-up. Delia’s wins in the chips and salsa category and the location category (you know, since it’s ten minutes from our house) but when I compare their al pastor, barbacoa, and chorizo to Taqueria Jalisco, well….sorry Delia’s. Taqueria Jalisco edges you out by a nose. I’m so glad for some great authentic Mexican restaurants in our area and I can’t wait to visit Taqueria Jalisco again. Go. There.
Taqueria Jalisco is located at 1634 Rossville Avenue (not Boulevard!!!), Chattanooga, TN 37408. You can call them at 423-509-3430. You can also “like” them on Facebook.