Back in November I talked with chef Nico Sanchez about his upcoming taqueria opening in tandem with the new Meso Maya downtown. After hearing his descriptions of the space and the tacos I was excited to get down there and try them -- all of them.
Just after noon there was a modest line out behind La Ventana, the name given to the take-out window tucked behind the Mexican restaurant. As I stood in line, I tried to pick out four or so tacos I thought would be best. I figured I could come back and try the remaining two later this week.
I have no self control though. When I got up to the window I changed my mind and ordered one of each. Here's the play by play:
The lengua is most like any street taco of the bunch. If you're used to ordering lengua at your local dingy taqueria, you'll know exactly what to expect here. The meat is soft and tender, with a mild beef flavor and the occasional taste bud so you know exactly what you're eating.
La Ventana's barbacoa is made from the beef cheek Sanchez says. The meat is very soft, very fatty, and full of flavor.
Who knew a chicken taco could taste good? I usually pass on the pollo, as the meat is always dry and bland at most taquerias. Here, though, the meat is juicy and lightly spiked with heat, making for a great taco.
The pastor has a smoky heat that's tempered with an aggressive use of pineapple. The soft onions were a nice choice too. I predict this is one of the more popular tacos among the downtown enthusiasts.
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The bistec taco had more beef flavor and chewiness than any of the other tacos. It also had a lot of texture, reminding me of the crunchy bits of beef you encounter in La Banqueta's suadero tacos -- it's one of La Ventana's best.
The suadero taco lacked the beefy flavor that I'm used to at La Banqueta, and it's as fatty as it is delicious. If you like lean meat this is not the taco for you. Ravenous carnivores, on the other hand, will enjoy this taco as much as they do they bistec.