El Taco Riendo's tacos: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 21

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Mo Perry
If only all fast food were this fresh
With the burgeoning local food truck scene, the Twin Cities may finally be catching up to other parts of the country, where Chipotle is far down the list of places to go for fresh, quick, authentically Mexican tacos. But even in the dead of winter, when all those trucks are tucked away in frigid garage stalls, El Taco Riendo is bringing the delicacies to our taco-starved population. Its name translates as "the Laughing Taco," and if the tacos themselves aren't laughing, you surely will be after discovering the joyful, affordable, delicious snacks being churned out on Central Avenue.


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Mo Perry
The serving line is chock full of options for taco fillings, ranging from a simple vegetarian combo of rice and beans (their refried pinto beans are made without lard, making them vegetarian friendly) to an ambitious array of 12 meats such as beef tongue, carnitas, steak, and three chicken options of various heat levels. The corn tortillas are slapped right on the grill as you order, and then you simply point to the fillings you want and watch as the goodness assembles before your eyes.
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Mo Perry
At $2 a pop, it's tempting to load up on tacos, but they are so generously filled, so impressively flavorful and robust that we are often satisfied with just a couple. Miguel, the owner, is always manning the register, greeting his regulars by name and emitting such jolliness and goodwill that it's hard to tell if the pleasant warmth in your tummy is from the food or the atmosphere of the little shop. The delicious mystery will keep you coming back again and again.

El Taco Riendo
2416 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis
612.781.3000
El Taco Riendo's website

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 22: Broders' fresh pasta
No. 23: Burger Jones' salted caramel shake
No. 24: Rinata's eggplant involtini
No. 25: Smack Shack's lobster roll
No. 26: Moto-i's steamed hoisin pork buns
No. 27: The Happy Gnome's MN game burger
No. 28: Patisserie Margo's zuppa englese torte
No. 29: Heartland's Kansas City strip steak
No. 30: Tum Rup Thai's Mee Kah Teeh
No. 31: Dolsot Bibimbap at Dong Yang Oriental Food
No. 32: Piccolo's Scrambled Eggs with Pig's feet
No. 33: Meritage's pommes frites
No. 34: Travail's Fried Chicken
No. 35: Hmong Village's stuffed chicken wings
No. 36: Cafe Maude's Now You Know
No. 37: Urban Eatery's Asian pork sliders
No. 38: Isles Bun & Coffee's puppy dog tails
No. 39: Surdyk's Flight's chicken báhn mì
No. 40: Sunny Side Up Cafe's Santa Fe Railroad French Toast
No. 41: Szechuan Spice's chicken with double chili pepper
No. 42: Dancing Ganesha's Chicken 65
No. 43: Bradstreet's Black Walnut Old Fashioned
No. 44: Wakame Bistro's Crazy Lobster Roll
No. 45: Brit's Pub Scotch Eggs
No. 46: Peninsula's chili tofu
No. 47: Annona Gourmet's balsamic vinegars
No. 48: Cocina del Barrio's jalapeño poppers
No. 49: Papa's Philly Cheesesteak
No. 50: Swede Hollow Cafe's caramel roll
No. 51: Thomasina's cashew brittle
No. 52: Patisserie 46's Rory Cake
No. 53: Il Gatto's Ravanelli
No. 54: Mandarin Kitchen's seafood and tofu hotpot
No. 55: The Inn's Polish Delight cocktail
No. 56: Gopher Bar's Coney Island dog
No. 57: Holy Land's hummus tahini
No. 58: The Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta
No. 59: On's Thai Kitchen Nam Thok
No. 60: Flamingo Restaurant's vegetarian combo
No. 61: Sea Change's Brioche Pain Perdu
No. 62: Haute Dish's "Steak & Eggs"
No. 63: Tremblay's Sweet Shop salt water taffy
No. 64: Bars Bakery's Turtle Bar
No. 65: Pizzeria Lola's Lady ZaZa Pizza
No. 66: In Season's fried oysters
No. 67: Cave Vin's steak frites
No. 68: Everest on Grand's cabbage and potatoes
No. 70: Surly Coffee Bender
No. 71: Quang's bun tom xao
No. 72: YoYo Donuts' maple bacon doughnut
No. 73: Cupcake's mini cupcakes
No. 74: Willy D's ribs
No. 75: Salsa a la Salsa's Fried Chocolate Truffles
No. 76: Anodyne's Artichoke Melt
No. 77: Origami's steamed duck
No. 78: B.T. McElrath's Salty Dog bar
No. 79: Mozza Mia's house-made limoncello
No. 80: Salty Tart Bakery's pastry cream-filled brioche
No. 81: Little Szechuan's bamboo tips with chili sauce
No. 82: Oceanaire's Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
No. 83: Aperitif's Nonni's Meatballs
No. 84: Christos's Saganaki
No. 85: Seven Stars' Sesame Bagel
No. 86: Hell's Kitchen Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes
No. 87: Blackbird banh mi
No. 88: Tank Goodness chocolate chip cookies
No. 89: Sole Cafe's gal bee
No. 90: Porter & Frye's El Pelon
No. 91: Coffee News' fish and chips
No. 92: Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bar
No. 93: People's Organic Panna Cotta
No. 94: Sea Salt Eatery Crawdad Po' Boy
No. 95: Fuji Ya's Tofu Don
No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary
No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza
No. 98: Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie
No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato
No. 100: Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes



 


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