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Monday, February 23, 2009

El Cachanilla's $1.50 Tacos

Posted By on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge cachanilla1.jpg
I heard about El Cachanilla's $1.50 tacos al vapor from Incanto chef and offal maven Chris Cosentino by way of a Chowhound post from a tourist visiting from New York. This funky little place's menu has all the odd bits you see in taquerias in Mexico but not so often here: head, tongue, brain, tripe, even eye.

It was raining, so we went into the restaurant (2948 21st St, corner of Treat) rather than ordering at the walk-up window, but when we tried to order tacos, the owner sent us back outside. While we were waiting for our tacos, he came by and told us we could eat our food inside. He then offered an incomprehensible explanation of why he organized things that way. I think the idea was that people got too confused about the numerous toppings available for the tacos, so he set up a bar at the takeout window, with a choice of several salsas, chopped onions, cilantro, lime wedges, and so on. The tacos come out with just meat (plus beans, if you want them), and you do the rest yourself.

click to enlarge cachanilla2.jpg

The head and tongue were delicious, and the carnitas were good though

not the best in the neighborhood. I wouldn't order the al pastor again;

it was in a not-very-Mexican sweet BBQ sauce. The portions of meat are

on the small side, around half what some other places give you for

$2.50, so they're not as crazy a bargain as the price might suggest.

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Robert Lauriston

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