Kansas City

Tacos off the tourism trail – Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri 2021-09-22 09:00:07 –

6 salsa samplers: house margarita, cochinita pill bil tacos, chips, salsa, tacos naco. // Photo by Zack Baumann

Are you ready for the pandemic silver lining? I have one in my room: a Renaissance devised (but worthy of it) as a taco town in Kansas City.

Locals have been grazing tacos along Southwest Boulevard for decades, but last year Kansas City, Kansas City, Kansas, cleverly branded them as “Taco Rails.” Yoli Tortilleria has opened a new retail store on the West Side, ensuring that the front yard is busy with innovative pop-ups from the taco sling chef. A Brooklyn-based freelancer has declared KC “the true capital of tacos in the United States.” Forbes (For suspicious journalism reasons), and Texas was angry about it (for what was predictable). Torchy’s Tacos, a popular Austin-based chain, has entered the metro market. Chef JBBQ has launched the enviable Brisket and Barbacoa tacos at West Bottoms. In-A-Tub is … still there.

Thank you.

In honor of our fast-growing reputation, this month I tried tacos in three new locations, well off the KCK Tourism Board trails. They are all opened during a pandemic, they are all on the south mile of the boulevard, and they all use locally made tortillas. Also, don’t let this get in the way. They all sell tacos over $ 2. Some of them sell tacos for almost $ 4.

This is fine. Sounds good.

There was a time in my life that adopted the myth that “real” tacos had to be simple and cheap and had to be served in Styrofoam. Tortilla made from commercial corn.

Tacos under $ 2 still have a place in my heart (and on my lunch plate). However, I’ve recently become more aware that taco stands are making sacrifices to keep costs down, with some food and food categories becoming “higher” and others “cheap”. I’m skeptical about why I stay.

We are now the capital of tacos. There are all kinds of spaces. Moreover, after all, “Is this the real thing?” Is not a very interesting question. I recommend: “Is this something good?”

Octopus Octopus Cacao Pitch 20210815198

Tacos Nako salsa, egg tacos and black beans. // Photo by Zack Baumann

Taconako KC Market & Takeria

Great tacos aren’t always compatible with chips and margs, but Overland Park’s tacos have managed to strike a balance between the tastes of the Mexican region and nods to customers who love Calmex and Tex-Mex. I am.

It’s hard to blame chef Fernanda Reyes and her husband and co-owner Brian Goldman for listening to the locals. The pair undertook intermittent catering work and pop-ups in 2019, but was successful in 2020 when they launched tacos (later Margarita mixes and meal kits) at the Overland Park Farmers Market.

The pair opened a physical store Naco on the 82nd of this year at the Metcalf strip mall, and the taco stand and the market have definitely been busy since then (don’t worry; the line moves as fast as a cook). increase). From walls with salmon and azure accents to altars of snake plants to cute cucumber ornaments stabbed with the Mexican flag’s toe, the space is filled with friendly touches and cartoon colors.

All tacos here use the excellent Yoli corn tortillas and all cost $ 3.75 (three on Tuesday for $ 9). The best pork choice is Cochiny Tapiville, which is a slow-cooked pork shoulder with banana leaves marinated in a blend of annatto paste and bitter orange.

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Tacos Nako’s house Margarita. // Photo by Zack Baumann

The finely chopped pork in my tacos was tender and moist and flavorful enough not to require the heavy rain of Chipotle’s aioli. I liked brisket barbacoa with aioli and lean meat with velvety richness (balanced with spicy onion pickles). I loved the mushroom Mogra Tacos (one of the two vegan options here). However, the mole has a flat taste and adds a touch of sweetness to the soil mushrooms. For now, I stick to meat.

If you want to relax here, order a king-sized margarita. The restaurant serves plastic pint cups with tajine and chamoi lipstick rims. The classic Lime Margarita ($ 9, happy hour) had a good balance of tart and sweet and had a fresh taste. Simply grab one on a sunny patio and graze in a quarter-sheet pot of fresh tacosnaco tortilla chips for a good time. All guacamole and salsa orders contain enough chips to catch a small bear during hibernation.

The 6 Salsa Sampler ($ 5) is a good way to try them all, but the restaurant also sells 8 ounces of individual sauce. If you’re going that route, we recommend creamy jalapeno (avocado and cool contradiction, meandering, sneaking fever) or tomatillo (astroturf green, botanical and mild).

Reyes says he made salsamacha in the traditional way of Bella Kurzana. It has less blended sauce than chili oil and has a layer of peanut and arbol deposits. When that version didn’t sell, she started using peanut butter (and blended it). “Some people, and more people here in Overland Park, don’t want to see a lot of oil.” The version I tried tasted strangely like roasted veggie cream cheese. ,It is a pity.

