We decided to find some authentic Mexican food, and the Taqueria el Antojo was mentioned as a place where the food was very good, at reasonable prices, and we tried it.
Located in a little strip mall at 56th and Orchard in University Place, the Taqueria takes up the entire west end of the strip. The restaurant has a front counter, a massive bar area, and seating for nearly a hundred in the main dining room. There is a large popcorn-style case near the counter, filled with self-serve nacho chips with a variety of sauces nearby. Bathrooms are accessible and spotless.
The menu is expansive, and we ordered three fish tacos at $3.96, three mixed papusas at $6.30, three beef tacos at $3.96, chicken tamales at $5.24, flan at $4.50, one bottle of Mexican Coca- Cola at $3, one Berry Sexy 4 You cocktail at $5.70, and one strawberry margarita at $5.70.
The fish tacos were my first, and the crisp fried fish portions were lightly seasoned and surrounded with fresh shredded cabbage and offered with a variety of sauces. No cheese came with any meal, which I thought was odd, but was reassured that not all Mexican food has cheese. The little street-style beef tacos were loaded with flavorful beef and came with sauces, and the tamale was loaded with shredded chicken and had a generous corn flour coating. The flan was a perfect, soft vanilla egg custard with caramel sauce. It melted in your mouth.
On this day, the three young women who were staffing the place seemed overwhelmed and we had trouble getting our drinks until we were almost ready to leave. Still, the meal was mostly so enjoyable, and the prices so reasonable, that I would recommend the Taqueria for authentic Mexican food.
Enter the strip mall off Orchard or 56th. Be careful parking, since the parking lot is on a gentle hill, and a disabled person might not notice. Large lot, plenty of parking.
IF YOU GO
Taqueria el Antojo
5502 Orchard St. W., University Place
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to midnight
Carolyn Augustine writes the Senior Eats column for Senior Scene.