Mar 13, 2011

Macho Tacos 瑪丘墨式餅舖


Address: 台北市延吉街126巷3號
                 Yanji St, Lane 126, #3
Phone #: 02-2731-4489
Business Hours: Mon-Sat: 12:00 – 15:00, 18:30 – 22:00
·                           Sun: 12:00 – 15:00, 18:30 – 21:00
Price Range:   $$
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes


Food Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5
Recommendation: Decent Tacos in Taipei


After being disappointed by Oola Mexican Grill, the search continued for a mexican food source that would fill that craving for tacos and burritos. Thankfully, Macho Tacos opened up in Taipei in it's full lucha libre glory and began to supply Taipei with decent baja style tacos at an affordable price. Three tacos cost 160 NT, and other items won't squeeze your wallet out of more than 200 NT per item. This is most likely as good as it gets in the East District Taipei area. If you're fed up with all the phony "mexican" food, then you got to take a trip to Macho Tacos hombre~ Vamonos rapido!

Ever since I landed on this island, i've been looking for sources of my favorite comfort foods I enjoyed in Los Angeles. One of the difficult things to find in Taipei is good mexican food. Mexican food does not seem to vibe that well with the locals, and a successful restaurant never seemed to thrive in this market for at least the past 20 years. They imported MacDonalds, KFC, Wendy's, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Sizzler's, but never seemed to have the guts to establish a Taco Bell on the island. This could be evidence that some capitalist somewhere does not believe the Taiwan market is a suitable environment for the "mexican" food chain to survive. Perhaps the success of macho tacos and the changing taste buds of the emerging generation will change that barrier in the future, but for now, Macho Tacos is a fierce contender in the Taco market in Taipei. The store has a lucha libre theme, which is quite delightful. There are a couple of funny lucha libre art and artifacts decorating the inside seating area, and hanging above the restaurants biggest table is a chandelier made out of corona bottles.

The downside of this restaurant is that the space is way too small and cramped for an enjoyable dine-in meal. They probably can seat 22 people total in their small restaurant. The other problem is that the operation cannot seem to keep up with the large amount of customers, and the wait for your meal is atrociously long for Tacos. I believe they mentioned that they are training their staff in March 2011, so hopefully in April we can see a boost in efficiency and quality of service here. For now they will get average scores for their decor and service until they can prove themselves otherwise in the future. The ordering process is quite confusing too, I know the real estate is expensive here, but maybe some effort can be used to clarify which line of people is waiting to order and which line of people are waiting for their order. No surprise, the system defaults to jungle rules, like most cases in Taiwan.
I ordered the 3 taco combo, which comes out to 220 NT total. It comes with 3 tacos of your choice (beef, chicken, carnitas, or tofu), a bag of tortilla chips, and a soft drink. The tortilla chips were not bad, they were thicker than I would have liked it, but it still carried the familiar taste and crunch. I wish they had more saucy salsas to dip these chips into, but you can't ask for too much i guess. Their pico de gallo and corn salsa did not seem to be easily scooped with the chips, but the pico de gallo is pretty decently prepared in terms of ingredients and shape.
This is pretty much the taco meal. I only gave it a 3.5 because they were not really really good tacos in reality. However, they are considered top tier Tacos in Taipei. Their tortillas were thick and chewy, but they didn't have the same corn taste and the powdery texture that I like in a tortilla. They might have messed with us and snuck some flour in the corn meal or something, but it just doesn't have that same noticeable corn taste and chewy, powdery bite to it. They could not have messed up on the Pico De Gallo (tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime, and maybe a bit of jalapenos). Although one could argue about the ratio of ingredients might not be to their liking, it is not that a significant issue: I liked their salsa. The tacos came with two additional hot sauces that helped add more flavor. The sauces also helped improve the texture by making the meat less dry.

The beef taco marginally passed as close to say El Torito tacos at least. It was flavored enough and the meat seemed to have a good ratio of fat to it. The chicken also passed. The bits were tender and juicy, and there was nothing too noticeably wrong about it. The one taco that disappointed was the carnitas. The pulled pork just wasn't prepared right. It was too bland. They didn't marinate it/cook it in the right sauce or something. The texture and the pig flavor were there, but it lacked that layer of flavor that comes from the deep marinade. The meat was not succulent enough, and the seasoning was not pungent enough to make it pass the test. Sadly, Del Taco's del carbons take these tacos to town though. Yet, I am still thankful that there exists a semblance of mexican food that is close enough to satiate mi lengua. Head to Macho Tacos for a taste of Tai-Mex!

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