So far in our travels around the west coast of the US, Iron Man, Miss L and I have eaten a lot of Mexican. However, I still wasn't feeling particularly satisfied that we'd eaten Mexican food that Mexicans would eat, so we really wanted to try Taqueria Pico de Gallo (TPdG). I'd read that their specialities were tacos filled with cabeza, barbacoa and lengua.
I like Mexican food (my favourite after Malaysian), but I wasn’t familiar with these terms, except for lengua, which is just tongue. So, on to Wikipedia I go and learnt that cabeza and barbacoa are stews made from the meat of a cow’s head (and I believe Iron Man had eaten a cow’s head stew at a different Mexican restaurant the previous night; unfortunately, we weren’t armed with the camera and so we didn’t review the other Mexican restaurant).
On our way to the Titan missile museum, we stopped in at TPdG for lunch. And, again, like many of the excellent Mexican eating places we’ve been to so far, TPdG is unassuming and appears to be located in the rough end of Tucson (we saw quite a few homeless men near the freeway off ramp).
Service is minimal; order and pay at the counter, find a table and wait for your order to be called out (yes, we tend to like to frequent these types of eating joints, but that’s because they're more likely to have a wider range of dishes with more intense flavors and different textures.).
On our visit, there weren’t too many diners as it was close to 2pm, and so, we were able to get a table. Iron Man ordered the cabeza and fish taco, Miss L selected the lengua (her favourite) and chicken taco and I wimped out on the fish taco.
Iron Man really liked his cabeza taco saying that the meat was very flavorsome. It had a real “wow” factor. In fact, he liked it so much that he wanted to return here for lunch the next day (but our itinerary didn’t allow us the time for another visit).
I didn’t try the cabeza taco, knowing what it is, but I did try the lengua taco. I’ve tried lengua twice before and found the texture off-putting, but TPdG cooked their lengua so well that it had the texture of meat from the main parts of an animal’s carcass, just a little stronger tasting; believe it or not, I found myself actually liking lengua.
As for my fish taco, it was nice; fresh and light, even though the fish had been crumbed and deep fried. I thought the taco shell was only okay as I prefer them thinner than TPdG’s thicker style taco. Iron Man preferred the thicker taco as he found the easier to eat that the thin ones that tend to fall apart.
I tried a little bit of Miss L’s chicken taco and found the chicken to be nicely seasoned and, again, tasted fresh.
Iron Man also had Mexican Coke – this is official Coke but made in Mexico with different sweetener and in a more traditional bottle. However, he wasn’t an experienced enough Coke drinker to tell the difference.
The taco fillings at Taqueria Pico de Gallo are light and fresh tasting and they will be one of the few places that I would be willing to order lengua. And, even though Iron Man really enjoyed his meal here, I found it to be only okay. The tacos I tried were nice, but not “wow”. Though Iron Man believes that I might have felt differently had been willing to try the cabeza.
Food – 7
Service - 6
Ambience – 6
Price – 9
2618 S 6th Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85713
Ph: 520 623 8775