Orlandotastic!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Authentic Mexican Noms? Yes, please!

One of the best things about Orlando is the prevalence of amazing ethnic and chef-owned restaurants hidden in unassuming little strip malls. Sure, the average tourist isn't going to cruise the main drags looking for these hidden gems, but we know the OrlandoTastic readers are far from average. So here's one I found just yesterday, and if you love real Mexican and Columbian food, you've got to check it out.

Taco Express is on South Orange Blossom Trail, in a strip mall next to an office building. Not exactly tourist central, right? Well, that's their loss because the food here is exceptionally good and incredibly inexpensive too. You will be able to get a filling meal for five dollars or less, such as three tacos ($1.49 each, choice of pork, beef, chicken, and more exotic choices like tongue and tripe) or two pupusas ($2.50 each, gorgeous fried corn cakes filled with meat, spices, and melty salty queso). There are also gorditas (real ones, no Taco Bell fakery here), burritos, tamales, tortas, salads, and soups -- and all that's just on the "cheap" menu. Want to splurge with around $10? LOADS of seafood choices await, along with steaks, carnitas, chicken dishes, and more. And they serve breakfast!

If you eat in, there is a "fixings bar," where you can load up on homemade salsas (from mild to VERY VERY NOT KIDDING AROUND hot), fresh guacamole, veggies, and more. If you do take out, you'll find sauces in your bag, and of course you can always ask for additional ones or something different. There is also a great selection of Mexican sodas (including Coca Cola made with REAL sugar), Mexican beers, and house-made horchata (a sweet drink made from rice milk and ground almonds).

One caveat: this is a very authentic place, so English isn't always spoken by the cashiers. But the menu is in English, so point at what you want if you have to. You won't regret a single bite.

Taco Express (Yelp reviews -- a website is listed, but it was a dead link at the time this blog posted)
 9785 S Orange Blossom Trail  Orlando, FL 32837
(407) 601-1542
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