MSPD e-mailed me over two weeks ago to let me know that he had found yet another diamond in the rough. This time he had a story of a Mexican supermarket and taqueria in a dilapidated strip mall on the corner of 136th and CR-5 in Burnsville. He sent me a photo of all the hot sauces from the grocery side and said that he’d be back to try out the restaurant. A few days later he contacted me to let me know that the food in the taqueria was definitely good and that I should get over there to try it out (he wrote up his own review on the Chowhound board here).
I’ve been begging Kim to go over there with me for over a week now but she’s been passive aggressively ignoring my pleas. She wasn’t feeling well and on my way to go grocery shopping I decided to drive a bit out of my way to stop here for dinner. Why bother cooking for one, right?!
I arrived at about 5:00 and walked in through the grocery store. There was one person shopping and I slipped quietly through to the taqueria next door (you can access it from the outside as well). I walked up to the front and stared at the menu. Reasonably priced with plenty of options and knowing that MSPD recommended the tortas, that’s what I planned on ordering.
I couldn’t get the cook’s attention (he was busy in back doing God knows what) but thankfully someone else, apparently a regular or a friend, walked in and whistled for him to come up. He came around and took our orders. There was a language barrier but I got what I was looking for including what appeared to be a free bottle of water. My total bill came to $8.50–not bad.
The cook headed into the back and began to prep my meal while I sat and took in the view of the interior. Aside from a bunch of tables and booths, there is a large mural which looks like something straight out of Kim’s romance novels adorning the wall. The place is not well cared for and aside from the water damaged ceiling tiles and ripped and discolored booths, there were plenty of other signs of serious wear and tear. If I hadn’t known better, I’d have guessed I should turn tail and run. As I watched from afar, the cook took his time grilled my bread and the meat for my sandwich. He also took his time wiping the spatula along the outside edge of the grill–something which I’m sure that the MDH would certainly frown upon. Eventually he looked like he was about to plate my food so I walked up to the front and put my hands on the broken down tile counter and watched as he grabbed an avocado and scooped the fresh flesh onto my torta along with beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and jalapenos. He threw one of the tamales on a plate and I went back to my seat to enjoy my meal.
After taking a few photos I dug in to the tamale first. It was a bit overdone for my liking but the parts that weren’t burned to a crisp were spicy and flavorful. Unfortunately the rest was just eh. After eating about 1/4 of it, I switched over to the Cuban torta. This thing was a monster and it looked so fucking tasty. While I have recently had another Cuban sandwich during my visit to PA, this was much more reminiscent of the tasty sandwiches that we used to enjoy at La Luz. The three meats and all those vegetables were calling to me. The bread was soft on the outside and crispy and buttery on the inside and while the sandwich was like La Luz’, the bread was somehow even better tasting. It all went together so well that I’m almost positive I was moaning as I ate the beast. Two thumbs way the fuck up for Tacolmeca’s tortas.
After I ate there I posted a message to Twitter which read, “Wow. This place needs new digs and more exposure right now! Highly recommended.” And while I recommend it, I want to again warn you that this is not as clean and tidy as Taqueria La Hacienda #3 just a bit further down the road and it’s not a place I’m going to be dragging Kim to just so I can relive that awesome torta experience. No, this will be a place I’ll head over to when I’m looking for an inexpensive lunch alone. If you’re not bothered by a little grime and are looking for some great food, I recommend that you check out Tacolmeca in Burnsville, you’ll be thrilled that you did.
1919 W Burnsville Pkwy
Burnsville, MN 55337
See all the pictures from Tacolmeca in Burnsville on Flickr here.