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Last modified on January 21st, 2019 at 11:09 am
There’s nothing quite like a flavorful taco, bulging burrito or loaded, juicy enchilada. In Tucson, there’s certainly no shortage — you’ll find a range of uniquely prepared dishes with origins from various parts of Mexico.
Taqueria el Pueblito, located at Fort Lowell and Campbell, is one such location to find these meals.
Nancy Delgado, the owner’s daughter, explained that her father has been in the restaurant business for about 25 years. He raised their family in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico — which is where he opened his first taqueria.
He always had a passion for cooking and she remembers “growing [up] watching him every time there was a family event or gathering with friends [and] how excited he would get to make different things to eat for everyone to taste.”
“Even before opening his first restaurant […] he always took so much pride [in] people enjoying and liking what he had prepared,” she said.
Taqueria el Pueblito first opened in Mercado San Agustin in Tucson eight years ago.
“It was tough because the place was still virtually unknown and there were no other businesses in the plaza at the time, but we were very excited about the opportunity and were able to make it work.
After our lease expired there, we started looking for a larger space in a high-traffic area and that’s how we came across our current location on Campbell and Fort Lowell,” Delgado said.
Delgado’s deep desire is that their customers will experience a variety of flavors in [the] dishes and salsas.
“We take great pride [in] our quick service because we know many of our customers visit us during lunchtime and have limited time before having to return to work,” she said.
As you enter the taqueria, whose interior is awash with shades of cherry red and avocado green, you will be greeted by the sound of Mexican oldies on the radio. The large menu displays many tacos, burritos, and mixed-plate meal options to choose from.
An assortment of salsas, ranging in flavor from mild to spicy-hot in greens and crimsons, is nestled in the back of the room.
Delgado highly recommends the Barbacoa Grilled Tacos.
“We grill the tacos with the juice of the meat on a flat grill and it gives the tortilla red texture and a very light crispy consistency and everyone seems to love them.
The exquisite taste and smell of the Barbacoa Grilled Tacos always takes me back to [my childhood] visiting Guadalajara, Mexico [which makes] this dish a personal favorite.”
The tacos are topped with a zesty pico de gallo — this fresh contrast cuts the rich, savory flavor of the shredded beef.
Other recommended dishes include the breakfast plate and Zacatecas Burrito — the marriage of carne asada, crispy bacon, and oozing guac is incredible, especially when washed down with horchata — Chicharron en Salsa Roja — it’s spicer than most, you have been warned — Menudo Rojo, Enchiladas with Pollo Asado, and the Carne Asada Burrito.
The red Menudo is only served on the weekend and locals deem it a must. Whether using it to cure a hangover, celebrating a special event or are simply needing a comforting house-made meal, this spicy red tripe soup gets a lot of traffic. It’s a family recipe and the fact that the tripe is cleaned a few times over sets it above the rest.
The Carne Asada Burrito is well-portioned — two large burritos engulf the plate — stuffed with filling, and topped with sour cream, cheddar, and lettuce. The size, price, and tender, juicy nature of the steak make the dish a popular choice.
A burrito filled with rajas con crema is an option that vegetarians will love.
The soft flour shell is stuffed with a mixture of sautéed chili peppers, corn, and onions. It is then mixed with a sauce that reminds one a bit of a creamy southern succotash (minus any lima beans). The burrito is nicely sized and will leave you satiated.
For those with a penchant for naturally sweet and healthy beverages, you have something to look forward to this new year. Taqueria el Pueblito is launching a juice line under the name JugoLicious.
“Our menu will consist of a variety of juices like green juice, carrot, orange, beets, pineapple and also a variety of milkshakes, including banana, strawberry, mango, papaya […],” Delgado said.
Any day of the week, you’ll find a steady stream of customers placing orders before grabbing a seat. So, get your hands on a fresh juice from JugoLicious to sip on while you take it all in.
Taqueria el Pueblito is open from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Sundays.
Taqueria el Pueblito is located at 1800 E. Fort Lowell Rd. For more information, visit taqueriaelpueblito.com or call (520) 339-9336.
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