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.

Two corn tortilla tacos rest in a basket with a side of orange colored salsa.
Chachos Taqueria has a mix of taco options. Pictured front to back: a seasonal vegetarian taco made with jackfruit, pineapple, chayote squash and more; a birria taco with beef brisket; and a cup of a birria broth.
Melinda Lavine / Duluth News Tribune

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.

The burger boasts two-thirds of a pound of quality, juicy beef. After a second to plan my route, I dug in.

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.”

Yes, please.

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.

A tamale is covered in amarillo mole, chayote squash, jicama, cilantro and pineapple.
The Chachos Taqueria tamale is covered in amarillo mole, chayote squash, jicama, cilantro and pineapple.
Melinda Lavine / Duluth News Tribune

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.

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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.

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Expect stilt-walkers, puppets on sticks, musicians and an audience of 1,000 during the annual Good Harbor Hill Players' Summer Solstice Pageant on June 17.

Melinda Lavine is an award-winning, multidisciplinary journalist with 16 years professional experience. She joined the Duluth News Tribune in 2014, and today, she writes about the heartbeat of our community: the people.

Melinda grew up in central North Dakota, a first-generation American and the daughter of a military dad.

She earned bachelors degrees in English and Communications from the University of North Dakota in 2006, and started her career at the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald that summer. She helped launch the Herald's features section, as the editor, before moving north to do the same at the DNT.

Contact her: 218-723-5346,
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