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Well, ditto, ditto on most of the comments others have made. The most amazing moment for me was standing in front of a huge tray of fried meat at Carniceria El Paisano and asking the guy behind the counter if it was carnitas. "No", he said, "chicharrones, want to try?" Then he grabbed two large chunks and handed them to me on a piece of butcher paper. Wow!! what amazing fatty, cruncy, porkiness-we all dove in and polished them off quickly, agreeing that a chicharron fiesta with limes, tortillas, salsa verde and good tequila/beer was in order one of these days.

 

Best Carnitas: Market in Kent next to Oberto, with honorable mention to Taqueria Fondita

 

Best overall taco: Tie between Taqueria Fondita (adobado and carnitas) and Taqueria Fondita #2 (I liked their small, slightly crispy tortillas and salsa verde)

 

Most uniquely delicious taco: Tie between chicharron taco at Fondita #2 (tortillas spread with creamy refritos and sprinkled with crunchy fried pork skin and a dab of spicy salsa--devine), and the buche at Zacatecas (bites stolen from Rocky's taco).

 

Best Bite of the day: Chicharron at Carniceria El Paisano

 

Agree with Anita on T. Rinconsito's slide into mediocrity. Was also disappointed by a bland, gritty coctel de camaron at La Terraza Nayarita (formerly La Viagra Marina etc), although the ceviche was nice.

 

Great day, Great company, Great finds, Great eats!

 

Jan

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love the idea of another crawl, but the 27th is a bit dicey for me...

I know that as I write this the Seattle crawl is happening without me. I can clearly see Scorched Palate, Cam and Rocky et al, gleefully diving into new experiences of

taco after taco, tasting, analyzing and commenting. Half our group (Scorched Palate, Sea gal & Rocky) spoke Spanish which came in handy.

 

Stop #1: Taqueria La Fondita wins my vote for the best carnitas (crispy pork) taco. I am unable to remember the second the runner-up due to taco blur.

 

Taco truch "La Fondita #2" appeals to the "good but cheap price" part of me that enjoyed the selection of $1.00 items on the menu. Highlights were a taste of Scorched Palate's grilled pickled jalapeno, the perfect (not overly sweetened) horchata (sweet rice drink). Lots of stuff left on the menu for me to try.

 

I loved sharing in the group "ah ha!" moment of the most incredible piece of pork chicharrones sample ever at Carniceria El Paisano market. Huge meat case with preped/marinated/ready to BBQ meats. For good reason, this place is busy. I saw the largest sheets of freshly fried pork skins ever. Some as large as 36 inches in diameter. They have 3 (smallish) crispy fried tacos (secured with toothpicks) for a $1.00. A minced beef with vegs and a (veg) spiced potato. They also had 3 varieties of handmade tamales (chicken, pork and a chile/cheese), hot from the steamer. This is definitely a destination market not to be missed. I think that we have Blue Herron to thank for this lead. It was wonderful to be able to bring back home something yummy for my pescatarian spouse and teen daugher.

 

I loved debriefing at the end of the day with everyone at la Terraza Nayarita (formerly La Viagra Marina). You certainly don't feel like you are in Northwest. Sal (the owner), Amadeus (the cook) and our sweet wait person, could not be more welcoming, "my house es your house". Some of the dishes were not great but the complementary Tostada de ceviche de pescado was tasty and unique. It looked like finely chopped tuna salad with carrots to me. I liked Scorched Palate's Sopes (corn cakes topped with meat, veg and lots of crema). I would also give the Pupusa (stuffed and fried Salvadorean corn meal patties) another try but perhaps with a different filling than what Girl Chow had. It seems to me that this place would make a great spot for another mid-week happy/cranky hour gathering of beer and snacks. The upstairs dance hall sounds like fun. If there is interest, I would definitely be one of the first to sign up for an mouthfuls event here.

 

Many thanks to Girl Chow and Scortch Palate, our wonderful "taco leaders". I look forward to the North end crawl repot. It sounds like "Taco crawl III" & other crawls are in gestation. You all lead and I will follow... In admiration and awe,wl

 

edited for typos

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Guest rockdoggydog

Day Two -

 

The taco trek continues, my compatriots and I are pushing on after the gustatory revelations we had yesterday. I was fairly certain that I would not be able to eat many more tacos at the end of the day yesterday, but this morning as I prepared for the day ahead I realized that I was ready to face the challenges ahead. Bring on the tacos! I look forward to today's adventures, may my stomach have the resilience to last through the day.

