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Mexican in Durham


phlawless
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So where is the really good stuff? I've only been living here for just under a year, and I don't know where to go to get my taco fix.

Who has suggestions?

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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Uh, this is a question from the person I go to for Mexican food information!!!

I've heard some good things about Miranda's, which is near Four Square and Super Taqueria on Roxboro Rd. before you hit Club Blvd. The Independent had the following to say about this spot:

You get your tacos--double tortillas and meat only--and then it's up to you to choose from about 20 different salsas, chopped veggies and pickled stuff, just like a street stall in Mexico. Two tacos and a medium horchata will set you back $4.

Hopefully, detlefchef will chime in here. He's our resident taqueria expert. So, when are we going????

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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my schedule is painfully open...as long as you don't mind an adorable 9 week old as a tag along.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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OK, here's the run down as I see it.

Miranda's on Pickett Rd at Chapel Hill (across from Four Square) is a great little stand. No seats, but very correct tacos with the usual trimmings.

Super Taqueria on Roxboro is solid on pretty much all accounts and has a great garnish/salsa bar. I'm not sure if any single thing they do is the best in town but they're no dogs on the menu either.

The little place on Club at Roxboro makes a mean taco from handmade tortillas. The only thing I didn't like there was the Chicarones con Nopales. They're like the Burgundy of Durham tacos. Outstanding at times but perhaps a bit spotty in terms of consitancy.

Up the street from Super is a market next to the post office in the center that Old Oxford Hwy dead ends into. In the back there's a little taqueria that makes a very good Nopales Salad and some tasty mole as well. Once again, tacos are pretty correct as well.

On Hwy 98, just off 70 going east is a little drive through to the left that makes a great egg burrito and some pretty good Tortas and Al Pastor. I like the vinegary salsa as well.

Further out 98 @ Mineral Springs Rd is perhaps the best Mexican Find in the area, but it's not a taqueria or even a restaurant. They make fresh toritillas, rotisserie chickens, braised meats (including beef cheeks) for sale by the pound, tamales, and some killer salsas. It would be great for a picnic out at Falls Lake or something, but not a quick snack.

Hope that helps.

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Thanks, detlef. This again demonstrates that Raleigh can really be lacking in good authentic dining establishments. I go to a couple of taquerias, the one on Peace Street whose name changes every other year (was T. Zacatacena, then T. Mi Mexico, and now T. Parri-something or another) and Taqueria Chicos on Maynard near Chatham in Cary. I've not been to the taqueria on Capital, but that's all I'm aware of. What a shame. I have noticed a lot more trucks, however!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Excellent thread. I figured that there must be some decent taquerias w/ the growth in the NC latino population. I was just going to ask the Southeast board where I could find good tacos near I-85 for my July/August roadtrip.

I'm a little familiar w/ Durham (used to live in Chapel Hill), am I correct to assume that any of the 3 places on Roxboro are <10 mins from the highway? Pardon the silly question but do any of these 3 places have some shade in their parking lots, since I'll be traveling with 2 Labradors in the middle of summer heat? I'll probably just sit on my hood and slurp a couple of tacos down, but still it's nicer for the dogs if they're not stuck in a hot car while I get my BBQ & taco fixes as I travel through NC.

Since detlefchef and phlawless seem to know something about tacos, any other little stands or taquerias that you know near I-85 anywhere between Petersburg, VA and Atlanta?

Muchas gracias

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Just got back from eating some tacos with detlefchef at Miranda's (sorry, Phlawless, but I didn't know how to contact you at the last minute). As stated above, this is just a walk-up counter with absolutely no seats. I had 3 tacos, barbacoa, pastor, and carnitas, and each were solid. The hibiscus drink really hit the spot on this very hot day. I'm looking forward to exploring some of the other places in the area.

And one day, detlefchef is going to open a kick-ass Mexican restaurant. Some day that's too far away!!!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Thanks, detlef.  This again demonstrates that Raleigh can really be lacking in good authentic dining establishments.  I go to a couple of taquerias, the one on Peace Street whose name changes every other year (was T. Zacatacena, then T. Mi Mexico, and now T. Parri-something or another) and Taqueria Chicos on Maynard near Chatham in Cary.  I've not been to the taqueria on Capital, but that's all I'm aware of.  What a shame.  I have noticed a lot more trucks, however!

There's also the El Mandado supermarket on Capital which serves food. I'd bet there are a couple other smaller hispanic grocery stores that serve food as well.

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Excellent thread. I figured that there must be some decent taquerias w/ the growth in the NC latino population. I was just going to ask the Southeast board where I could find good tacos near I-85 for my July/August roadtrip.

I'm a little familiar w/ Durham (used to live in Chapel Hill), am I correct to assume that any of the 3 places on Roxboro are <10 mins from the highway?  Pardon the silly question but do any of these 3 places have some shade in their parking lots, since I'll be traveling with 2 Labradors in the middle of summer heat?  I'll probably just sit on my hood and slurp a couple of tacos down, but still it's nicer for the dogs if they're not stuck in a hot car while I get my BBQ & taco fixes as I travel through NC.

Since detlefchef and phlawless seem to know something about tacos, any other little stands or taquerias that you know near I-85 anywhere between Petersburg, VA and Atlanta? 

Muchas gracias

Yes, all three of the Roxboro spots are within a mile or two from 85. Mind you, the Roxboro exit on 85 is an absolute freaking mess right now. In terms of shady spots, your best bet is the one on Club, I seem to recall some overhanging trees on one end of the parking lot. You may have luck at Super, but the other will not work at all.

