This Mexican restaurant has been serving up tacos with fresh ingredients for 10 years now
Reviewed by Mick Vann, Fri., Jan. 23, 2009
Changos3023 Guadalupe, 480-8226
3005 S. Lamar, 418-1500
Greg Koury and Ahmad Modoni of Manuel's fame opened Changos in 1998 with a really simple plan: Offer authentic, inexpensive, over-the-counter tacos made from the freshest ingredients in a casual but modern space. Ten years down the road, the judgment is that the boys have succeeded. The menu is concise and nonthreatening. Breakfast consists of tacos and sopes, with standbys such as migas, chilaquiles, and huevos rancheros or motuleños. For lunch and dinner, think botanas, salads, tacos and burritos, a few sides, and a few daily specials. Add agua frescas, smoothies, and beer, and the vision is complete.
You order at the counter, get your drink, and watch the fresh corn tortillas being made. We've started with the chile con queso ($3.95), a large portion of smooth liquid white cheese with diced poblano and onion, better when you add some of the pico de gallo or fogata salsa to it. The picada salad with shrimp ($7.95) is a great refresher: chopped lettuce, poblanos and red bells, tomatillo, jicama, avocado, red onion, and grilled shrimp.
From the taco world, we've had two versions of the Del Mar ($3.25 each): tasty chunks of spiced mahi mahi cooked on the plancha, topped with white cheese, lettuce, and pico de gallo, and large fried shrimp topped with a cabbage slaw and a chipotle aioli. Both are excellent. Changos' al pastor ($2.55) is a nice version, with slices of flavorful pork mixed with roasted pineapple, lime juice, onion, and cilantro.
From Del Pueblo ($2.25 each) we've tried the beef (slices of griddled marinated steak topped with cilantro and salsa), chicken (slices of rotisserie marinated chicken with cilantro and onion), and the vegetarian mushroom (a few pieces of simmered potato, sautéed baby mushrooms, roasted red bell pepper, and cilantro). All were well-stuffed and satisfying. With each, you choose between the five sauces offered: ranchero, pico de gallo, verde, norteño, and fogata.
Having fresh, local, authentic Mexican fare this close to campus is a real benefit, especially considering the flavor and the prices. It's exactly what it claims to be, and 10 years of success speaks for itself.