 

:rolleyes: :(:

 

Well, day two was a blast also. We started in Columbia City at Dos Hermanos and ended at El Pasadita. (formerly Rocky's Northgate taco truck :( )

 

Best Taco El Asadero - I had the buche taco here, and as good as yesterday's was at Zacatecas, this was even better

 

Dishonorable Mention Malena's - okay, I really hate to dog on a restaurant, but Malena's sucked, at the end of the day the consensus between Cameron, Scorched Palate, and I was this was the only one all weekend that we would not go back to

 

Best Tortilla Mr Villa - formerly Pancho Villa, the tortillas here were delicious, they advertise that they are homemade and it shows

 

Hardest Place not to Order Something not a Taco - Tequila Taqueria, w3e walked and were confronted by the special board which right in the middle said Borrego/Lamb $10

 

Thanks to Lauren for driving! We moved like greased lightning today, getting done by 3PM.

 

Rocky

 

PS - the place Scorched Palate couldn't remember yesterday was El Milagro Carniceria and Taqueria

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Another fabuloso day of taco-ness...

 

Cam and I had our tamales from Carniceria El Paisano for breakfast this morning... mmmm! Then we headed down Rainier and met up with Lauren and Rocky at the first taco truck on Rainier, Taqueria Dos Hermanos. Once again, I kept things simple and had a carnitas taco at every stop. Lauren stuck mostly with pork adobada / al pastor for the day; Cam was cabeza-boy; Rocky had lengua, substituting buche when available. (I had nibbles of lots of things, but I'll let the others give you the round-up on their choices.) The carnitas at Dos Hermanos were good, not great. Tacos came in at $1, good mexican soda selection, super-hot (but flavorful) pickled peppers and carrots.

 

The next stop, the taco bus called El Asadero, was the best of show for me today, probably tied for best carnitas with El Milagro (the market next to Oberto -- thanks for remembering, Rocky!). They weren't quite as crispy or salty, but they were shreds rather than tiny cubes, which makes a difference to me. Asadero wins high marks for its garnish bar (rather than the standard 1 lime, 1 carrot, 1 chile that you get at most places) and for a good assortment of beverages. The imported Mexican coke and pepsi were expensive ($1.50, I think) but at least they had them. The oddball thing about this place was they didn't include tax in the prices, so a taco comes out to $1.09. :rolleyes:

 

Our next stop was supposed to be Gorditos II, but they weren't open (my fault, I see now that the P-I list says "Monday through Saturday"), so we proceeded to Malena's in Ballard. As Lauren said when we were discussing it later, it feels odd to call something that costs $2.79 'expensive', but there you have it. Malena's had very limited taco choices (pork, fish, and I think chicken), they were more than twice the price of any others, they were made with standard supermarket corn tortillas, and loaded up with not-good guacamole, pallid pico de gallo, and shredded lettuce. Carnitas were slightly crispy but totally flavorless. The place was empty, not surprisingly. Another Seattle sacred cow bites the dust for me...

 

Onward to Taqueria Tequila in Greenwood. Nice selection of tacos, various prices from $0.99 to $1.50-ish depending on the filling. Carnitas were good but unremarkable; other items ranged from just OK to very nice. (I think Rocky liked the lengua and Lauren liked the chorizo, which I agree was tasty.)

 

We met up with Jan (SeaGal) and her husband Gary at Pancho Villa -- the menu now says "Mr. Villa", but otherwise it remains as I remember it. We'd earned our cervezas by this point, so we took a load off and ate there. Even though it's a sit-down place, you can order just a single taco, if you like; I think they were $1.50 each. Carnitas were flavorful and slightly crisp, still good. Nice handmade tortillas, lightly griddled. I also couldn't resist trying a chile relleno, which was tasty but needed more sauce.

 

Our last stop was the taco truck at Northgate and I-5, which we now know is called La Pasadita. A few folks opted for tortas here, which were huge ($4); I stuck with my program and had a carnitas taco (I think they were $1). These were probably the worst of the trip... even Rinconsito's yesterday were better. The pork was flavorful, but the taco was probably half-filled with unrendered fat blobs and not a hint of golden crispiness was to be found. I believe the lengua was spoken of highly here, by Rocky and Gary.

 

Thanks to everyone for a great day. We're definitely going to have to do another crawl to get the rest of the south end under our belts (literally!), and there was talk of a combined Eastside/Northside crawl, too.

 

Brimming with taco goodness,

~A

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SeaGuy and I were only able to join in for the last 2 stops of today's crawl, Mr. Villa and the El Pasadita truck.

