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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

May 1, 2009 at 6:45 AM

Mexican restaurants — Greater Seattle’s greatest hits: yours, mine

And now for some happy news out of Mexico: we’re loco about their food. When I set out to eat my fill in and around town a few weeks back as research for today’s Mexican restaurant roundup in Ticket, I was thinking in terms of a certain May celebration, knowing that despite all the hard-core drinking and nacho-eating that goes on during Cinco de Mayo, eating Mexican food is a most American occupation. That year-round sport takes place at taquerias, taco trucks, fast-food joints and sit-down restaurants everywhere. Yeah, yeah. We’re not San Diego. And we don’t have a Mission District. But things are definitely looking up lately, don’t you think?

Remember when I asked you to tell me about your favorite Thai restaurant and scores of Eaters responded with scores of different eateries? My guess is you’ll feel the same way about the Mexican places you frequent — everybody’s got a different “favorite.” Meanwhile, back at the ranchero, here’s my gallery of gotta-goes. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say about yours:

I’ve long been a big fan of White Center’s Taqueria La Fondita No. 2 — the tent-and-truck operation where this guy and his dog are sharing a burrito:

Seattle Times photo Mike Siegel

But these days I hit the stand-alone version closer to home: the Taqueria la Fondita on Highway 99 in Lynnwood. I’m also absolutely crazy for Taqueria la Estacion in Burien — which is a schlep for me, but well worth the drive. Like Lynnwood’s la Fondita, it’s housed in the shell of an old Taco Bell. Here’s Estacion:

Look through the window on the left and you’ll find this guy:

As he strolled around the room, entertaining the Friday night crowd — accompanied on vocals by a beer-drinking patron singing sad songs — I was enjoying this:

Over in Ballard, where I know some of you will take me to task for not including Senor Moose and Cocina Esperanza (no offense meant: I’ve only got so many column inches!), I paid a visit to another Mexican food favorite, La Carta de Oaxaca, where my friend Sam and I enjoyed a cocktel:

And also the house specialty: mole and handmade tortillas (among other great eats):

I always sit at the counter at La Carta, because as far as I’m concerned, the view can’t be beat:

And yes, I’m well aware of the charms of Rainier Valley’s favorite taco bus:

Including cheap eats like these:

Tacos el Asadero didn’t make print. Nor did my closer-to-home habitual bus-stop, Taqueria el Carreton, in Shoreline, where I’m a frequent stopper:

I’m hip to all the folks who hit the Winchell’s Donut House parking lot in Wallingford for their hot-off-the-truck Mexi-noshes at this taqueria-and-tent, Rancho Bravo Tacos:

Does this bravo for Bravo-plate look good, or what? And it’s about, oh, $7 worth of torta-and-tacos and available till (get this) 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays:

And if one Rancho Bravo is good, more are ‘mo betta. There’s a new bricks-and-mortar shop on Capitol Hill and two more taco trailers on the way, as I reported earlier this week.

Comments | More in Restaurants | Topics: Nancy's Restaurant Roundups

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