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Entries in Tacos Acalpulco (1)

Saturday
Nov122011

Tacos Acalpulco

Tacos Acapulco

344 Boston Turnpike
Shrewsbury, MA  01545

(508) 425 3593

The Facebook message came from Chet’s Diner:  “OKAY!!!! SO I JUST WENT TO A HOLE IN THE WALL AND OMG MEXICAN JUST LIKE WHEN I WENT TO MEXICO TH REAL DEAL!!! I GOT YOU A MENU!!!! HOPE TO SEE YOU SAT!! U HAVE TO TRY IT.”  Only one person at Chet’s can be that effusive; it had to be owner Jessica Fidrych. Yep, on my next breakfast at Chet’s Jessica produced a menu and said I had to try it. While there was some debate among the customers at Chet’s  counter as to whether Jessica had the worm at the bottom of the Tequila bottle, when one restaurant owner recommends another place I had to try it.

What do I know about Mexican food?  I’m from Cleveland, where there were not many options for Mexican food. (The west side of Cleveland has a lot of western European influences.)  I was in Tijuana Mexico once with a buddy; we had a beer and left. It occurred to me the Sopeclosest I’d come to Mexican food was a burrito off a lunch cart in Boston’s Financial district (and they are good.)

Hmm. I know very little about Mexican food. So I grabbed an authentic Mexican friend of mine, Juan, and showed him the menu.

He knew of the place, having driven by many times, and had never stopped. I told him I wanted “real” Mexican (Juan, of course, offered to take me to Mexico.)  He looked at the menu, and started getting excited.

Dry TamaleJuan then rattled off what he wanted to try….some tamales, sope (with tongue – “because it is very tender,” advised Juan,) tacos, and I insisted on a burrito.

Tacos Acapulco is an eight table restaurant on Rt 9 Eastbound in Shrewsbury not to be confused with the Acapulcos chain. It’s a small, storefront style restaurant, with the kitchen in the back. My guess is it was hot in the kitchen, as it was chilly in the small dining area. The interior walls have interesting murals of Mexican culture, the ceiling is heavily water stained, and the ice machine has access panels missing….you get the idea they focus more on food Two layer tortilla shelled tacothan upkeep.

The owner, Ramon Picasso, opened the restaurant in the site of a former pizzeria 3 years ago. He floats easily between Spanish and English…greeting his amigos, and saying muchas gracias as folks leave. They advertise delivery, although Westborough is out of their range. (American Express is also listed, but a small sign on the counter suggests not any longer.)  On this day, Ramon’s wife was doing the cooking. It turns out Ramon is from Guadalajara, as is Juan.

Ramon was out of chips, and apologizing in multiple languages. As the tables turned over, you could tell missing the chips was a big deal….the regulars we disappointed. He was also out of tongue…another selection the regulars were missing.

I’ve never had sope before…it’s a fried dough with toppings like a pizza. Ramon suggested substituting carnitas (“little meats” of pork.)  Juan was happy with the sope, “Everything fried is good.”  Juan contends there was a tomato sauce missing…at least that’s how his family prepared it. I liked it!

The chicken tamales were a miss. The masa (a starchy dough) was dry with a hardly a hint of chicken. Juan wondered aloud if they were out of tomato sauce, as he would expect a little sauce in the masa.

Many American tacos are hard shelled. Juan was pleased the tortilla shell was small and soft. The taco was delivered with two layers, as one is not enough to hold the contents. We both found the tacos good.

The burritos were also a hit. Nicely wrapped, a bursting with fresh flavor. We had steak burritos, and Juan was happy they were seasoned with cilantro. The veggies were crisp and the beans and rice were moist. Juan says dried out beans and rice is a tell-tale sign of a lack of freshness.

Juan declared Tacos Acapulco the real deal….(just avoid the tamales.)

Personally, I wouldn’t make a special trip to Tacos Acapulco as it is not a “destination” restaurant. If you are on Rt 9 eastbound with a hankering for Mexican, you can’t go wrong stopping at Tacos Acapulco.

Hours:

Closed Monday
Tuesday-Sunday   11:00am-9:00pm

Tacos Acapulco gets a:

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

About the RAG scale:

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

       Amber Light – Use caution

       Red Light – Save your time and money