 

I agree with Rocky, the tortillas at Mr. Villa were quite good, as were the carnitas and the lengua (though not as good as my favorites yesterday). I also had a tasty bite of Anita's chile relleno, a good rendition of one of my favorite treats. Ordered horchata here and had to wait while they made a fresh batch :( --it was very good. This place is near my neighborhood and SeaGuy and I agreed we'd like to go back and try more things.

 

At El Pasadita, we both had tortas and they were good. A nice soft, toasty roll with lettuce, mayo, tomato, a good portion of meat and a couple of slices of avocado. However, the carnitas here were not crunchy, so the fatty pieces were not pleasant. I'd get a different kind of meat next time, maybe the Asada. SeaGuy had the lengua and it was good, if a little on the chewy side.

 

What a great crawl!! Thanks to Anita and Sue for fabulous organization and giving us all great directions. :rolleyes:

 

Awards go out to Cam, Anita and Rocky for stamina, endurance and double-day taco consuming skills. :(

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I am experiencing serious salivating taco envy. We really wanted to join in, though being all responsible has its own rewards (so I'm told anyhow).

 

I was googling Carniceria El Paisano, and ran into this neato walking tour food map of White Center. Its a neighborhood I do not know well, but the map looks interesting.

 

Any chance you could post your map Girl Chow?

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I was googling Carniceria El Paisano, and ran into this neato walking tour food map of White Center.  Its a neighborhood I do not know well, but the map looks interesting.

Thank you for posting that map! That's just what I needed. I go into White Center all the time to the Heng Heng market and I'm always rubber-necking trying to find the places others have mentioned, but it's hard because all the shops are so squished together, so this is a nice graphic.

 

I am so sorry to have missed the south Taco crawl. Guess I'll have to do a solo one. Thank you everybody for posting such complete information about where to go for the best items. You're true professionals!

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i could not possibly be more jealous. the crawls sound amazing.

 

we went to la fondita #2 yesterday and had a good birria (shredded beef) torta and 3 insanely good adobada (what they call "spicy pork") tacos. the roasted peppers were also tasty - one was spicier, so much better, but those onions. ay mami, those onions rocked my world. sweet, salty, luscious.

 

i love that map - thank you tamiam. i really like white center.

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i love that map - thank you tamiam. i really like white center.

White Center has everything I love - a non-yuppie atmosphere and Mexican and Asian grocery stores and restaurants! :rolleyes: ..hey I just noticed the pink love icon is gone. I wanted to use it! :(

 

Hey does anyone know how late Fondita 2 is open? I'd like to swing by there after my Monday nite mountain bike rides down in SeaTac. It would be alot better than my swing by McDonald's which are beginning to make me queasy....

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Thank you for posting that map! That's just what I needed. I go into White Center all the time to the Heng Heng market and I'm always rubber-necking trying to find the places others have mentioned, but it's hard because all the shops are so squished together, so this is a nice graphic.

 

Yes, thank you for that map and thank you to all who have posted about the taco crawl with such detailed info. You guys are the best. :rolleyes: . I was really sorry to miss it, but I know with my sore throat and cold, my taste buds were not in prime condition yesterday, not to mention I didn't want to take a chance and have you catch my cold.

 

On the map, you can see where New Angkor Market is. Whenever I am in White Center I swing by there (it's Cambodian, and they stock lots of asian foods). I get some produce and other asian ingredients there. Last year, they were the market that was selling matsutake mushrooms for $5/lb in a large box. I have also found good deals there on frozen bagged shrimp from Vietnam, much cheaper there than other stores. I typically don't buy meat & poultry from the asian markets though, as I'm not sure it's always graded, and sometimes it just seems to be sitting out not under *ideal* refrigerated conditions. Ditto with quail eggs and such. They are usually just sitting unrefrigerated so buyer beware. Then before or New Angkor Market I get a taco at La Fondita #2, which is kind of kitty corner to it.

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I don't think we could have picked a nicer day to do a taco crawl. As we were basking in the sun and munching on tacos, it would have been less pleasant to do in the rain.

 

Not to be redundant with what has already been said, I'll just add a couple of comments.

 

Had I known that we would not see chicharrones on the menu at any of our later stops, I would have ordered it at our first stop. After hearing the raves about it, I can't wait to try it.

 

My favorite taco was at Tacos El Asadero. As Anita said, I stuck to Adobada (which was called Pastor at Rocky's place but it clearly was "spicy pork") and this was the best combination of sauce and pork. I liked the pork at Taqueria Dos Hermanos but it was too saucy. I loved the pickled carrot at Dos Hermanos. I'll definitely go back for that and chicharrones.

