Taqueria Jalisco

At Taqueria Jalisco, start with the tacos.

Whereas other establishments bury theirs under gooey cheese or surcharged guacamole, this East Boston favorite adds little more than chopped cilantro and onion, allowing the savory fillings—like smoky adobada pork or rich cabeza—to fully shine.

Which isn’t to say the tacos need to be naked. At no extra cost, you’ll receive a trio of salsas: a fresh green version made from avocado, a zesty yellow variety produced from tomatillos, and a smoky red rendition derived from chilies. Use the wooden spoons provided to splash a taco with your favorite (or layer all three at once).

You could return for tacos ad infinitum without leaving disappointed. But then you’d be missing out on Jalisco’s other fare, like fall-apart-tender chicken enchiladas covered in tangy green chili sauce and cheese, or thick tamales stuffed with pork or chicken.

And then there’s the type of Mexican cooking you’d never find at Tex-Mex or chain restaurant menus. An order of Bistec Encebollado yields a plate of spice-marinated beef smothered in fried onions. Meanwhile, the Costillas en Salsa Roja present on-the-bone spare ribs drenched in a spicy red chili sauce. Both dishes are hearty enough to be eaten with a knife and fork but come with tortillas on the side for your taco-making pleasure.

We can’t overlook the Pozole. Jalisco’s bright, complex, and spicy take on the comforting Mexican hominy soup is made with pork and served with accoutrements you can add yourself, including onion, lime, and tostadas. It feels like it came straight from an abuela’s kitchen stove in Jalisco, where it’s traditionally made with red chilies. (Actual abuela not included.)

Satiate your sweet tooth with one of Jalisco’s house-made desserts; ask staff about the flan and the rice pudding.

Just landed at Boston Logan airport and feeling hungry? You can reach Jalisco by taking the free shuttle bus that goes directly from any terminal to the blue line’s Airport stop, followed by a roughly eight-minute walk.

Must Haves

  • We’ll admit to playing favorites here, although it’s tough to decide between the supple cabeza, savory carnitas, gamey lengua, and spiced adobada variations.

  • Both the pork (marinated in red sauce) and chicken (marinated in green sauce) renditions of this simple classic are dense, rich, and full of flavor. You can't go wrong with either choice.

  • The succulent chunks of meat on these pork rib morsels—which are marinated in a mild homemade red sauce until they’re tender—will fall right off the bone. They’re served with all the fixins, from refried beans to tortillas to avocado.

  • This carne asada in spicy red sauce, accented with savory onions, is tender enough to be pulled apart with a fork and layered on the tortillas (along with rice, beans, and avocado) that accompany it.

Fun Fact

Jalisco is a province in Western Mexico, famed for being the birthplace of tequila.

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