Monday, August 13, 2012

Taco Shel

Taco Shel
7001 San Antonio Dr NE Ste G
Albuquerque, NM  87109

Taco Shel is a family owned New Mexican restaurant located in a strip mall on San Antonio in Albuquerque.  It’s a small restaurant and when you go be sure to take cash since they don’t take credit or debit cards.  They are open only Monday through Friday and they close two weeks a year – Independence Day and Christmas.

The dining area is small and tables are close, but not uncomfortable.  You seat yourself and there are no individual menus.  Instead, all offerings are shown on two big red boards on opposing walls.  You may order by number or the name of the dish and there are 15 main selections or New Mexican fare like tacos, burritos, enchiladas, stuffed sopas, etc.  The kitchen is open and you can watch your meal being prepared.  The entire space if very clean and inviting in a homey sort of way.

Taco Shel Menu

We went for lunch and ordered the Beef Enchilada and the Chilaca plates.  If you want chips and salsa before your meal, you must order them.  They are not complimentary.  We are regular customers at the restaurant and generally save room for the main course and the wonderful sopapillas that come with it.  Usually we order the rolled cheese enchiladas with red or green (sometimes Christmas) and that is a staple when we go.  This time we decided to venture out a little bit.

 The Beef Enchiladas were three corn tortillas filled with ground beef, refried beans, and lettuce, all covered with red chile (although you may order green if you prefer).  The most notable thing about the food at Taco Shel is that it is always brought to the table boiling hot – and we mean actually boiling on your plate!  We are fans of hot food so we love that.  And the service is fast.  You’ll wait very little for your meal to be delivered.   The enchiladas themselves were simple; you may only opt of ground beef – there is no shredded beef or chicken available, which is disappointing, however this is a big plus for vegetarians.  The ground beef appears to be without seasoning, but for salt and the enchilada rolls are served dry if you order your chile on the side so we recommend that you order it on the plate.  Both the red and green chile are delicious and hot and the combination of everything was quite good.  The beans come refried and covered with melted cheese. 

Beef Enchilada Plate

The Chilaca plate is basically a taco casserole – cut up corn tortillas covered with ground beef, cheese, lettuce, and chile. This time around we ordered green chile on the side because the chile tends to be very hot – both in temperature and flavor. It consists of chopped green chile with a little bit of ground beef in a sauce format and it is delicious!  The chilaca plate does not come with beans, so a side of rice was ordered (not included, also not pictured).  The rice is moist and full of rich tomato flavor.  It pairs well with any of the dishes and has become a staple with every order.

Chilaca Plate (green chile on the side)

Overall, Taco Shel is a nice place to eat.  The food is good, home cooking New Mexican style, served hot and fast.  The prices are reasonable, and the serving staff is pleasant and helpful.  We would like to see some more meat selections on the menu, but other than that we are always content. The food and service are consistently good and that’s one of the main reasons we keep going back. 

Taco Shel on Urbanspoon

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