 

It's unanimous, Malena's tacos were also my least favorite. There was more meat on them than the other places but they were so flavorless it didn't make it worth it. I really didn't like the guac and was sure that it was packaged, but Anita saw them making it fresh. I have no idea how it got to taste so drab.

 

The chorizo at Taqueria Tequila was very good. There was a nice vinegar-y tang to it that I really liked.

 

The onions were grilled at El Pasadita (Rocky's truck) and was a nice touch. I got a torta there to take home to Paul which was, as Rocky promised, very tasty. What, you didn't think I'd sneak a bite?

 

Thanks everyone for planning this. I can't wait for the next one. Oh, and my addition to the "crawl" list is a hot dog crawl. Cam had the perfect idea....a hot dog crawl ending with a game at Safeco Field. Sounds like a perfect thing to do this summer.

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YUM!! I had so much fun Saturday, thanks to all who came (and we missed you TamIam, but I understand about the house ordeal... eek).

 

YOU PEOPLE ROCK! On top of eating great food (and all for about $15... a day of nonstop eating), you all are the best eating companions in the universe! I'm so sorry I missed out on Sunday! Next time, I'm definitely going on the northern taco run. For sure.

 

Here's a revised list of where we ate:

 

KENT

1. Taqueria La Fondita, Central Avenue. I don't have an exact address, but it's a few doors down from El Rinconsito on Central. Nice carnitas. Good tomatillo salsa.

 

2. Taqueria El Rinconsito, 301 Central Ave. N. What the hell happened to this place? It used to be so good. The carnitas were like steamed pork. Ok, just not all that good.

 

3. Taqueria y Carniceria, 310 Washington Ave. S. Hands down, the best carnitas. Salty, crispy. Yuuuuum.

 

Note: Taqueria Mi Pueblo at 1513 W. Meeker, Kent; Either gone or just not open on the weekend. It's in the gas station parking lot usually, but not on Saturday.

 

BURIEN

4. Taqueria Zacatecas, 626 S.W. 152nd St. One of my favorite stops, but only because we discovered there are about 10 taquerias between 152nd and Ambaum and 98th and Ambaum. The place with the grill is definitely beckoning us!! We must go back. And we saw a Peruvian buffet restaurant? Rocky or WhiteLotus, do you remember that place we drove by? I don't know what that's about, but, well, it must be visited. Leslie or Tighe, let us know if you do your research first!

 

Note: We skipped Guadalupe Market because we realized just how late the day was getting!

 

WHTE CENTER

5. Taqueria La Fondita II, 9811 15th Ave. S.W. This place rawked! Plus, it was the only taco truck we visited (funny!). The garnishes were EXCELLENT!! I didn't get a bite of the chicharrone, but I wish I had when I was offered! But at this point, I was soooo full, as you can only imagine.

 

6. Carniceria El Paisano. Standing in front of the meat case chowing on the chicharrone was a fantastic moment.. and those little fried tacos (tacos dalmos?) were quite delicious little things.

 

SOUTH PARK

7. Mexi Mart/El Molino Rojo aka La Terraza Nayarita (next door to Mexi Mart). Sal and Amadeus and our waiter Zac (?) were very gracious. The ceviche was quite tasty, but my pupusa was fairly average (I ordered chicharrone, but they only had chicken and cheese.. it didn't have much flavor). This is definitely a place that has potential though. We should head back for some ceviche and Corona!

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And we saw a Peruvian buffet restaurant?

Are you talking about El Chalan? I don't think its a buffet place, but definitely Peruvian. It's been on my 'places to go' list forever, need to just do it.

 

What happened to Muy Macho? Closed or were you taco'd out?

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And we saw a Peruvian buffet restaurant? Rocky or WhiteLotus, do you remember that place we drove by? I don't know what that's about, but, well, it must be visited. Leslie or Tighe, let us know if you do your research first!

 

That's El Chalan Peruvian restaurant. The Stranger has a review of it Here and the PI has reviewed it as well. We had 1 lunch there, which was ok, but I have since realized Peru is the king (or queen?) of ceviche, and so I want to get back there to try it. The owner is very friendly, too, and loves to visit and he ended up giving us samples to try of the Peruvian drink and special ice cream with some special fruit I can't remember. It's not buffet. Tony had ribs (quite good), and I had chicken (good), and we split an unusual appetizer of sliced potatoes with cheese sauce and hard boiled egg, and also w/olive I think. This appetizer tasted better than it looked, and was kind of comfort food, I think.

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