If you’re anything like me, sometime in the past month or two you saw a Taconooga sign at this here corner spot across from the Walnut Street Bridge on Frazier Avenue that has been home to loads of various eateries over the years and found your curiosity piqued. Sadly, however, there’s not been much to be found out here in Internetland about just what on earth this here Taconooga thing is. Ain’t it funny though how things like this happen (at least) in threes? El Macho Taco is moving into the old Fork & Pie location on Market Street. Local favorite Taqueria Jalisco is opening a second location in Miller Plaza. To my surprise, I drove by today and found that Taconooga just celebrated their opening day yesterday.
Any way you fold it (LIKE A TACO!), if you’re speaking tacos, you’re speaking my language, brother. The more the merrier. Plus, it’s just downright more convenient to have a spot on the north shore for some tacos, since I have more of a tendency to find my keister there than the heart of downtown or the south side.
You can find the full menu(s) on their web site. As you can tell, there are some things on the more adventurous/interesting side, which, honestly, is more what I lean towards, but this time I went rather plain Jane to get a feel for what their basics are like. I look forward to branching out and experiencing more of the menu, but this time I got a good old Mexican Coke, three tacos (left to right: carne asada, al pastor, and picadillo), and some Mexican street corn.
The tacos were all good, but the al pastor had the best flavor, in my opinion. As you can see, they are all “Mexican style” with a big helping of cilantro and onion on corn tortillas and some limes for squeezing. The fresh corn tortillas are definitely worth noting. Also, I’m big on salsas and sauces, so I threw some of their house salsa on there too. That made it, if you ask me. Solid salsa. I was told there is a tomatillo salsa and a habanero salsa as well, which I look forward to trying, but I kept with the “plain Jane” concept this go-’round.
The Mexican Street Corn came in a cup, which was a big surprise to me. It was sort of layered, like a sundae. Good flavor, so I can’t complain too much, but the menu says it’s available on or off the cob. I prefer mine on the cob. No one asked. I kind of figured on the cob would be the default, but maybe that was my mistake. Again, the flavor was still good, and, actually, having it off the cob made it easy to put on the tacos, which was an inspired tasty little random idear.
The one thing I found in this trip that I am a little conflicted on is this: for all of the surprising diversity in the menu (there is really a lot more to it than I expected), it’s a little disappointing to not see a decent amount of vegetarian/vegan-friendly options. I know that not everyone caters to that, but, this day and age (and all the more so with this type of cuisine because there are a lot of relatively easy options), it seems a reasonable expectation. Although, admittedly, “traditional” Mexican food doesn’t seem to lean much in favor of veg-heads anyway.
Overall, I like what they’ve done with the place. It’s a nice little unassuming joint. The atmosphere makes me think of White Duck Taco Shop in Asheville, NC, which is easily one of my favorite taco shops I’ve ever been to. I could see hanging out here, which is an important aspect of dining that is maybe less commonly taken into consideration; that social aspect.
There’s a lot more exploration to be had, workin’ my way ’round that menu, so I’ll definitely be back. I suggest you give it a shot as well.