El Taquito Supremo
Mini-chain vies for taco domination
Reviewed by Mick Vann, Fri., Aug. 1, 2014
Tue., 8am-1am; Wed.-Min., 8am-3am
El Taquito1713 E. Riverside, 512/851-8226
20205 FM 685 Ste. 1-C, Pflugerville, 512/252-1811
130 Louis Henna, Round Rock, 512/671-8226
Tue., 8am-1am; Wed.-Mon., 8am-3am
El Taquito Riverside is located a stone's throw west of Parker on the south side of Riverside, perched up on the hill in a radiant electric-blue coat. You enter and find a clean, modern interior with some pleasant border tunes rocking away. Order at the counter from the menu of tacos, tortas, enchiladas, and all the rest, then select a beer, margarita, agua fresca, or Mexican soda. After a brief wait, they bring you the order. Stick with the perfect, homemade flour tortillas and head to the salsa bar to choose from five salsas and five condiments.
I've tried almost all of the many taco options ($2-2.25) and they are all fantastic, especially the al pastor – the pork-laden, pineapple-crowned trompo (Spanish for "spinning top", which the vertical rotisserie resembles) spins majestically in plain view. The meat has a nice chile-glazed richness, perfect when you add some of the grilled chile strips from the salsa bar. The carnitas are moist and unctuous, and the pork in red chile sauce is tender and mildly spicy (cured that right up with some of the fiery green avocado salsa). The bistec is beefy and tender, but was overshadowed by the avocado and cheese; the meat is minced, not sliced. I wasn't a big fan of the carne guisado; the beef was a little tough, and was dominated by potato (spuds in guisado is a no-no in my book).
I tried their posole ($4.99); they make it rojo and not blanco, so it was swimming in a rich, porky, red chile-infused broth. I was surprised with the low hominy content, but that meant more savory pork. The queso fundido with rajas ($6.49) was served in a cast-iron skillet loaded with oozing, quality cheese and topped with a pile of roasted poblano strips; it was enough to fill four tortillas, with some leftover for the tacos. Definitely order a chile relleno, a large, picadillo-stuffed, and lightly battered jalapeño bomb that ignites the taste buds. Super casual, good prices, great food, and fairly quick service. El Taquito is a keeper.