When I first heard that Tacos Mariachi has a Thursdays-only chile relleno taco, on which the poblano pepper is stuffed with veggies and topped with adobo-marinated shrimp, I knew I needed to stuff one or several into my face as soon as the calendar rolled back around to Thursday.
Except, that first Thursday night, they were sold out.
It was a few weeks before I got to try again — and once again, the chile relleno taco was sold out.
Tacos Mariachi owner Jesús Carmona explained that they only prepare about 45 chiles rellenos each Thursday, and sell most of them at the lunch hour. What's left for dinner typically disappears by 6 p.m. That day, he added, a single customer had devoured three.
Instead of hunting down and harassing that relleno-hog, I made plans to come back at lunchtime. And, boy, was it worth it. The chile relleno is stuffed with sweet corn, zucchini and yellow squash, the squash finely diced and sauteed. Although the taco looks crazily cumbersome, with the shrimp balanced precariously on top and the chile stem jutting out one side, it's pretty manageable to eat. If you're a messy eater, or just especially hungry, you'll want a fork to catch the veggies that spill out.
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As always, the shrimp come perfectly cooked. The adobo sauce lends a bit of heat to the otherwise vegetarian taco, but a squirt of the serrano-tomatillo salsa brings everything to a whole new level of sweet-savory-spicy harmony.
Easier to track down, and maybe even better, is the Wednesday taco special: the Vickie Oh, on which house-made chorizo is paired with roasted portobello mushrooms and poblano peppers. It's a great example of Tacos Mariachi's combination of simple ideas with elegant execution, and it's yet another reason that this shop leapfrogged over more expensive, more famous rivals to take the number one spot on our list of the best new restaurants of 2016. Tacos Mariachi just keeps getting better.
Tacos Mariachi, 602 Singleton Blvd., 214-741-1239.