Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Taco Riendo

1301 N. 5th St
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 235-2294


Taco Riendo is hands-down one of the best places to get Mexican food in Philadelphia. They are authentic without (usually) having to chew through cartilage, and they are reasonably priced to boot. There are a few things to remember when ordering, however. Rule numero uno: Get the elote. This is Mexican corn at it's finest. A nice char on the kernels, ample cheese and cayenne, and a sufficient layer of mayo.



Rule numero dos: skip the Al Pastor. Go for the chorizo instead. Or better yet, the choriqueso. Sausage and cheese. Yes. They make an awfully mediocre Al Pastor and an awfully good chorizo. Trust me.




Al Pastor above (go here or Que Chula es Puebla for the best around), and choriqueso below.



Rule numero tres: you might want to skip the tacos, unless you are okay with a minimalist presentation. I have eaten around the menu here, and I have to defer to the enchiladas (mole especially), tostadas and tortas. Burritos are okay, but nothing spectacular. Surprisingly, the shrimp and fish dishes are quite good, and the shrimp tostadas are like a fresh salad on a small order of nachos. A great summer dish that will fill you up without making you too full to drink some beers (they are BYO) with your meal. The shrimp are a bit spicy, and come perfectly cooked, nestled in between refried beans, lettuce, cheese and fresh pico. Definitely one of my favorites on the menu.



Basically, if you are above the best in Mexican (geographically speaking), AKA El Jarocho and Los Gallos (RIP Los Jalapenos), Taco Riendo is one of the better bets. Just be mindful of what you order, and the fact that they don't take cards nor $50 or $100 bills, even if you are vocally irritated and it's 100 degrees out.