La Flama: A Review

When I first moved to Tulsa, I lived off of 11th and Lewis, in the converted attic of a duplex with my best friends in the whole world. Though we occasionally had to bunk with raccoons, snakes, stray dogs, stray boyfriends, and mountain lion cubs, the world was ours and we had the time of our lives.  We have all since then moved from the area, but on occasion sentiment draws us back to our old stomping grounds.  Recently, Shawn and I were on a routine taco forage.  We were heading to where it all began, Tacos Fiesta Mexicana, a taco truck icon and my taco truck first.  When we arrived at 11th and Lewis, Tacos Fiesta Mexicana was up and gone.  My heart sank.  I feared the worst.  About this time it dawned on me that Tacos Fiesta Mexicana was in fact a functioning truck and by definition mobile.  Tacos Fiesta Mexicana is still alive and well.   I worried for nothing.  

Still hungry Shawn and continued up 11th to find a new love…La Flama.  

La Flama:  A Taco Review

Location:  2603 E 11th St Tulsa, OK 74104…They also have a mother location at 1122 E 61st St, Tulsa, OK 74136  

How Much?:  1.50 a taco.  

Sketch Factor:  The shop front is unassuming and this gem of a taco shop is hidden in a shopping center stuffed with ethnic delights.  Despite a mystery puddle in the men’s room and few missing ceiling tiles, this place was legit.  Warm, welcoming, and just what the doctor ordered.

The Goods:  We ordered carne asada tacos and pastor tacos…they were good.  Real good.  Fat, flavorful, and fun.  The meat was well seasoned and grilled to crisp perfection.  I was happy to see a pineapple garnish on the pastor tacos, but the pineapple was from a can and as such was nothing more than a throw away.  Overall, the tacos were top notch.  La Flama is now a permanent fixture on my taco radar.    

So, let’s talk about the salsa.  We were presented with two options: a questionable, milky salsa verde and a more intriguing salsa rojo.  We were warned about the aggressive spiciness of the salsa rojo.  I scoffed, confident that I could hang with the big boys when it came to spicy.  Big mistake…huge!!!  The salsa was f-ing hot.  My generous application and subsequent ingestion was regrettable.  Let’s just say I was grateful to have a cold beer nearby.

If this taco were human?  John Candy…refer to the aforementioned taco description.    

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Pollos Asados Al Carbon: A Taco Truck Review

A fellow taco lover recently recommended this truck to me. I vaguely knew of it’s existence, but embarrassingly had not yet tried it. I already frequent this intersection often to visit Calaveras Mexican Grill. This corner of Tulsa is referred to as the Kendall- Whittier neighborhood and I have to say that Kendall-Whittier has become one of my favorite areas to visit. I do stress the word VISIT. Unfortunately, K-W isn’t the type of neighborhood to take an evening stroll in or an alone daytime stroll for that matter. This fact is evident in the barbed wire fence that is surrounding the Pollos Asados Al Carbon Taco Truck. Despite the high sketch factor, this intersection has all the offerings an eclectic lady like myself looks for.

Click this map for a link to a newspaper article about the K-W neighborhood and read the comments for a righteous rant.
Click this map for a link to a newspaper article about the K-W neighborhood and read the comments for a righteous rant.

Ziegler’s– Top notch frame shop, art store and art supply shop… it just keeps going.

Circle Cinema– Fun independent movie theater

Jo and June– Darling little vintage and t-shirt shop

Calaveras Mexican Grill– Yum

Pancho Anaya Bakery– Traditional Mexican pastries with traditional prices… So you can literally fill a lunch tray for just a few dollars.

Pollos Asados Al Carbon– One of my new favorite taco trucks

Pollos Asados Al Carbon Taco Truck hiding behind a closed down coffee shop, an old strip club, a dumpster full of discarded memories.
Pollos Asados Al Carbon Taco Truck hiding behind a closed down coffee shop, an old strip club, and a dumpster full of discarded memories.
Tacos el pastor with creamy salsa verde.
Tacos al pastor with creamy salsa verde.

Pollos Asados Al Carbon:  A Taco Truck Review

Location: 2405 E. Admiral Pl, Tulsa OK 

How much?: $2 a taco

Sketch Factor: Admittedly, the dumpster that I had to pass and the barbed wire fence were off putting, but the service was fast and friendly. There was also some festive music playing and line of charming construction workers ordering tacos on their lunch break.

The Goods: My favorite are tacos al pastor… so that’s what I got. These tacos did not disappoint. They had a great little kick and the salsa verde was killer. It was obvious that the pork had been marinated with the proper amount time of spice and they weren’t greasy. I hate a greasy taco. My only complaint, and this is common, is that there was no pineapple and there should be.

If this taco were human?: It would be Eddie Murphy

 

No but seriously, read the rant in the comments of that newspaper article. Just click the map. Soooo Good.

-SZ

La Hacienda: A Taco Rescue

The life of a 30 something full-time college student is not without its challenges.  Namely, never having enough time to eat breakfast.  Today was no exception.  I ran out of the house, 15 minutes late, with only a coffee to fill my empty stomach and fuel my mind for the rigorous day ahead.  I knew at the time, substituting breakfast for caffeine would end badly, but I threw caution to the wind and marched forward.
Surprisingly, skipping breakfast served me well.  The coffee heightened my senses and I found myself engaged in my classwork.  I was crushing life.  That is until about 11:30 when the coffee’s effect lost its efficacy and I began to plummet in the depths of hangriness.  I often suffer from hangriness. It isn’t uncommon for me to do all sorts of terrible things:  cry, laugh while crying, cry about something that makes me laugh.  But, most often I just make terrible food choices.  Anyway, I digress. This was about the time that I was stumbling through my lab final for microbiology. The lab final continued well into my next class period, and my hangriness gained momentum.  I arrived in nutrition class some 30 minutes late unable to focus on anything save my starvation and imminent demise. I waned through nutrition being constantly being reminded about the importance of a balanced diet and what a huge mistake that I had made skipping the most important meal of the day.  Finally, class let out and I used what little mental ability I had left to call in take out order from one of my favorite restaurants, La Hacienda.

