I don’t know why it took me this long to write about Taqueria el Amigo. We’ve been going here for years. More like weekly or bi-weekly for years. Obviously this post is way way way overdue.
The holy grail of all Mexican cuisine in the Boston area – *drumrolls* – Taqueria el Amigo! And it’s right down the street (well, a really short drive) from us! This is by far our number 1 most frequent chow haunt in all of Massachusetts for a few good reasons. 1) It’s good. It’s the best Mexican food I’ve had anywhere near driving distance from us. 2) It’s cheap. It’s never been more than $20 for the both of us. 3) It’s so close to us!
Anyway, we’ve been through phases here at Taqueria el Amigo. No, not the I’ve-been-eating-here-too-much-lets-find-a-new-spot kind of phase. We’re slowly going through the menu and making our own favorites! There’s been a time where we only ordered the Tacos Especiales – only. Then, we discovered the Amigo plate, and ordered that exclusively for some time too. Then, we discovered that we like tostadas – a lot, and now we just get tostadas alone. It’s not on the menu (yes, we’ve transcended the menu at this point), but they’ll make it for you regardless.
Best tacos in Boston, hands down!
Glass-bottled Mexican drinks – $2: They have all sorts of Jarritos, and some Boing! My favorite ‘flavor’ of Jarritos is Tamarind because I find that the tartness of the tamarind works very very well as a sweet soda. It also makes me feel that I’m drinking something less sweet, which I’m sure is complete bullshit and that the tamarind one probably has more sugars than the rest.
Horchata – $2: J’s to-go drink these days. Horchata is sweet rice milk. To me, I don’t taste much rice flavor, whatever that is. To me, it is just a sweet milky drink!
Tamarind Drink – $2: I hardly see this drink anymore, but it is my favorite drink at Taqueria el Amigo. It is tart and sweet at the same time, which reminds me of my sour plum drinks! This is great if they make it more often. I wish they did.
Every time you sit down, you’re almost immediately served with chips and pico de gallo. The pico de gallo is delicious, but is often very spicy–more often than not, too spicy for me. But I wolf it down anyway, then start to tear a little. It is that good!
Tacos Especiales (4 pieces) – $6: The home-run winner at Taqueria el Amigo; this was what we always had when we’re at el Amigos and it is so good! You can choose to get two different meat fillings with each order, and can choose between pollo (chicken), carne asada (steak), carnitas (pork), al pastor (chili pork), lengua (cow’s tongue) and cabeza (cow’s cheek/head). I have tried all of them and will review each of them individually, starting with my favorites! The tacos come double corn-shelled (corn tortillas are definitely the way to go) with a generous dollop of meat, some cilantro, white onions and a sliver of avocado. Delish!
Cabeza (cow’s head meat) – The fattiest meat choice of all, and my absolute most favorite! I get it all the time! It has the smokiness and fat going for it, and I love the flavor of head meat. Unfortunately, some people do not like that flavor, and really can’t ingest this. I brought my parents here and they hated it because they just couldn’t get over the flavor of head meat. Too bad, and more for me!
Lengua (cow’s tongue) – This has a similar flavor to cabeza but is less fatty. Still good, but not as awesome as cabeza!
Al Pastor (chili pork) – This is a sweet pork marinated pulled pork that has hints of fruity flavors in them. It is delicious and the best choice if you like something more sweet than savory.
Pollo (chicken) – The best chicken in a taco I’ve ever tasted. I generally don’t order chicken unless it is the only meat option on the menu (I’m not kidding), but this chicken is so flavorful. I know there’s a ton of onion in it too!
Carnitas (pork) – Good, but everything in above in this list outshines it.
Carne Asada (steak) – Little teeny weeny bits of steak. Again, everything above is better.
Tostadas – $2.50 each: This is a deep fried corn tortilla with pinto beans, your choice of meat from the above list, some iceberg lettuce, onions, tomatoes, sour cream and avocados. This was the second thing we got into at Taqueria el Amigo, after seeing it on the Amigo plate. Good deal! 2 is good for a very light dinner or light lunch!
Amigo Plate – $7.50: This comes with one taco, one quesadilla and one tostada, with rice and beans. You can choose two different meats for your taco/quesadilla/tostada, but sometimes they will allow three different meats, depending on who is in the kitchen. Good deal nonetheless!
Taquitos Dorados – $7.50: You can only get this in carne asada, al pastor, carnitas or pollo; no lengua or cabeza (oh no!) Anyway, these are deep fried tacos topped with iceberg lettuce, onions, tomato and avocados. The crunch is really great, but it would be even better if they can make it with lengua or cabeza. I’ve asked, and they’ve declined, but I hope they would consider cabeza taquitos one day!
Chimichanga – $6 (Small)/$8 (Large): I have no idea why this is considered a chimichanga. It is nothing like any other chimichangas I know, because it is really a massive quesadilla! There’s meat, veggies and cheese in it, just like a quesadilla. It’s also far from deep fried, hence definitely NOT a chimichanga!
Here’s our table when we brought my parents to Taqueria el Amigo. They didn’t like it, but I think it’s all a matter of taste, and this cuisine is just too far off the cliff from Asian foods for them to appreciate it. Too bad! 😦
Ahhh… The best tacos ever! Yums!
Taqueria El Amigo
Address: 196 Willow St
Waltham, MA 02453
Hours: M – Sa | 10 am – 10 pm
Su | closed
Price: $ ($0 – $10 per person)