1636 South Mildred
Tacoma, WA 98465
Tacoma's newest Mexican restaurant serving taco-truck style fare opened quietly in mid-May across from Tacoma Community College. In the building that formerly housed Labor Works and Taco Bell, owner Pedro Gusman opened Taqueria El Sabor. El Sabor is an order-at-the-counter operation with a drive-thru. What differentiates the restaurant from other casual dining establishments is that you sit down after ordering and food is delivered to you.
A lunch visit Friday with artist James Allan Tucker yielded very affordable lunch specials, including a $5.99 tamale and burrito platter with flavorful Spanish rice and cooked down beans, and the Caldo de Res for $7.99, a hearty meaty soup served with a large scoop of Spanish rice. How could we resist made-with-real-sugar bottled Coke a Cola (dubbed "Mexian Coke") nestled alongside Jarritos fruit-flavored sodas packed in ice at the counter? We dined on the tamale/burrito platter and orders of mulitas, akin to the quesadilla but without the smothering cheese. Generous amounts of fresh avocado, chopped white onion, fragrant cilantro and just a touch of mozzarella cheese acted as a blanket for tender lengua and chicken (you choose the meat). A salsa bar provides picked veggies and an array of extras for your meal. El Sabor has you covered. They even have fries and a simple cheese quesadilla for kids.
A cool interior and padded chairs made me want to linger after we literally cleared our plates.
This isn't fancy South American food like what's available over at Sixth & Pine. El Sabor offers simple, tasty food made by smiling people (we got head-nods and grins from the open kitchen while ordering at the counter), served quickly by kind ladies.
"Would you like more?" Yes, please.