Wednesday, January 6, 2010
4150 Hemphill Street, Fort Worth, TX
Sun-Thu 9am-12pm, Fri-Sat 9am-4am.
All major credit cards are accepted
Consumed Tacos: Barbacoa/Carnitas
Heading back to Tacoville, I elected to try out Juanito’s, which is directly across the street from El Pollo Palenque. Juanito’s also seems to be the most popular Taqueria at that intersection, as there are a multitude of customers coming and leaving as compared with El Pollo Palenque.
Walking in to Juanito’s impressed me. Not because the décor is fancy (which it isn’t), but instead reeks of what I believe a Taqueria to be. The atmosphere inside is very akin to a Dairy Queen—plenty of seats, booths along the wall, and an open kitchen. I really wanted to like this place!
The menu, which is written on a board above the kitchen, is in 100% Spanish. All of the meats are laid out in heating pans (similar to Chipotle), and you select the type of Tacos you want. What I found impressive was they chop the meat upon order. Thus if you ordered fajita taco, they cut the fajita strips from the steak.
The service was incredibly poor however. My order-taker was becoming frustrated with me asking about the types of meat (which were all in Spanish). I can’t help it if I don’t want to partake in cow brains or some sort of animal tongue. Mexicans eat some pretty crazy stuff, and I want to know EXACTLY what I’m eating before it goes in my mouth. Additionally, the cashier was more interested in speaking to the customer in front of me about everything other than his order (it was in Spanish so not sure of the subject) but I had to stand and wait five minutes before I could pay---which made my tacos get a little cold.
They sell glass-bottled Cokes (imported from Mexico), which is a very nice treat. Not soda-fountain, not can, but GLASS BOTTLE. These are the authentic, non-twist offs we remember from our child-hood. Nothing goes better with a taco than coke from a glass.
I ordered two barbacoa tacos and two carnitas tacos. What I’m learning about taquerias is that there can be a HUGE difference in taste depending on what meat is selected. I also found out (later) that barbacoa typically consists of parts of the cows head. Perhaps not in Chipotle, but in this authentic taqueria, my best bet is it does. Consequently I will be taking a break from barbacoa, even though it was one of my favorite meats---damn Wikipedia!
The tacos came with a nice amount of cilantro and onions as well as some (optional) peppers, which were terrific! They were not to hot to keep you up all night, but they still had a nice kick to them. Unfortunately I cannot say enough about the meat itself. I never realized meat could simply not have “taste”, but that was the case for the carnitas. Regardless of the amount of salsa I put on it, the blandess of the carnitas really stood out. The barbacao was sub-par, as well. Quite a bit of fat (or at least I hope it was fat), which had me spit out a few bites.
I wanted to like this place. I really did. It has everything I am looking for, except outstanding tacos. I give it three tacos mainly due to its atmosphere and the glass-bottled coke. It will still return, but take my chances with other types of meat and hope for a difference.
Posted by Taco This at 6:05 AM