Taquerias – Fine Dining in the Oil Field

Chicharrones Tacos

In my quest to find the perfect authentic Mexican taco, I was directed to a small place located near my office, called Taqueria El Dorado.

Be afraid of the tripas

It’s in a crappy little strip, next to a pawn shop, a couple closed-up storefronts, a small mercado that seems to sell cigarettes and tattoos (judging from the window displays), and a ‘cabaret’ called XTC Exotic which is owned by Rick’s Cabaret, an adult entertainment conglomerate that is traded on NASDAQ. There are never any cars there, but then again, I don’t venture into this part of town after dark. But, this place has great food!

El Dorado is small business with maybe 20 tables, that is packed at lunch time. A TV is mounted in the corner overhanging an out-of-order gumball machine, and plays only a Spanish language music video channel. The cokes and Mexican sodas known as Aguas Frescas and Refrescos Mexicanos are kept in a cooler by the door, and you can see the cooks through a glass partition. Many of the waitresses do not speak English.

Although they have an extensive menu, we go there for the tacos. El Dorado has a large selection of taco fillings, served with the traditional cilantro and chopped fresh onions, rather than the tomato/cheese/iceberg lettuce you will find at what I call ‘fake taco restaurants’ like a certain well-known chain (i.e., Taco Bell).

Two tacos, $2.90, and all the chips you can eat

You can have pastor (shredded pork roast), barbacoa (shredded slow-cooked beef), pollo guisada (stewed chicken), pollo, fajita beef, and…tripas, lengua, and chicharones, which are, respectively tripe, tongue, and sauteed pork skin.

Polla guisada (top) and barbacoa tacos

I’m an adventurous eater, but since we go there at lunch, I can’t have enough to drink to work up the nerve to try one of these offal type tacos. Andrew Zimmern, I’m not. However, Kitty was very brave and tried the chicharones a couple years ago. Like I said, she’s brave. I have a picture, but she has threatened to kill me if I post it in public.

It’s turned into one of my favorite quick-lunch places. In addition to getting a well-prepared lean meal (except for the chips), complete with fresh guacamole, pureed jalapenos for your salsa, and a friendly atmosphere, you can enjoy the art while you eat.

Montezuma's Revenge



Categories: Food, Travel

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4 replies

  1. I have eaten here, and I recommend it highly. Everyone is very friendly. The food is fresh. Just the soft taco itself… is unlike anything I’ve ever had in New England (we have Mexican restaurants here that are run by college students, that say things like “BAWWWston”)
    Geek when I come visit has to not only take me to eat at this place, but also take me to the Mexican grocery store where I can stock up on ingredients not sold north of the border (or rather north of the Mason/Dixon line).

    We also sometimes get fish tacos at the restaurant with the velvet Elvis.

    Yes I will eat tripe. I grew up eating Rappa brand Scrapple for breakfast every morning! That’s Eastern Shore of Maryland training for being able to eat any part of a pig.

  2. Actually, this is a different place!

  3. We HAVE to eat there!!

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