Big on tacos
Taqueria Los 3 Toritos1925 Silverada Blvd.
Reno, NV 89512
I like a place that proudly displays its menudo special on the menu. Los 3 Toritos is damned near bragging about theirs, advertising a $7.25 price “todos los dias.” Not half the dias, folks, todos. Los 3 Toritos is a converted Del Taco off Oddie Boulevard, but inside, I quickly forgot that this was once a crappy fast food place. The walls are now painted a cheery yellow with paintings of Aztec warriors carrying virgins down the mountain. I can’t make this stuff up!
On a Tuesday night, my friend Jack and I were the only ones there. Food is ordered and picked up at the counter, but for those not willing to come inside, they offer a drive-through as well. The guy behind the counter was polite and helpful, while a worker in back sang along loudly—and not badly—to a Spanish-language radio station.
We decided to go big on tacos ($1.05 each) and went with lengua (beef tongue), chorizo, carnitas, buche (pork stomach), carne asada, al pastor and pollo. C’mon, I ate stomach, I deserve some chicken! The tacos arrived with two thin corn tortillas surrounding generous servings of meat, cilantro and onions. Red and green sauce, along with limes and radishes, were available at a small cart, but I wished there was pico de gallo. Oh my God, I love tacos so much, I almost cried seeing them all sitting there, waiting for me to eat them. Then I remembered I had to share with Jack and how selfish he is. The al pastor was the winner of the night, with a slightly sweet taste mixed with a trace of spice. Sharing this taco with Jack nearly ended in us wrestling over it until we realized that since they’re only a dollar, it might be easier to get another one then to go to jail for fighting over pork.
The carne asada taco was tender and flavorful, and another taco fight almost ensued. I had never eaten buche before, and while it tasted pretty good, I just couldn’t get over the texture, which was kind of chewy. The meat looked like halved mushrooms, and once in my mouth, I automatically wanted it out. To be fair, this is my own wussy gringa hang-up and not the fault of Los 3 Toritos. The lengua was surprisingly tender and reminded me of pot roast. There was so much meat in this taco I wondered if an entire cow’s tongue made it in. The chorizo was too greasy for my liking, but chorizo always is. The carnitas were crispy, spicy and just the right amount of greasy. The chicken taco tasted moist and well-cooked, but I almost wished I had ordered something riskier.
In addition to the tacos, we ordered sopes ($2.25) and chicken and beef enchiladas ($5.75, combination plate with rice and beans). Unfortunately, these tasted rather plain. The sopes had a light layer of onions, which gave them some kick, and the beef enchilada was flavorful and tender, but nothing else grabbed me the way the tacos did. A spoonful of some of the hottest green sauce I have ever eaten helped liven everything up. Los 3 Toritos is definitely a place I’ll visit again, but I’m sticking to the tacos, skipping the stomach and going easy on the green sauce.