Friday, July 20, 2007

Taqueria Guadalajara (formerly Morelos)

On Wednesday night, in lieu of the concert on the square since it was postponed, I went to dinner at Taqueria Guadalajara, a tiny, hole-in-the-wall, authentic Mexican restaurant on South Park Street that has enjoyed much recent coverage and a shower of praise in the local Madison papers. It's one of those totally authentic ethnic restaurants that you first walk into and are so obviously uncomfortable, because everyone looks up and stares, and then you panic because you don’t see any menus and don’t know how or what to order. But then everyone smiles, and you get it together, and all is good.

The place is tiny—basically an old rickety home turned steamy lunch counter. Luckily, there’s also an outdoor deck with five or six tables that is perfect for summer dining. The place was pretty busy on Wednesday night, but luckily we snagged an outdoor table. The food, prices, and service were all phenomenal. I ordered a beef taco, beef sopa (which is sort of like an open-faced taco with a softer, chewier shell), chicken sopa, and a diet Pepsi—all for under seven dollars. The food was delicious and fresh, and the taco and sopa shells are made fresh everyday. It was way more food than I needed. So much so, that when my roommate suggested we stop for ice cream at Dairy Cream on the way home, I passed, perhaps for the very first time ever.

Taqueria Guadalajara, truly a mom-and-pop establishment, is owned and operated by Josefina Trejon and Fancisco Vasquez, young entrepreneurs and brilliant cooks, who are quite possibly the most genuinely friendly and hard-working restaurant owners I have ever met. The food comes from all over Mexico, but their specialty is the platillo Guadalajara, which is grilled beef, friend onions, nopal salad, refried beans with cheese and pico de gallo. Please support this amazing local gem!

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