Torta Al Pastor at El Taurino

Torta Al Pastor at El Taurino
M. Caskey

You can smell the meaty goodness as soon as you park your car in the tiny El Taurino lot. Sure, the taco truck that sits behind El Taurino is just as popular as the restaurant itself. But for a full-fledged and full-flavored experience, dine in, not out.

Their torta al pastor is made with simple, classic elements -- refried beans spread on the bottom of the bun, al pastor meat on top of the beans, then fresh tomato, onions, avocado and crema. The slightly toasted telera roll is the perfect a perfect meal size, though it doesn't hurt to order a second item. Tostadas, anyone? And don't forget that sweet horchata to wash it all down.

El Taurino, or King Taco #5, sits on the corner of Hoover and 11th Street. It's hard to miss, just look for a few small murals and a list of meats painted on the side of the building. Their al pastor may be best of all. They flavor up the meat nicely and mix in sauteed onions, a perfect moist balance to throw onto a torta. But if you're not a fan of bread soaked with al pastor flavor, then try their burritos. Or tacos. Or tamales. There is no bad decision at El Taurino.

Most fans love the red salsa, but the green salsa is truly underrated. Tomatillos, peppers, cilantro and onion -- what's not to love? And if al pastor isn't what your taste buds desire, their carnitas are equally promising. If not a fan of pork, then go for the classic carne asada.

Though part of the King Taco chain, El Taurino conveys a very different vibe from the other King Tacos. Bull heads rest on the walls, bull-fighting imagery and paintings dot other parts of their walls, and random greenery sits atop various ledges. Some may call it tacky, others may call it awesome. Either way, the food's worth it.

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