Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Taco Libre – West St. Paul, MN

A new taco place opened up in West St. Paul last week, and it’s Luchador-themed (just think masked Mexican wrestlers). Since I’m a fan of both wrestling and tacos, I knew I needed to go there. I felt bad that I wasn’t able to go on opening night, but based on the business we saw on the third night they were open, this place is going to just fine. The owner is one of the owners of the American Burger Bar, which is one of D.Rough and my favorite burger places in the Twin Cities, so we knew it was going to be well done.

The inside is decorated with all kinds of luchador costumes, masks, and paintings – some of which are mind blowing. (Do yourself a favor and click on this first photo to enlarge it)

And it isn’t half-assed decoration; they went all out with the menu and everything. The menu has much more than just tacos (though they are really focused on the street tacos with simple ingredients like you get in Mexico). They have burritos, tamales, alambres, tortas, and even pozole – my favorite Mexican soup. I’ll also mention they have pozole all the time, instead of just on weekends like most places, so bonus points for that. They also get bonus points for being open until midnight Sunday through Thursday and 4am on weekends. That’s amazing to me and I look forward to capitalizing on that.

I decided to go with The Machete Burrito – it’s a masa flour almost-taco. D.Rough got a few tacos and a tamale. The nice thing about the menu is you can get any of the items on the menu with whatever kind of meat (or vegetarian options) you want. Brilliant! If you don’t know what kind of meat is best, ask the person you order from and they’ll suggest something amazing for you.

The food comes out really fast, despite being made to order. The tacos that D.Rough got looked amazing. One had marinated chicken on it and one had suadero (or rose beef). She was worried the chicken one wasn’t going to have enough flavor, but she was pleasantly surprised. Even more so with the beef taco – amazing flavor and not too much spice/seasoning – just right. Her red pork tamale was also fantastic – great masa flavor and the pork filling tasted fantastic.

The Machete was a force to be reckoned with. Like a 2½ foot long taco made of deep fried masa corn and filled with lettuce, sour cream, cheese, salsa and I got Pork al Pastor on the inside. It was massive. And both the red and the green salsas that come with it only boosted the already-good flavor. I was really happy with this order. I tried to eat it like a hand-taco, but I ended up laying it down sideways and eating it with a knife and fork, so I didn’t lose the toppings all over my shirt. It was wonderful.

The owner came over to our table and made sure things were alright and we chatted about the new restaurant and even heard he’ll be re-opening the American Burger Bar in the next few months again! Cha-ching!!! Adrian seems like a really nice guy and it’s clear he knows how to run a restaurant and take care of his people.

We’re looking forward to many more visits to this place that’s like 10 blocks from our house. And anyone who’s a fan of wrestling (Mexican or otherwise) needs to come here. There’ sno possible way you can be disappointed with it.

Top 5 things about Taco Libre
1. The Machete
2. Red Pork Tamales
3. Suadero Beef Taco
4. Marinated Chicken Taco
5. Best theme for a restaurant EVER

Bottom 5 things
1. It’s less than 500 feet form the gym I go to – This is going to be a problem…..
2. No liquor license, so you’ll have to pre- and post-game
3. Nothing else is a negative!
4. N/A
5. N/A

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