Review: Anaya’s Tacos

Today’s Mexican food often entails overspiced meats, flimsy taco shells, and stale chips. However, the cooks working in Anaya’s tacos have replaced them with authentic, traditional and absolutely delicious dishes.

My first impression of Anaya’s Tacos was slightly underwhelming; The restaurant was small and only a few doors down from Daylight Donuts on 135. However, as I peered in from the parking lot, most of their tables were full. I stepped inside and was greeted by a pleasant-looking woman with a warm smile. She welcomed our group and showed us to our table. We ordered our drinks and chips and sat down, talking to one another while we waited. Several children ran around the back room with excited yelps as we took in the surroundings. The tables were meager and stacked together with only a few chairs matching. It was cozy and inviting, and its few shortcomings gave it a sense of enduring character. The appetizers came and we snacked on them hungrily.

Created with homemade corn tortilla pieces, the chips were fried and spiced to near perfection; Each chip was cooked in a way that somehow managed to walk the perfect line between taste and texture. They were flavored with true Mexican spices with a hint of lime, giving them a salty, tangy taste. The salsa was slightly spicy with slices of tomato, onion, pepper, and a hint of sweetness that spawned an ever-changing swirl of flavor. Not long had passed when our group whittled down the baskets of chips. With our hands squabbling over the remaining pieces of tortilla, we looked over the menu and decided what to order.

The menu was decent, large but not too large. It had the typical dishes: tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and nachos. Since we were there on a Tuesday, I took advantage of the $1 per taco deal. We placed our orders and grabbed for the replenished basket of chips. After several more rounds of conversation, our food arrived in spades. Warm plates of tacos stacked against each other in long rows, stacks of nachos piled high with melted cheese and tangy sour cream all filled the spaces in front of each person. We passed around our plates, sharing what we had and exchanging for what we wanted.

I started with a chorizo taco. The soft and doughy, homemade corn tortilla was warm and inviting. The ingredients were supported well with two shells wrapped sturdily around them. After the first bite, I was ready to move into the restaurant. The chorizo was cut finely and spiced slightly to provide a fiery flavor, and the grilled onion balanced out the other ingredients.

I finished the taco quickly and chose a steak one as my next selection. The steak was cut finely too, but not to the degree of the chorizo, allowing the firm texture of the steak to come into play. The flavor was rich and juicy, with the vegetables again complementing the steak and soft shells.

Finally, I grabbed a chicken taco. The chicken was sliced into tiny strips. Interestingly, the chicken had very few spices, showing the simplicity of authentic Mexican cooking. It was, by far, my favorite taco of the night.

Leaving Anaya’s, I felt satisfied and delighted by this change from the over-spiced and Americanized version of Mexican food to the authentic, modest and delicious tastes of Mexico.


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