Paco's Tacos

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4520 Lacey Blvd. S.E., Suite 14
(360) 455-0060

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The Review

Reviewed by: Jake and Jason de Paul

ANNOUNCER: Years ago a young man painted a mural on a taqueria wall in Lacey. That same painter, Martin, now owns the taqueria, Paco’s Tacos. With his wife, Ana, the two offer hearty plates of steaming, aromatic Mexican food. Straightforward and from the heart, Martin extends a welcome to all to come be part of his community family. Homey and casual, this medium size eatery has a laid-back feel. Don’t hold it against them that it’s in a strip mall.

JAKE: There really aren’t any set appetizers or starters with Mexican food, are there? A bowl of tortilla soup worked just fine. Rich broth made me eager for plates of meat, beans, marinated and pickled veggies all with cilantro. What is it about that herb that seems to ensure a dish is going to be fantastic? South American, Indian, Asian — it’s like it’s a cure all for bad recipe-itis. Oh mama, the air smelled of meat and onions, and you guessed it — cilantro.

JASON: Ole frijol! Why didn’t I think of putting bacon on a hot dog? Calling it a Mexican hot dog, that’s exactly what they do at Paco’s Tacos, and man was it bangin’. Taking my dog on a trip to the taco bar opened up a whole new way of thinking about hot dogs, bacon, tacos and what’s supposed to go on what. Who would have thought pickled radishes taste excellent mingled with boiled pork, salsa verde and crispy bacon?

JAKE: Call me a purist, if you will, but not by any stretch of the imagination would I call that combination excellent. I think the Coronas you like to pound in your garage have done a number on you. And Paco’s Tacos is not authentic either, which is not surprising. I’ve noticed many Mexican restaurants tame the spice level and bring the flavor down for Caucasian consumption. That’s my attempt at political correctness. In other words, the food is good, but it has been brought to near blandness for whitey.

JASON: Well, I say whitey be damned and turn the heat up on these mothers. That’s why I’m such a huge fan of the taco bar. I heaped piles of jalapeños, pickled carrots, onion, and radishes on a huge chimichanga. Squeeze bottles clearly marked as to the temperature of the hot sauce inside are on hand. I grabbed the fiery one and painted my piled high plate with it. Tangy lime chunks finished it off. No beer on hand, so a nice cold Jarritos of the sweet pineapple variety washed down my forkfuls of arroz. That’s rice to the gringos.

JAKE: At the suggestion of owner Martin, I ordered tacos dorados — one potato and two chicken. Wrapped in soft shell corn tortillas, these tacos came three to a plate. I wolfed them down in four bites each. Unless you’re a small 12-year-old girl, these are a snack or appetizer. The fishy taste of my à la carte fish taco was a bit too strong for my palate. I ate only half before handing it over to the human disposal known as Jason.

JASON: So what if I have a healthy appetite and I like to try everything. The price is right at Paco’s Taco’s to try tons of stuff. That fish taco you turned your nose up at was only $1.85, and I thought it rocked. You have to add stuff to it or of course it’s going to be boring. That’s what the taco bar is for. Homemade pastries in the display case were hard to ignore, so I didn’t. The simple cream-filled one with flakey buttery dough was destroyed in mere minutes.


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