Goat with the wind

Isabelle Marascal prepares some tacos at Los 4 Vientos.

Isabelle Marascal prepares some tacos at Los 4 Vientos.

Photo By amy beck

Los 4 Vientos is open Sunday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to midnight.

Los 4 Vientos is hidden on Casazza Drive behind Shopper’s Square. If I hadn’t previously been to the Alibi, a bar next door, I probably would have never found it. The nondescript strip mall is not really something you’d look at twice, but walking in to Los 4 Vientos, I felt like I’d stumbled into Mexico. The walls are bright and cheery orange, red and yellow. The front houses the ordering counter and the menu is basically all in Spanish. There were some things that I’d never heard of, but I took this as a good sign. The friendly woman at the counter didn’t speak a lot of English, and my friend Tim and I don’t speak a lot of Spanish, but with a little help from one of the cooks, we managed to get our order in.

Tim and I decided to order a bunch of stuff and share it, although when I told him my plan to order goat, he was suddenly not so thrilled with the sharing plan. We ordered some beers (Modelo and Victoria for $3.50 each) while we waited for our food, and I was thrilled when she told me that beer was two-for-one.

After a visit to the salsa bar, we sat down at a table with a basket of crispy chips and a plethora of salsas that were spicy and fresh. Our food arrived so quickly we barely had a chance to eat any chips. I ordered the Barbacoa ($9.99), which was described as shredded goat meat soup. The bowl was huge and large chunks of goat meat swam in a spicy red broth with rice. I have never eaten goat before, but my Uncle Chris, who lives in Arkansas, has been eating it for years. I now have to apologize to my uncle for calling him a hillbilly because goat is actually dang tasty. In fact, it reminds me a bit of a really tender roast.

One of the cooks brought me a Guadalajara taco to try, which was a grilled taco filled with more goat meat, served with slices of onion and a pepper. The meat was tender, slightly greasy and amazing. This taco even had Tim rethinking his stance on goat meat. We also ordered some al pastor tacos ($.89) which arrived crammed with tender, slightly sweet and smoky pork, onions and cilantro over two thin corn tortillas.

The al pastor torta ($4.99) arrived with a large, moist bun surrounding thick slices of avocado, lettuce, tomatoes and jalapeños, which went well with the flavor of the al pastor. The torta was huge. Los 4 Vientos does not skimp on the meat. As if we hadn’t already eaten enough food, we also ordered the chicken quesadilla ($5.99), which arrived with a thick tortilla crammed full of chicken, Mexican cheese and lettuce. This quesadilla was gigantic and after all of the other food we had eaten, we didn’t come close to finishing it. The meat in all of the dishes was all really flavorful and tender.

A lot of Mexican places seem to give you chewy, overcooked meat, but not Los 4 Vientos. This place serves some of the best authentic Mexican food I have had in Reno, so I might have found my new hangout. Anywhere that makes me want to eat goat is doing something right.