The Tex-Mex salsa was also decided by the customer’s taste. This is one of the restaurant salsa that uses canned tomatoes and is one of the mild enough salsa for goldfish to swim. Normal ketchup-flavored salsa. Reyes laughs. “I don’t know how to say” no “to the customer. “

Reyes has a good culinary instinct, and Tacos Nako may continue to improve as she and Goldman refine where they adapt and where they stick to guns and guts. For now, the restaurant is already an uplifting dining and shopping place, with tacos worth a drive for the central inhabitants of the city.

South of Summit Pitch 2021081642

Cheese curd tacos from the south of the summit, house cocktails, machete quesadillas, spicy hikama coleslaw. // Photo by Zack Baumann

South of Summit Takelia & Tequila

South of the summit had enough time to set foot below it. Wald’s hangout opened in February 2020 next to its sister restaurant, Summit Grill. But the tacos here suggest that the kitchen is still solving some twists.

The menu, developed by restaurant owners Andy Lock, Domhnall Molloy and Po Wang, has a small number of entrees (burritos, taco salad), but the main focus is on tacos. When the South of Summit first opened, it advertised “made from scratch” corn tortillas, but the restaurant then switched to using Yoli corn tortillas (soon, Kansas City was all from Yoli Masa). Will be made). I probably ate hundreds of tacos at Yoli tortillas at this point, and they rarely blow their bottoms. Here, four different tacos are open to me.

Part of the problem was that almost all tacos were so overloaded that they looked like floppy tostadas. Barbacoa tacos ($ 3.50) were loaded with slowly roasted beef sandwiches. The Alpastor octopus ($ 3.25) (here, skewered pork) had a tough pile of meat dripping with Annatto red oil. The marinated pineapple added a refreshing acidity, but the pork itself tasted dull. And the bargain for the Queen of Size, Chicken Tingatacos ($ 3), was almost impossible to eat without a knife and fork.

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Erote in the south of the summit. // Photo by Zack Baumann

I was lucky with the fried cheese curd tacos ($ 3.75). The cards were prepared products — South of the Summit does not pan them in-house — but they were crispy and elegantly topped with creamy and spicy Jicama coleslaw. And the chorizo ​​verde ($ 3.25) was my favorite among the tacos I tried. Homemade salsa verde brought a gentle heat wash to a uniform blend of chorizo, crispy potatoes and scrambled eggs of small tofu.

The cramped ocean blue dining room is energetic at best and, at worst, enthusiastic. The open kitchen and galley orientation fill the front door with your body during peak hours. The small courtyard between the taco stand and the summit grill is a quiet place to sit and have a light meal with potato chips and dips.

Indeed, the salsaroha that comes with the pre-dinner tip basket is as spicy as a recorder concert (Tacosnaco needs to send ketchup fans here). However, guacamole ($ 7.75; half the price of happy hour) is well seasoned, with avocado chunks and spicy snaps of sliced ​​serrano.

South of the summit has good ideas and good material, but no implementation at all. If they dial back their stuffing (and dial up their flavors), I’ll be back.

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Octopus cacao truck. // Photo by Zack Baumann

Taco cacao

When Alfonso Esqueda, co-owner of Cacao Restaurante, opened Taco Cacao in January this year, it felt like Hale Mary. “At COVID, we this The restaurant is about to close, “he tells me. “We had to do something different to survive.”

“Something different” meant something casual. A small taco truck that can be ordered online and has semi-permanent residence at 79 and Warnal. If the line outside the trailer on weekday nights is any sign, Esqueda and Cacao will make it.

The tacos here are small and simple, with minimal decoration to make the meat shine. They do. Red pork cochiny tacos ($ 2.25) are a must. The rosy pork mass became slightly overgrown when slowly steamed with banana leaves, soft enough to threaten the state of known matter. The Asada Tacos ($ 2.25) steak cube was soft, spiced and rounded with slices of grilled onions and sprinkled with coriander.

Most tacos are served in two locally made corn tortillas. The double stack process helps the tacos move well on the surface. Tacos Cacao has a small picnic table, but most diners take their orders home. I don’t know if cocoa needs taco insurance. We shipped the taco family pack for 20 minutes and the stuffing did not break the first layer.

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Takosuka Kao’s Bilia Tacos, Asada Tacos, Beef Burritos. // Photo by Zack Baumann

The only single-layer taco is Birria ($ 2.25). A soft, greasy beef mauser wrapped in a single corn tortilla polished to turmeric gold with consomme. Even with the consomme, the tacos kept their shape. If you can pull yourself away from Cochinita, this is definitely a second choice.

A greater appetite may prefer a sushi-sliced ​​burrito ($ 6.99) to share with friends in Midwestern violence. The burritos are stuffed with meat, beans, rice and chipotle mayonnaise, and the flat top is bronze to add a bit of flavor and structure. If you can’t wait to get home, it’s tidy enough to eat with one hand while driving.

Esqueda recently opened a second trailer on the 75th and State Lines and installed a tropo for pork al pasters. Currently, he rents it out primarily for events and private parties, but if demand remains high, he may join a permanent fleet.I think it will be: taco cacao may be the most A consistent taco spot that will open this year.

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