Thursday, October 25, 2012

Taqueria La Hacienda – Minneapolis, MN

A-Wow and I were having a mini-bad movie night and thought we’d walk to Taqueria La Hacienda up on Lake Street for dinner. Eating at the Mexican restaurants on Lake Street has always been at the top of every list I have, so being able to knock out another one made my heart happy. We headed over, at A-Wow’s recommendation. He’s a big fan.

I had no idea what to expect. The range of atmosphere in restaurants on Lake street is widely varied. But I was surprised by how nice, open, spacious, and clean this place is. TLH is really pushing their claim to fame – the best Tacos Al Pastor in Minnesota. Which is probably why the prominently display their pole of pineapple-covered chicken front and center behind the counter. It looks delicious. I didn’t want to be rude, so I snapped a quick blurry photo.

They have a nice digital menu board with photos of the food – and they’re delicious looking photos, not dirty snap shots. Nicely done.

I debated a few things and then went back to an order of Carnitas Alambres. Everything is made fresh at the restaurant, so I was able to order it without onions (my kryptonite, since I’m allergic). I also got a Pineapple jarritos. I may regret not getting the Al Pastor, but I can always order more or come back if this is good, right?

A-Wow and I took our drinks and sat down at a table. We heard them calling out ticket numbers over the intercom. Wait. In Spanish. Oh buddy. We tried to determine if we knew how to say 199 in Spanish. Or 200. No we did not. Thankfully, during a flurry of numbers, a nice server walked by our table and told us these were our numbers. Thank you very much, kind lady.

I was impressed with the size of the order I got. 8-10 small corn tortillas covered in carnitas (pork), green peppers, bacon, and cheese. How could this not be good?!? It was better than good. It was some of the best Alambres I’ve had. The flavor of the meat was fantastic and the cheese was about the perfect amount. The two different sauces – a creamy tomatillo and a spicy red) were perfect for dumping all over each taco. I basically made 8 or nine small tacos out of this dish and absolutely cleaned my plate. It was great. I would eat all of this again and am looking forward to coming back.

I had a bite of A-Wow’s Al Pastor meat and was really surprised how sweet and delicious it was. I will probably try some of that next time I come here. It’s really quite fantastic.

Top 5 things about Taqueria La Hacienda
1. Carnitas Alambres
2. Al Pastor Tacos
3. All the food looks really appealing
4. Really friendly and helpful staff
5. Lots of space and clean!

Bottom 5 things
1. Food is served on paper plates, which some over-privileged people have issue with
2. If you don’t speak Spanish, learn your numbers so you know when you’re food is being called (See what I said? “Patrons should learn to speak a minimal amount of Spanish”, NOT “please speak English in your own restaurant.”)
3. I couldn’t figure out which door to go into – there are a few different entry points
4. The sign is in front of the building, but the restaurant is back behind everything
5. There is sooooo much yellow happening

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