Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Taco Tuesday: 9 Places to Get Tacos in Huntsville, Alabama

Y'all know how much I love tacos, but let me give you a back story. Growing up, I was the pickiest eater in the world.  Tacos were my LEAST favorite food. I HATED them. Like, would-have-went-to-bed-starving-before-I-ate-them hated them.  At some point I loosened up a little and began to love tacos.  But, my kind of tacos were hard shell only (no soft tortillas, EVER), with a little cheese on the bottom, some meat on top of that to melt it, a little more cheese on top of the meat to melt, and taco sauce. That was it. And I thought they were the greatest thing ever! (Typing that out, I am slightly embarrassed).

Anyway, I moved to the Nashville area and began exploring the REAL world of tacos, and boy was I missing out! Y'all know how much I love a good street taco now. I once wondered what reminded people of me, and when four people shared taco-related links with me on Facebook all within less than a week, I figured it out! Tacos!

During my time in Huntsville, I made it a point to seek out some great taco places that I wanted to share!

1. Local Taco 4/5 ★

They also have this in Nashville!  I love the taco toppings here.  They're definitely a far cry from authentic tacos, but good nonetheless. Pictured is the Alabama white taco (smoked chicken, cole slaw, Alabama white sauce) and the Local Brisket taco (brisket, lettuce, pico).

2. Taqueria El Cazador 5/5 ★

I was really excited to find that El Cazador has a food truck pretty close to our house! The tacos are delicious AND inexpensive!  I always get the #1, which is four tacos for $5.  Thus far, I've tried the chicken, steak, and spicy pork and absolutely loved them all.  El Cazador also offers other Mexican entrees, but I can never stray away from the tacos! They also have like 4-5 different locations!

3. Straight to Ale Brewing 5/5 ★

Y'all, these are not "authentic" tacos AT ALL, but they're SO GOOD!  The tacos pictured are Jerk Chicken Tacos (chicken, cabbage slaw, queso blanco, avacado sauce, jerk sauce, cilantro), but they also have Kimche Pork tacos.  Straight to Ale is NOT a Mexican restaurant; it is a local brewery that offers a variety of beers brewed on site, as well as whiskey, gin, rum, and vodka that is distilled in-house.

4. Soho's Kitchen 4/5 ★

Soho's Kitchen expanded recently from a Mexican restaurant into a Mexican/Asian restaurant, which sounds kind of odd, but it totally works. They have three different types of tacos: street tacos (corn tortilla, meat, cilantro, cabbage, onion), SoHo tacos (corn tortilla, meat, carmelized onion, roasted poblano, queso, cilantro, secret sauce, chives) and fish tacos (fish or shrimp, spicy slaw, cilantro, mayo sriracha, corn tortilla), with a variety of meat choices including ham, chorizo, spicy pork, chicken, steak and mushrooms for the non-meateater.  They also offer wraps, soups, burritos, and specialty plates.  Its this tiny little drive through with a small picnic table out front, so while you can't get a sit-down meal here, its great for pick up on your way somewhere.  I tried the chipotle chicken street taco and the spicy pork SoHo taco, both of which were good!  The pork wasn't nearly as spicy as I would like, and it lacked a little in flavor, but the chipotle chicken was delicious!

(Edit: This business recently closed and is being opened up as another Taqueria El Cazador, but I wanted to share the review in case they do re-open as the same business elsewhere in Huntsville in the future.)

5. Fire & Spice 4/5 ★

Fire & Spice started out as a food truck, but now has a brick and mortar location in southeast Huntsville as well. A Tex-Mex restaurant, they serve a variety of tacos, burritos, and other entrees that combined Mexican style foods with Texan style flavors.  Since I went on National Taco Day, they offered a Taco Tuesday special of three mix-n-match tacos (which is also offered on Tuesdays).  I chose The Texan (pulled pork, hot sauce, cheesy, spicy slaw, and BBQ sour cream), an Original Gangsta (pulled pork, hot sauce, cheese, pico, and sour cream), and a Santa Fe (chicken, cheese, roasted corn salsa, roasted poblanos, red onions, and chipotle sauce).  Served with chips and verde salsa, and a Mexican coke, they were all delicious! I loved the spiciness of The Texan and the freshness of the corn salsa.  

6. Azteca Mexicana 2/5 ★

The food here was okay, but the service was not good. I tried three different tacos: chicken, steak, and chorizo. The steak one was good, but the other two were super dry, despite the amount of lime juice I squeezed on them. As we sat eating, we watched the waitresses take turns sitting in a booth with other people (not sure if they were friends or family or what) and play around on their phones, eat, and count tips. Our food was brought out individually over a period of roughly five minutes. I highly doubt I will ever return here.

7. Cantina Laredo 5/5 ★

Though it is a chain, this was my first time at a Cantina Laredo, and it is definitely a place that I will go back to!  I ordered the fajita taco with chicken, pico, cilantro, and an avacado sauce. Y'all these tortillas are amazing.  They're corn tortillas, but THEY DON'T FALL APART! Which means you only need one! There is nothing worse than a restaurant who doesn't double up their corn tortillas so you end up with a plate full of taco toppings because your taco fell apart. Tacos and tortillas aside, the rice was delicious too.  It is rare that I find a Mexican restaurant that doesn't have bland Spanish rice.  It was so good that I was super disappointed when my waiter brought me beans after I ordered extra rice instead.

8. Humphrey's Bar & Grill 4/5 ★

Though we were not impressed with the service here, the tacos were good!  Humphrey's offers a baja taco, containing either blackened fish (tilapia), chicken, shrimp, or pulled pork, with pico, sour cream, lettuce, queso, jalapenos, and pickled red onion.  The only downside with these tacos was that they're on flour tortillas, but that definitely comes down to personal preference.

9. Bandito Burrito 3/5 ★

The street tacos here were pretty average, and though I ordered four, two was plenty for me.  The price was on point, I think it was less than $5 for my four tacos and lemonade. They're located in an area that I probably wouldn't frequent during the night time, which made it even funnier that they had "Ghetto Grape Drank" as a drink option, and a photo of Ice Cube on their ice cube dispenser!

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