March 16, 2010

Taco Review #20 - Taco Taco Taqueria - Best Taco in Costa Rica Under my Nose

So ya, right there in my back yard (Monteverde, Costa Rica) is a taco stand that I've been avoiding for three reasons: 1) it's in (our) tourist town of Monteverde, so it's bound to be a rip-off, 2) the name: "Taco-Taco Taqueria" is about the stupidest name ever for a taco stand, and 3) it's right next door to Pension Santa Elena, which has a front porch that is usually oozing with chain smoking fake hippies.

So, there we are in town for some reason (probably buying beer) and we're jones'n for some food. Let's see, what are our choices......hmmm, overpriced beans and rice or overpriced and shitty pizza or "hey, what about the taco stand?"

So there we are ordering up tacos at Taco-Taco Taqueria - (veggie burrito for Jen) from a tica woman that is super grumpy from selling tacos in a cloud of patchouli gas wafting from next door and the fact that she's serving up "Mexican" food (Costa Ricans don't seem to like Mexicans - or any other Latinos for some reason). It's a true "stand" - like, it's on the street with no chairs or anything, just the curb. Jen orders it up - massive veggie burrito unlike anything ever witnessed south of California. I'm impressed already. I'm up and get it on with one pork and one beef, the frikin' Taco-Taco Taqueria taco sampler platter. Not cheap, two micro tacos ran me 1,600 Colones, which is about 3 bucks. All of it served up "to-go" style, wrapped in foil.

So we take to goods over and sit on the back of our truck....and....."crunch", hey - they are actually not too bad. Now, bare with me, this is Costa Rica. Crazy thing is, most people from the "north country" think tacos are like a staple food in all of Latin America - no, senior unfortunately, that is not the case. Finding a taco in Costa Rica is like trying to find haggus in Japan - it ain't easy. Anyway, back to the tacos: they were wrapped up in flour torts which were just ok, store bought, gummy and cold - however the taco guts were actually ok. Good slow-cooked, stewed meat, good greens (lettuce, no cilantro....boooo), pico, queso Monterico (the local "jack" cheese) and a splash of habenero salsa. Not great but decent........about as good as one can make at home.

The review:

The Meats: 4.0/5.0 (both pork and beef were pretty good)
The Torts: 2.0/5.0 (cold and sticks to your teeth, you know the kind)
The Place: 2.0/5.0 (lame name and not worth the price)
The People: 2.0/5.0 (grumpy and hatin' life serving Mexican food to gringos - the shame!)
The Insides: 4.0/5.0 (crunchy, cheesy and a little spicy)

Overall: 2.8/5.0 (too bad for the price or I'd be back)