Andale Taqueria & Mercado in Richfield
On any given weekday, when the clock strikes twelve, hoards of cubicle dwellers swarm the streets of downtown Minneapolis to converse and feast on food truck cuisine. It’s like moths to a flame. Or perhaps a zombie state of mind: Must. Eat. Food. Made. In. Truck. It truly is the Age of Street Food. Side note: Hats off to World Street Kitchen for enforcing proper line etiquette. (You know who you are, sidewalk monopolizers.)
Mexican delights and delicacies have been a part of this phenomenon for years and years. Let’s go ahead and call them trailblazers. No extraneous frills; just quick, honest cooking is what people are looking for more than ever. Andale Taqueria & Mercado in Richfield may not be on four wheels, but their counter-service restaurant with street-style, authentic fare has everything food trucks offer — and then some.
For starters, the parking is prolific (a decent-sized lot considering the location), and outdoor seating bridges the gap between the eatery and market, which adds a nice touch. It’s summer in Minnesota, after all. Hands down, the goat taco ($2, above) and the al pastor taco ($1.89) stole the show. Atop two soft corn tortillas resided perfectly tender, fine-grained textured goat (chivo) with a slight hint of mint. The spicy, marinated, mouth-watering pork made you want to become a better person — it was that good. Each taco was accompanied by a hit of (lime) acid, onion, cilantro, and creamy, spicy avocado salsa that provided harmonious textural contrast.
The restaurant’s adventurous side doesn’t take a back seat. The beef tripe taco ($2, above) was dense and chewy, with a subtle taste. Some see it as a delicacy; many would opt out. The mole sauce over the beef brisket enchiladas ($8.49) packed a mean punch of flavor and complexity with just the right amount of chocolate. And the restaurant’s guacamole had a decent flavor profile but it was slightly on the too creamy side and the murky green coloring was distracting. (Baby food, anyone?) Considering adding chips to a side of guacamole increased the bill by $3+, I was expecting flecks of gold in them. Sadly, there was no gold and tasted a little above average.
With lick-your-plate-clean tacos for under $2, a friendly staff and a market, bakery, and butcher next door, Andale is an ideal stop for an authentic Mexican experience nestled in the suburbs.
OWNER: Fernanado Mellado
HOURS: Mon – Thu 7am – 11pm Fri – Sun 7am – 3am
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / No
ENTREE RANGE: $7.59-$11.59 for entrees, $1.89-$2 for tacos, $1.79-$5 for sides