Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pineda Tacos – St. Paul, MN

D.Rough and I have driven by this taco place hundreds of times and said we were going to go there. Well, when Food Truck Wednesday got last-minute cancelled, I decided to hit it up. Thankfully, she wasn’t too mad that I went without her…

The outside looks like the building used to be an old timey diner, and judging from the inside, that’s pretty accurate. A bunch of booths are in the main dining area and the menu is on large signs above the cooks’ line. You sort of tell the guy behind the glass what you want and he makes it right there. You tell him what you want in and on your food and he puts it all together for you. Efficient operation.

I was in the mood for a chimichanga, so I ordered one with pastor (pork) on the inside. The guy wrapped up beans, rice, and pork in a flour shell and deep fried it. He added some lettuce, avocado, tomato, and sour cream, and handed it over. I also can’t pass up a pineapple Jarritos…

The food was piping hot and delicious. The shell was perfectly golden brown and the pastor was tasty. I had gotten it with the spicier green sauce on top (you can get red if you want it more mild), and it had a great flavor. I didn’t feel any heat at all, but thankfully, the flavor was great. The cheese was just starting to melt on the top of the hot fried shell and also helped with the flavor. I ended up cutting up the chimichanga into pieces and then folding in the lettuce, avocado, and tomatoes. I was pretty happy with this.

Maybe it doesn’t stand out in the vast array of delicious Mexican food in the West St. Paul area, but it’s pretty darn good. I’m looking forward to going back here. It’s pretty solid Mexican food and the guys working behind the counter were really nice and helpful.

It’s one of four locations in the Twin Cities (I think they’re all connected somehow), so feel free to hit up any of their locations.

Top 5 things about Pineda
1. Chimichanga
2. Expansive menu with a lot of options
3. Friendly staff
4. Reasonably priced
5. Got to watch Mexican soap operas while eating lunch

Bottom 5 things
1. Still kind of has a greasy spoon diner feel to it, decoration-wise
2. Styrofoam plates (doesn’t bother me, but I’ve heard people complain about that before)
3. The tomatoes weren’t the greatest (I realize it isn’t tomato season)
4. Weird empty vending machine just inside the door
5. It isn’t very busy, which is surprising

Pineda Tacos
1304 South Robert Street
Saint Paul, MN 55118
(651) 455-6833


Anonymous said...

This is tomato season. I have them growing right outside my door and I buy them weekly at the farmer's market.

Chao said...

As you can see, I'm no green thumb. I have no idea when tomato season is. Maybe I just got a couple of bad ones in the bunch. I love tomatoes, I just know nothing about them. Good catch!

Anonymous said...

Pineda was an Embers back in the day! That's why it looks all old-timey

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite taco place. I have also eaten at the one in Plymouth, which is nowhere near as good. Their green chile chicken and beef tongue are my faves.