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[Taqueria] La Guanajuatence

La GuanajuatenceUpdate 2/2/13: La Guanajuatence is closed (thanks for the heads up, Deb!)

In a word: Moves a little slower, though that gives you time to savor.

The specs: #0775  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, Isthmus; Facebook, La Guanajuatence on Urbanspoon

Latest La Guanajuatence news and reviews

JM ate the beef and chicken fajitas with an orange Jarritos.
Jennifer ate the enchiladas verde with a margarita.
Nichole ate the huarache al pastor with an horchata.
Toby ate the taco combo with a Negra Modelo.
The bill was about $13/person, plus tip.
Nichole and Toby gave La Guanajuatence an A; JM and Jennifer gave La Guanajuatence an A- (see our grading rubric).

We swung by this place (as the first half of a mystery tour) when it was Taqueria Guanajuato. It was closed for remodeling. As far as we can tell, it opened as La Guanajuatence and, since Isthmus had listed its name as Taqueria Guanajuatence, we assumed maybe they knew something we didn't. So we went in the T's. 

Salsa barThey've brightened up the place. Its best feature now is a fantastic salsa bar. Jennifer had told us about this, and of a magical salsa available there. We weren't disappointed. There were eight choices when we went, from simple jalapeños in vinegar and pico de gallo to a truly fantastic avocado sauce that was creamy, spicy and subtle. The red "extra hot" salsa was also miraculous - it was not painful heat. It was the kind of scovil that sneaks up and opens all the pores in your face while leaving your tastebuds in peace.

MargaritaAs for drinks to quench the heat, sadly the margarita was more mix than not. But the horchata was good and cinnamon-spiked, plus there was a good selection of Jarritos and Mexican bottled beers.

Tacos a la carte are $2.50 or a platter with beans and rice for about $10. They're great.

Taco platter

Likewise, the enchilada dinner is a step above average. Four corn-tortilla-wrapped enchiladas came slathered in a lively green salsa with fresh, cool lime and radish slices, and enough cheese to move flavor but not too much to lose it.

Enchiladas verde

The mixed beef and chicken fajitas were showy, as we figured they would be and were pretty good on a cold night.  That said, one has to eat the bulk as a salad as there are far too few tortillas supplied with the fajitas.  The veggies were well-done.

The huge huarache was a thick oval of masa, patted to about a quarter-inch thick, deep-fried and topped with a fine pork al pastor, iceberg, sad tomatoes (not their fault), crema and cheese. The pastor was good: tender, highly seasoned, with lots of pineapple pieces simmered to the same color as the pork.

FajitasHuarache

BillThe only smudge on our experience was that the service was slow and uncoordinated (we saw at least three different servers), but whatever. It was nice that they brought Dumdums with the check. This is the building where JM learned to love mangoes, so we gave him the mango sucker.

Comments

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Although tamales are only offered on weekends, they are rich, savory and include pork in generous & tender chunks. If you want to experiment with more unusual offerings, try the tongue taco. It was a first for me, and the small grilled pieces of meat tasted more like beef brisket than I ever expected. Still squeamish about menudo, but it is also a weekend-only special.

Horchata IS nicely spiced.

On two visits, service varied from attentive to spacey, but still got food within a reasonable time. Salsa bar also varies from 8+ down to 4.

If it's a big night for international soccer, business is slow until the match ends.

Closed??? Tried to stop twice in past few weeks and not open. Neighborhood friends haven't been able to get phone calls answered: If closed, a bummer.

Very bummed this place closed. Delicious food at really reasonable prices. Now where will I get my taco fix on the west side?

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