The growing Hispanic community in our neighborhood is good for me.
El Sabor! It's expressed in our neighborhood's foods, murals, graffiti, shop window fronts, bar fights, trash in the streets, cookouts, catcallings, and festivals. I gotta say that when I spent a recent evening in Edina, I missed our neighborhood. The dense, packed flavors and colors of E Lake St keep me on my toes. I think the air is gently spiced with valium in Edina.
On Thursday night, gerg and I seized the opportunity to try out one of Dara's Fast, Cheap, Great joints around our house: Taqueria La Hacienda.
First, I want to say that I can't speak to the sustainability of the products they use, which is information I always seek at restaurants. It's not impossible to make fast, great, cheap sustainable foods, but it's definitely less likely in our neck of the non-woods.
Second, there are 2 vegetarian options on the menu. 2.
The space was was tidy and colorful - definitely a family joint. We also checked the Mexican Coke Bottle label: "sugar" was listed, and "corn syrup" was nowhere to be found. I think that's a good thing for people who like Mexican Coke...too sweet for me. No booze. No beer.
They also have pork on a spit. Photo lifted from citypages.
I had the "special": shrimp alambres. shrimp, griddled with onions, bacon, and bell peppers and topped with melty cheese piled over 6 (or so) corn tortillas (I picked out the bacon). The flavor was decent, but the presentation was: "Here's your food on a styrofoam plate, sukkas."
gerg ordered three tacos: I overheard him order the Al Pastor ("crispy, meaty, bacony, porky, cheesy" - Dara), but his plate was served with chicken, carne asada, and another style of pork. He was slightly disappointed that the al pastor was missing, but said the three tacos he WAS served were da bomb. Once again, he was the best date ever. Plus, he complimented my car's new shoes on the way out. DREAMBOAT!
NOTE: I think the confusion with gerg's order could have been my fault. I originally ordered a cheese quesadilla, but when I saw the alambres special, I changed my mind. Then I asked to change my order, and blah blah blah...I made things complicated. My bad!
gerg still needs to sample the al pastor - I owe him, since I screwed up our order. Join us?
As of January, Mexican Coke can be make with mexican sugar HOORAY!
We like Hacienda. Love the prices, love the lardy beans, like the space. HOWEVER!
The owners own a sister restaurant across the street, Gorditas el Gordo. Cheaper food, more vegetarian options if you ignore the fact that the beans are full of pig fat, and they have Manzana Sol. Be warned, unlike Hacienda, when we've been to Gorditas, no one has spoken English.
Al Pastor is absolute magic btw. It's like ham nad bacon fried hot and fast so it is crispy and melty with fat at the same time. I like the huaraches @ Gordo with Pastor. Pure heaven.
I reviewed it here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/310823
Also note that authentic masa dough has lard in it. Just an FYI. It is noted in that review by a different chowhound...I'd have never known were it not for that post, though I should have guessed since good tortillas are so scrumptious.
Just a heads-up.
The fact is, there are probably NO vegetarian items on the menu. The "vegetarian" burrito is prolly packed with lard. And the cheese quesadilla prolly has lard in it as well. The good news for me is that there aren't big chunks of gnasty meat in these items. So if you're okay with invisible lard, you're good to go.
Don't knock big chunks of meat until you'd eaten it having been prepared well. ;)
Mmmm... lard. I'll take it over palm oil any day of the week. :-)
I also love TLH's Tacos Al Pastor!
... the water towers in Edina say "Evian".
reestyburger - just read your comment on Amber's post, checked out your blog - very cool.
I have been a proponent of sustainable agriculture since college (too long ago to say how long!!) - thanks for the work you do!
Batty - SHEESH. *reetsy shakes her head*
Karah - Thanks for reading! Sustainable ag is a relatively recent passion of mine, although it's always been an interest, I've taken it to the next level over the past two years.
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