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I ordered a round of Pork Gorditas, masa cakes filled with beans and pork shoulder. I have found that when I am in the throws on a hangry episode there are no bounds to the amount of food I can consume.  Each one of theses little fatties is the size of a baseball.
I arrived just a few minutes after ordering and my food was waiting on me.  I paid and quickly hopped back into my car.  The scent of slow cooked pork quickly filled the air and I began to salivate like dog who has just heard the dinner bell ring. The packaging and the messiness of the food that I ordered prevented from eating in the car so I sped home. Once home, things got real.  I tore open the to-go container to reveal the most glorious display Mexican cuisine I had ever beheld.  I wasted no time, in fact I barely got a picture of the Gorditas still intact.  What happened next was a blur.  I lost myself in the rapture of the moment.

Here is what you should know about La Hacienda.  The food is good and the price is right.  The atmosphere is ish… The decor sort of reminds of a vacation bible school set and there is faint smell of fried meat and bleach throughout.  The service is prompt and I have always had a marvelous time there.

La Hacienda saved my life today, and has done so in the past. Their Crispy Beef Tacos, for example, are one of the most effective hangover cures I have ever had the privilege of using. I full heartedly recommend La Hacienda for any authentic Mexican Food lover.

-John


La Hacienda 
4518 S. Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK 74105

Fassler Hall : A Breakfast Taco Review

I like to think that I coined the phrase  “getting fasslerd”, but I’m not sure if that’s true. Nor am I sure if that’s a phrase people use.
Regardless,  I’ve been a fan and a regular of Fassler Hall from the day of their opening in 2010. Fassler’s menu is best known for house made sausages of many flavors. I must mention the duck fat fries cause quite a stir as well.
(may I suggest pairing the fries with the gouda sauce)

Fassler has numerous offerings, but today’s review is all about the taco.

Chorizo Breakfast Taco from Fassler Hall. Onions added.
Chorizo Breakfast Taco from Fassler Hall. Onions added.

 

Location: 304 S. Elgin Ave, Tulsa OK
When can you find this taco?: Brunch! Saturday or Sunday 11-4
How much?: $3 a taco

The Goods: Perfectly spiced homemade chorizo and scrambled egg topped with feta cheese.
When I first heard the ingredients of this taco I questioned the feta cheese, but it works. I also generally frown at a processed, trans fat filled, flour tortilla. That being said, I would not change a thing about this taco. It’s properly balanced and divine.

Taste: Heavenly. The chorizo has a small kick and compliments the mild flavor of scrambled egg. The added feta gives this taco a complexity not expected while sitting on a bar stool eating out of a paper boat. For a nice compliment I suggest pairing with a mimosa. Order a carafe of sparkles and add your favorite juice at the mimosa bar.

If this taco were human?: It would be Jimmy Fallon

Did I mention Fassler Hall has beer? Hence the “getting fasslerd”.

Now try to use “getting fasslerd” in a sentence.
Or in past tense you could say something like “Man. I got so fasslerd last night.”

Supermercado Morales: A Taco Review

Supermercados Morales has been on my rIMG_0144adar for several years now.  I stumbled into the Mexican grocery store, one afternoon,  looking for something for a cookout that I was hosting.  I left that day with delicious marinated steak and all of the necessary fixings for carne asada tacos.  Morales has since been my go to for hard to find Mexican ingredients.  I swung by today, not for groceries, but for lunch.  In addition to pantry staples, Morales is also home to a kick ass taqueria.  Here is the break down:

Location:  Southeast corner of Peoria and I-44

How Much?:  $7.00 and some change for 3 tacos al pastor and 2 pork tamales.

The Goods:  Typical offerings…tacos of all kinds, tortas, quesadillas etc… I took full advantage of the salsa and garnish bar.  Be cautious of the salsa rojo, it ain’t for the timid.
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Sketch Factor:  It had just enough grime to let you know that it was a well frequented joint, but not enough to raise any concerns.

Taste:  Awesome!!!  The pork on my tacos was grilled to crispy perfection and seasoned well.  The tacos came with grilled onions and and a grilled jalapeno and the salsa was wickedly spicy.  These tacos were top notch for sure.  

Was It Worth It:  I generally have a slight feeling of remorse after a good taco binge.  Spicy food has a certain set of side effects that, well…you get the picture.  For these tacos, I will throw caution to the wind and stuff my face any chance that I get.  Totally worth it.

Comments:  My only regret:  I didn’t order a Mexican Coke, a mistake I intend never to repeat.

-John

El Sambrosito: A Taco Review

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Location: Lewis and 87th Street in Tulsa

How much?: $11.50 for 6 tacos and 2 liters of Mexican Coke

The Goods: Typical Offerings including tacos, tortas, burritos and quesadillas

Sketch Factor: Surprisingly low… Actually we found this truck to be quite charming with its festive music and large canopy of trees.

Taste: We ordered both pastor and asada tacos. The pastor tacos won. The asada tacos lacked personality. That said there was plenty of onion and cilantro, which goes a long way in our blog. All in all these were average tacos.

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Was it worth it?: Yes. As taco connoisseurs, we would recommend this truck.

Comments: Not the kind of place that gives you a receipt for your taco blog.