Food review: Chachos Taqueria's tamale, birria, jackfruit tacos
Wrapped in a quality corn tortilla, the birria comes with beef brisket, onions and cilantro, and is spotted with hefty, melted shards of Oaxaca cheese.
DULUTH — On a gray, blustery Friday, I visited the walk-up service counter at Chachos Taqueria in Canal Park.
Chachos' menu is a mix of meat and veggie tacos, tortas, tamales and a braised pork bowl. There’s also Mexican sodas, esquites (roasted-corn salad) and a kids' quesadilla. Prices range from $4.25 tacos to $10 tortas.
I ordered the birria taco, the seasonal veggie taco and a tamale, pleased with less-expensive prices, so I could try a few things.
Lively Latin music played overhead, adding to the ambiance and excitement, and a busker played a harmonica near Canal Park Drive.
No indoor seating here, but there’s a stone table and more under a large gazebo. A parked car of four dug into their orders. A woman, shopping bag in hand, grabbed a bowl to-go.
Picking up my order, I was instructed to dip the birria taco in the au jus-like sauce, “then, drink it like a soup.”
Wrapped in a quality corn tortilla, the birria comes with beef brisket, onions, cilantro and is spotted with hefty, melted shards of Oaxaca cheese. Dipped, the taco soaked up all the delicious flavors of the tomatoey, oniony birria broth making for a savory, flavorful bite.
Next, I tried Chachos’ sweet and savory tamale, which is corn-based dough steamed in corn husk. It’s also doused in a creamy and subtle amarillo mole and sprinkles of cilantro.
The texture of this dish is oh-so-pleasing, coming in as a lighter, less-dense cornbread with zero crumble — juxtaposed with crunchy jicama, sweet chunks of pineapple and chayote squash.
Last, I took a bite of the seasonal veg taco with jackfruit, pineapple, chayote squash, jicama, cucumber and amarillo mole. It’s a close call, but this may be my fave.
The jackfruit is lush and juicy, as is the bright-yellow pineapple — so unique tasting. It came with a petal-cut of radish, a lime wedge and a choice of four salsas. I went with the rich red-orange bandito, made with habanero and golden raisin — and bam, did this make the meal.
Its intense heat mixed with the bursts of sweet juice from the taco “meat” and pineapple made for one of the most exciting flavor and texture combos I’ve had in a while.
I wonder what I’ll try next.