Friday, April 20, 2012

Street tacos in KC

After many failed attempts to find street tacos in a town that is dominated by tacos that more closely resemble deep fried crap covered in cheddar cheese than they do tacos. I came across Ricos Tacos Lupe. It is marvelous! It is a little slice of Mexico here in Kansas City. The tacos (and other food) are actually made on a cart that is behind a fence looking structure in the front of the restaurant. The TV in the back is always tuned into Univision (that is when a soccer match is not on), there is a giant Chivas Guadalajara flag on the wall, and the menu is in both Spanish and English. This is one of the most unassuming places that I have ever eaten in my life, and I wouldn't have it any other way. There it is, off to the right in the Google street view image shown below, the orange store front with bars on the window.

More important than the atmosphere is the food. They bring you chips and a traditional tomato based salsa when you sit down. There are also two other varieties of salsa on the table in diner style condiment containers, a salsa verde (my favorite) and a chipotle pepper based salsa (my wife's favorite), I recommend eating your chips with these salsas over the salsa provided in the bowl. That being said, the bowl salsa has improved quite a bit in the time that we have been going to Ricos. Their big hits are the street tacos, burritos, and tortas (a traditional Mexican sandwich). The taco/burrito meat options are: carne asada (pictured to the right), pollo (chicken), carnitas, cabeza, chorizo, al pastor, and tripas. The carne is always my go to option, if you cant make up your mind, just go with the carne. The chicken is solid. The carnitas (Mexican shredded pork) are always very juicy and flavorful, they are my wife's favorite. The cabeza (which translated literally means "head", but is beef cheek meat) is my personal favorite meat when prepared correctly. Sometimes the cabeza meat is a little fatty but if you get a good cut, it is amazing. The chorizo has great flavor, but a little greasy for my taste, its spiced just perfectly and not TOO spicy. The al pastor is sort of like a Mexican gyro that is made of pork, to those that have never tried it. Every time I try to order the tripas and relive my trip to Mexico, they are out, but I will keep ordering it until I get it. The tacos are perfectly sized (not too small and not too large) and come on corn tortillas with cilantro and onions, just like they would on the street in Mexico. The tortillas are made in house and taste great, however sometimes the tortillas beneath the tacos can get a little soggy if you don't eat them fast enough. The burritos are nearly the size of a Chipotle burrito and come in a flour tortilla. I recommend squeezing that lime slice that comes with your tacos and adding some salsa verde, then chowing down.

You can find me at Ricos on most Tuesdays and even a good number of Thursdays with a group of friends and a 12 pack of Modelo. That is right, nothing goes with the 1$ Taco Tuesday special or the 2$ Burrito Thursday special than the Mexican beer of your choice that you can pick up across the street at Royal Liquors and bring in with you. It should also be noted that Ricos is a cash only establishment, so make sure to bring a whole 10$ bill to pay for you and your date after cash and tip (you may even have enough left over to buy a losing lottery ticket if you take a skinny date). Ricos Tacos Lupe on Urbanspoon

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