Home > Restaurants > Malena’s Taco Shop – 6/25/11

Malena’s Taco Shop – 6/25/11

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Location: 2010 NW 56th St

Hours:

Tues-Sat: 11am-9pm

Sunday: 12pm-7pm

We needed something quick yet filling for lunch on Saturday since J was headed to a friend’s house for a guys-only afternoon/evening of gaming and drinking. We chose Malena’s Taco Shop mainly for its location and price.

Malena’s is located a block north of Market Street in a spare space that reminds me of a teriyaki joint. Lots of tables. Large menu on the wall. No nonsense service. Authentic but slightly Americanized food. I suppose their primary customers come for the food not the atmosphere.

The Service:

You order, pay (Malena’s only accepts cash and check) and get your drinks at the counter then they will bring your food to you. The woman at the counter was a bit brusque but our order did arrive very quickly.

The Drinks:

J and I ordered fountain drinks.

The Food:

Our meal came with chips and a very good fire-roasted tomato salsa. I also requested a side of guacamole, which was fresh but bland. The only thing in it seemed to be avocado and a bit of cilantro. It definitely needed salt, pepper and some cumin.

J chose the Carne Asada Burrito with guacamole. The burrito was huge, stuffed to the gills with seasoned beef and veggies and wrapped in a homemade tortilla. J told me the ingredients were great but the burrito wasn’t wrapped tight enough so halfway through eating, it fell apart.

I ordered the Steak Fajita Combo, which came with beans, rice, and tortillas. The steak tasted nice with the spicy char I expect from fajitas. The mix of onions and peppers were cooked perfectly, leaving them with a nice crunch. Otherwise, I really wish I could order fajitas without beans and rice. I rarely eat them and the ones at Malena’s were not particularly good. Also, the tortillas, once they cooled off, got very dry and brittle.

The Price:

Fountain Drinks: 2 @ 1.75 ea.

Guacamole: 1.50

Carne Asada Burrito: 7.75

Steak Fajita: 7.00

The Verdict:

Malena’s Taco Shop serves acceptable, cheap Mexican food that is far above the normal fast food options. The ingredients are obviously fresh and reasonably tasty. It’s relatively authentic but obviously slightly Americanized. I think if Malena’s opened now, it would most likely be as an okay taco truck rather than a brick and mortar restaurant.

Frankly, if I’m in the mood for quick Mexican food, I’ll go down the street to the El Camion taco truck where I can get better tasting and more authentic Mexican street food for only a couple of dollars more.

I honestly don’t think we’ll go back to Malena’s Taco Shop. It wasn’t horrible but not really good enough for a return trip.

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