Since moving to the QC a short one year ago, I’ve discovered a newfound obsession of mine: tacos. Everywhere I go, no matter the type of food, I’m constantly drawn to all the things people manage to fit on top of a tortilla. Doesn’t matter if it’s a BBQ joint or a Mexican restaurant. Just give me all the tacos!
Here are some of my top picks. Try ‘em all.
Let’s start out with a more traditional type of taco. But don’t get me wrong – these things are far from ordinary. I find myself visiting Paco’s time and time again because it’s just that good. If there’s one place where I always over-eat… this is it.
The tacos at Paco’s are always full of flavor and never short on filling. Every bite contains every ingredient, so you don’t miss a thing from start to finish. The portions are generous, so two tacos (plus their amazing rice and black beans) are enough to fill you right up. The margaritas are mighty tasty, too.
What to try: Paco’s Taco (beef brisket cooked for 10 hours, caramelized onions and chipotle BBQ sauce) – I get this every time without fail. Amazing.
Last month, I found myself at Midwood Smokehouse for the second time in the same week. Yikes. Since I’d just had the chopped pork sandwich and had already tried their brisket, I opted for a less obvious choice: the tacos. And it was the best decision ever.
The fact that Midwood has delicious tacos probably surprises no one. Imagine all the smoky flavor of Midwood’s BBQ wrapped up in a tortilla, topped with cooler ingredients to offset the heat. Win. Next time you want to try something different at Midwood, grab a few tacos and never look back.
What to try: Red Neck Taco (chopped pork, slaw, spicy red salsa and cilantro) or the Stockyard Taco (beef brisket, shredded cabbage, avocado, spicy red salsa and cilantro) – and a side of crinkle fries.
OMG, this place is amazing. No way around it. Plus, Guy (from “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Drives”) has been there, and I’m obsessed with that show.
Cabo does not skimp on their delivery. The tacos are so giant you basically need to eat them with a fork, but that totally defeats the purpose of a taco, so just jump right in. I’m full after eating just one of these monsters, but that never stops me.
If you’re (really) hungry, head to Cabo and experience these massive tacos for yourself. Or anything else on their menu.
What to try: BBQ Mahi Tacos (grilled mango BBQ mahi-mahi, slaw, tomato, avocado, cheese and cilantro white sauce) – a definite crowd major, and for good reason. So fantastic.
Now we’re really diving into a twist on tacos. Even if you’ve been in Charlotte a short amount of time, you’ve probably heard of these delightful treats (I tried them just two months after moving here). Soul describes them as “Asian glazed pork belly tacos on flour tortillas with watermelon salsa.” As you can see, it’s about as simple as it gets – three cubes of pork belly topped with three cubes of watermelon.
Scared? Don’t be. These things are addictive. The juiciness from both the pork belly and the watermelon blend together for the perfect pairing. Shout out to the chef behind this unusual but genius creation.
What to try: See photo. Enough said.
I’m a sucker for tacos from a tapas menu. When someone’s offering three different tacos in one order, you can’t say no. Everything on the small plate menu at The Cellar sounds yummy, but I just had to try these bites. The octopus was really calling my name.
On the tacos plate, you get three varieties: pork belly, braised chicken and poached octopus. Each had its own distinctive flavor and variety of toppings. And I wish I’d had three more of each.
What to try: This is The Cellar’s only taco dish, so your decision-making just got a little easier.
(Photo credit: Cover image via Cabo Fish Taco’s Facebook page)