Posted by: b44hanson | April 10, 2009

Tenoch – Man Do I Miss La Taqueria!

I now know why I have been putting off trying to find a good burro and instead been focusing on good northwest regional food.

I tried Tenoch today, just on the edge of the International District in downtown Seattle and before I write up my thoughts, I want to put a few things in context. First, I have been spoiled when it comes to Taquerias. I grew up near San Jose, CA and it’s large Mexican population and then moved to the desert southwest of Phoenix and its rich Mexican heritage. Second, is that I am pretty particular on what I think a burrito should be and a lot of my friends feel differently. I realize it is personal preference, but La Taqueria in downtown San Jose produced the holy grail of burros for me that I measure everything else against.

Ok, now that I have that out of the way, I hit Tenoch today for lunch. First impression of the place was good. I liked their menu options and chose to go with a Steak Burrito, no rice (one of my pet peeves is places that put rice in a burrito. IMHO rice is a side dish, not a burrito ingredient) black beans and everything else in a whole wheat tortilla (bonus points for having that option). I also ordered chips and salsa and a Jarrito Tamarind soda.

Another one of my pet peeves about a burrito is when I can’t eat the whole thing with my hands. My friends like a burrito so packed full of ingredients that it explodes and you end up eating it mostly with a fork. For me I judge a burro more on its quality ingredients then on how big it is. When I watched the lady put mine together I knew I would be using my fork.

My first taste impression was not good. I started by eating some chips and salsa. The chips were over fried, greasy and old. Luckily the salsa was excellent and the combination was edible. It looked like the chips were made there, so maybe the oil was old or something. I think I would have rather have had Tostitos out of a bag. The salsa was very good. It had a good kick and a nice smokey, dried red pepper taste to it. Usually salsas are too tame for my torched taste buds, but this salsa did give my mouth a yummy tingle.

After a few chips, I dug into the burrito. It was humongous and like I thought, about half way through, I had to abandon the Dos Manos method and go with a fork. The steak was ok, fairly bland (maybe they de-tune it to make it more palatable to more people) and not enough of it. I felt it was really lost in the burro. I like a steak burrito to feature the steak, with a smattering of the other ingredients. This was the opposite. All in all, I would say the burro was better then a Taco Bell burro, but not up to a Taqueria burro.

Now, I know I am pretty particular when it comes to my Carne Asada burros, so I won’t close the book on Tenoch just yet. Their menu really did have some intriguing choices and maybe I should opt for another delivery vehicle beside a big over stuffed tortilla next time. I will keep you posted.

Chao

Bill

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