4273 American Way
When we went to Maharaja Cafe, it was impossible not to notice the man grilling tacos on the sidewalk just down the way. Having just completely stuffed ourselves, we couldn't eat even a taquito, but we vowed to go back.
After the Rock-n-Romp at Mud Island we were starved (despite gorging on free Central BBQ). Well, three out of four of were starved. One of us was asleep. Jiro played non-stop at the RnR and conked out in the car. I carried him in and he spent most of the meal asleep in my lap. I was finally able to balance his head on the wall at the end. (He didn't wake up until we were home!)
So please keep in mind that all of the pictures and notes from this meal were scribbled/shot with a 50 pound monkey asleep in my lap!
Ok, here's the deal. The dude grilling on the sidewalk is affiliated with the restaurant Tacos Borolas just a window away. You can walk up and order tacos and dress them yourself out on the sidewalk or you can go sit inside the restaurant and order them from the waitress and then dress them yourself. Inside you can also order off of the menu, which has a few other items in addition to tacos.
I wanted to order on the sidewalk, but since I was in charge of the aforementioned 50 pound monkey, we opted to sit inside. I had so hoped we'd finally get a chance to cool off since we'd been outside all day, but alas, either the A/C wasn't working or they were choosing not to use it.
I really thought that I was going to have to leave (and go to the Maharaja!) but the sweet waitress and my husband who was dead set on eating tacos convinced me to tough it out.
There were no free chips and salsa, nor were there any on the menu to pay for. Ditto on the cheese dip. Satchel wasn't happy about this and was too hungry to discuss the available food options. Again, our lovely waitress saved the day.
For whatever reason, Satchel did not think he wanted a taco. (He loves tacos.) The waitress suggested a quesadilla, and for whatever reason, Satchel said that sounded good to him. (He never eats quesadillas!) I asked for it with beef and cheese. He and Warren also got a fruit punch and a horchata. I stuck with water. (I don't think they had beer, but maybe?)
Next, assuming Jiro would wake up at some point, I ordered him some chicken flautas with rice and beans. Then for myself, I went hog wild. I ordered one shrimp taco from the kitchen, a ceviche tostada from the kitchen, and a beef taco from the grill.
Warren ordered three tacos. One spicy pork, one tripe, and one tongue. Really. There was a station with cilantro, onions, lime, radishes, and three salsas where you could dress your own tacos. I had to send my food with Warren to get dressed since, like I may have mentioned, I had a 50 pound monkey asleep in my lap!
The salsas were really good, one was super spicy, and we liked the unexpected addition of the radishes. Satchel's quesadilla came out with just cheese and was a little boring compared to what Warren and I had. I tried interesting him in the flautas that Jiro didn't care to wake up for, but he had his eyes on our tacos. I let him have a few shrimp and then he sampled all of Warren's (weird) meats.
Then I sat in amazement and listened to my eight-year-old say, "Beef tongue is delicious."
What choice did I have but to order him his own? When it came out (and they come out quick), he took a bite and said, "Oh, that's not the same." Turns out he liked the spicy pork the best, but that did not stop him from eating the beef tongue taco. Once he was done, he ordered a spicy pork taco. Warren got another taco too. (Four seems to be the magic number for a meal.) I went ahead and ate half of Jiro's flautas. Warren and Satchel helped me polish them off along with the beans and rice.
Then Satchel said, "I'm almost stuffed." Followed by, "I want to get stuffed."
So we ordered him another taco.
Not surprisingly, at this rate, all of the $1.75 tacos added up. I think we got out of there owing about $30. But it was totally worth it. The people were really sweet and accommodating, the food was good and fast, and it was a new and different dining experience. Next time, I will not wear the kids out before we go so we can stand on the sidewalk and pretend that we are in Mexico.