So, we didn’t actually eat these tacos on a Tuesday, but it is Tuesday and I’m writing about tacos, hence, Taco Tuesday! Have you ever wanted to blog a Meatless Wednesday, Wordless Monday, Thursday Favorites, Throwback Friday and watch the world burn, because I totally haven’t. . . 😉
After fifteen whole days in St. Louis, our belongings are mostly unpacked, but yet to be organized. While our condo isn’t much smaller than our Mason City town home, it contains less storage space. This isn’t entirely bad since it’s forcing me to go through our old moving boxes. I’m unpacking items I haven’t though about for years such as cards and letters from college friends and long-lost shoes. I found all of the pairs of glasses I lost after each move and two, life-sized stuffed dogs.
This weekend was Jake’s pick for date night and he chose taqueria-style tacos; the type made with double corn tortillas, a plethora of flavorful meat choices, and garnished simply with hot salsa, onion, cilantro, and lime wedges. I searched local blogs like Whiskey & Soba and local publications’ lists rounding up the community’s best Mexican restaurants. It’s clear there’s a lot of incredible Mexican food to be found here, but we had to start somewhere and I chose La Tejana. The first line of this St. Louis Magazine article states it’s, “not for folks who want American-style tacos. . . ” which meant it served what we were looking for. The menu also offers tortas, gorditas, sopas, and goat and seafood soup among other items.
With the weather hitting 95-100 ºF, we explored our local mall before driving fifteen minutes to Bridgeton. La Tejana is located in a quiet strip mall between a Mexican grocery store and a small liquor store. We were warmly greeted and served chips and salsa.
I loved the salsa’s flavor. It tasted a little garlicky and perfectly spicy. The complimentary table salsas Mexican restaurants served us in North Dakota and North Iowa tended to run mild and I felt pleasantly taken aback by its kick.
As much as Jake and I enjoyed visiting Las Palmas in Mason City, they did not offer horchata (and Jake misses their giant burrito). I ordered a horchata and received this giant cup which helped make up for lost time.
We stayed true to our date night mission and ordered lots of tacos for dinner. Jake tried a handful of different fillings while I ordered one lengua and two al pastor along with a side of jalapenos. I haven’t encountered al pastor tacos as magical as those we ate in Puebla where pork and pineapple cooked on spits like gyro meat and cooks shaved the meat to order. Still, there are some of the better al pastor tacos I’ve tried in the Midwest.
I liked that the pineapple was cut into small pieces and mixed into the meat so each bite tasted sweet and savory. The lengua was tender like the softest pot roast and slightly fatty (my favorite tongue tacos might be the one I tried from El Taco Loco when I joined part of Heavy Table’s Central Avenue Checklist).
Jake’s favorite taco fillings were the steak and barbacoa de res.
Our server brought over a red and green squirt bottle of hot sauces, explaining the red sauce was hotter. We liked them both. The jalapenos were nicely blistered and seasoned with a sprinkle of salt. I nibbled them between bites of taco.
Overall, La Tejana definitely scratched our itch for street tacos. Our server was very friendly and the prices are affordable. Spicy food endorphins are my favorite endorphins.
One thing I’d like to find is a Mexican restaurant that serves sauces similar to East St. Paul’s Taqueria Los Ocampos. Who serves your favorite St. Louis tacos?
Coming up next: I got splashed by a puffin at the zoo!