Taco Riendo, What the fat?

I had heard great things from friends about Taco Riendo, a colorful Mexican restaurant in Olde Kensington. The menu includes the usual Mexican favorites: tacos, sopes, tortas, burritos, etc.   I ordered several items from the menu. The ingredients seemed really authentic and I was ready to dive in to some cilantro covered meat to see if the food lived up to the hype. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

So, the first plate put in front of me was a big fail. I ordered the beef cheek taco, expecting big chunks of slow cooked beef. What I got instead was a pile of inedible fat pieces. The bad kind of fat. I promise, I am no sissy. I have indulged in pure fat and liked it. This was not that kind of fat. I put a bit in my mouth and spit it out, it did not feel or taste pleasant at all.  Blech.

Reading the torta specials on the board behind the register, I was feeling the Caribeña: pierna, piña, quesillo (roasted pork leg, pineapple, string cheese).  It also came with tomato, avocado, jalapeños on a Mexican kaiser roll. This had all the makings of an outstanding  sandwich.  All the ingredients were tasty as hell together. But for $7.50, I expect more than just tiny teases of meat. My time with the succulent pork was too brief; I wanted (maybe even needed) way more.

In the opposite manner, the choriqueso taco (mexican sausage and melted oaxaca cheese), had an acceptable amount of meat, but a complete lack of other fillings (the above picture shows half of the meat that came with the order). I don’t really understand why there was no salsa or guacamole or sour cream or tomato or really anything that you normally find in a taco, especially at $3.50 (even more disappointing given Don Memo’s hefty tacos for only $2).  At the very least, I can say I did enjoy the taste of it.

Maybe the right choice would be to combine both… yes… enter, the chorizo torta. Though the amount of meat was still on the skimpier side, it had enough to make it a better value. The spicy  chorizo tastes homemade. Like the other torta, it comes with fixings on the kaiser roll.

I think had I ordered differently, I would have been happier here. Maybe the chorizo sopes or steak tacos for next time? The moral of this story is: if you skimp on meat, you are getting on my bad side. Do not mess with this girl’s meat.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Delicious chorizo available in different dishes
  • The long menu has a lot of options

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • An inedible taco is a downer to any day
  • And meat skimping just makes me angry!
  • Prices are just too high for what you get

Taco Riendo, 1310 N 5th  St (@ W Thompson St), 215-235-2294



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