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Transamerica, which is a Mexican market / money order sending operation at the corner of University and Old Chapel Hill Road has a little restaurant in the back. My wife and I were just in there recently and the tacos were very good (al pastor, suadera, and pollo), but they don't use homemade tortillas. BUT, they do use homemade masa in their sopes and papusas. These were fabulous.

As an aside, I would have posted this earlier, but I'm in San Francisco at an Apple conference this week. Having been to the famed Mission for tacos it relieves me to say that our taco stands rate very highly. The key difference that I've noted is that most taquerias in Durham cook the orders when their placed, so the meat comes out crisp and sometimes charred, definitely the way I like it. In the Mission most of the meat is on steam tables and so al pastor, carne asada, pollo, etc. aren't charred at all, almost stewed. BUT (note emphasis again), this is the perfect way to cook lengua and tripes, which really benefit from the almost braise like cooking style.

I'm up for a taco trial anytime, just drop me a line here!

Bryan C. Andregg

"Give us an old, black man singing the blues and some beer. I'll provide the BBQ."

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To get a good taco I think you have to be discerning enough to find a place that fits into one of the following categories.

1. The kitchen has wheels. Taco trucks rule. Many still lament the loss of the Costco taco truck. I assume taco trucks get a lot of authetic customers since they can drive to where the action is.

2. Hidden in a pre-existing Hispanic grocery store. Compar Foods in Raleigh just opened a little stand that's pretty good. Hang a right at the mayonaise. There's that little market in Durham next to the Post Office on Roxboro with a good stand. There's also ElManado on Capital by the Louisburg split. Been a while since I was there, but they had this neon green salsa that seem to include some avocado. It was fiery good.

There's also the restaurant/tacqueria in the Amoco station on Capital that I must recommend. A new sit down Mexican place openned up near there across the street that's real good.

Sorry too rushed for details. More later.

Tom

P.S. I work in Durham, live in Raleigh and am always up for a taco run.

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  • 2 weeks later...
To get a good taco I think you have to be discerning enough to find a place that fits into one of the following categories.

1.  The kitchen has wheels.  Taco trucks rule.  Many still lament the loss of the Costco taco truck.  I assume taco trucks get a lot of authetic customers since they can drive to where the action is. 

I was going to post a taco question till I saw this thread. I ate my first "real" taco off a taco truck that sits at the Indoor Flea Market on Capital Blvd. I was a bit intimidated at first, but holy sh*t, I am now a taco addict. Little did I know that if I looked hard at the menus when I got dragged to the sterotypical Triangle "combo" Mexican places I could find some damn good tacos, carnitas are my fave. Los Trasaderoes on Avent Ferry (near the Food Lion) has some killer ones. Anyway, if anyone can direct me to a good taqueria in the vincity of Crabtree & Creedmoor and also in and around Harrison Blvd in Cary or in Morrisville I'd be so appreciative.

-----------------

AMUSE ME

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Taco truck at the flea market. Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner. Very assertive effort. It doesn't get more authentic than that...

Creedmoor and Crabtree? I could be wrong, but the closet tacos I can think of are at Compar Foods. Take 440 to Wake Forest Road exit go right onto New Hope, left on Atlantic. There's also a good Vietnamese place, a decent seafood place and an Asian market in that strip mall.

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Taco truck at the flea market.  Ding! Ding! Ding!  We have a winner.  Very assertive effort.  It doesn't get more authentic than that...

Creedmoor and Crabtree?  I could be wrong, but the closet tacos I can think of are at Compar Foods.  Take 440 to Wake Forest Road exit go right onto New Hope, left on Atlantic.  There's also a good Vietnamese place, a decent seafood place and an Asian market in that strip mall.

Thanks! Where is my prize?! Seriously, I was a tad scared because well I often get people expecting that I speak Spanish, which I don't and that is a whole other thread and forum. Meanwhile, I had done enough research that I knew that I was not ordering tripe or tongue (I'm not that hardcore yet). Yes those tacos off the "roach coach" rocked.

I know that area, so thank you for telling me about it. I recall seeing a Mexican bakery near that area, by Wal-Mart. I am anxious to try the stuff there as my experience with Mexican baked goods has been not good; the equivalent of Mexican Little Debbies--I do love that all the gas stations around here have new things to try out. To think just 12 years ago my poor sister had to wear a ahem "mexican" dress at Chi-Chis.

-----------------

AMUSE ME

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I recall seeing a Mexican bakery near that area, by Wal-Mart. I am anxious to try the stuff there as my experience with Mexican baked goods has been not good; the equivalent of Mexican Little Debbies

The next time I get anything good from a Mexican bakery will be the first time. It is well documented among my foodie friends that Mexican pastries are by and large the biggest let down going. You always want to think they'll be good and they never are. I really don't get it. The savory food is about the safest bet going in terms being one of those "even when it's bad, it's good" foods, but the pastries...

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In my limited experience, I have only found 1 form of bread/pastry from Mexico to be worth eating: the bohio (the spelling gods cringe). The bohio (or however its spelled) is the bread that makes up a torta. Quite tasty. Usually pretty fresh,

Tom

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In my limited experience, I have only found 1 form of bread/pastry from Mexico to be worth eating: the bohio (the spelling gods cringe).  The bohio (or however its spelled) is the bread that makes up a torta.  Quite tasty.  Usually pretty fresh,

Tom

I'll give you that one, sort of. It's actually nothing more than OK in as much as any fresh bread is basically good. That said, you wouldn't want a bread of any more character on a torta.

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