There’s only one thing Oklahomans like more than tacos and that’s arguing about which tacos count as real tacos. We are a very messed up state.
But we all knew that. What we don’t know are where all of those delicious tacos are hiding. Yeah, you can hit up any number of fast food joints or sit-down Tex-Mex restaurants for your tacos and that’s great. Have at it.
That said, Oklahoma City is littered with honest-to-food-blog taquerias making the kinds of tacos that those other places are trying and failing to replicate. And, because I’m the duly elected representative of this here website, it’s my job to help you find them.
Usually I have companions for this sort of thing, like I’m some kind of fat, non-immortal Timelord who uses a 2009 Camry instead of a TARDIS, but everyone is busy with “jobs” or some such nonsense.
So, here it is: The New OKC Taco Tour (Part 3)
FIRST STOP: Taqueria Sanchez
4011 NW 10th St., OKC
Daily 10 a.m.-Midnight
Speaking of the TARDIS, this bright blue taco truck traveled through space and time to bring OKC some of the finest tacos and burritos. Taqueria Sanchez is a favorite for anyone who love tiny tacos full of decadently fatty meats. I actually did take a friend with me on this one, the one and only @libraniac, and she up and told me she’s a vegetarian.
My mind was blown, not so much by that revelation as it was by how immediately accommodating the people on the truck were. They whipped up a rice, bean and pickled veggie taco platter for her in no time flat.
The asada tacos were tasty, but I was more taken with the ham torta, which is a straight up massive ham sandwich, and the barbacoa mulita — a pair of tortillas stuffed with barbacoa and cheese and griddled crisp. Do yourself several favors and go to Sanchez ASAP.
SECOND STOP: Los Arados Taqueria y Cenadoria
5201 S. Western Ave., OKC
Daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Mexico is a huge country, guys. It has cows and pigs and chickens, but also plenty of shoreline with fish and shrimp and other seafood. That’s the main thrust of the menu at Los Arados, where I had three truly delightful version of shrimp tacos.
The “plain” shrimp taco included fried shrimp and a mix of lettuce and diced onion. Hit it with a little red sauce to liven it up, but even plain or with a little squeeze of lime it was a delight.
The governador taco is covered in melted cheese and butter and topped with a ton of diced shrimp. Wowowowowowow. This thing is decadent to the extreme. I could have eaten several more of these, barring some kind of butter-induced heart failure.
The very kind server tried to dissuade me several times from the diablo taco, which is shrimp and cheese stuffed inside a couple of hot sauce-soaked tortillas, which are then griddled to a nice char. You will need a knife and fork here. And while the spice is for real, it’s not intolerable. Who knows? Maybe they dialed it down for the gringo, but I found the slow-building heat pretty great.
THIRD STOP: La Tropicana Tacos y Mas
3903 S. Western Ave., OKC
Daily 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
Tropicana moved from SW 29th St. into some much nicer digs with some much more regular hours. Don’t worry, nightowls — Tropicana is still open after midnight.
I was pleased to discover pupusas on the menu. Pupusas are like fat tortillas stuffed with beans or meat or cheese (sometimes all three) and then griddled to a warm crisp. I got the bean and cheese pupusa and, while I loved the taste of the fried dough, it definitely was better with some hot sauce on top.
The asada taco here was good, but the al pastor was the true champion. Big chunks of bronzed pork had definitely spent some time crisping on the grill, which gave the taco a delightful charred flavor. Again, I like a splash of lime and hot sauce — al pastor can be a tad dry — but it was quite good regardless.