Taco Cat at Midtown Global Market

Amy Rea / Heavy Table
Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Taco Cat is another example of a food operation in the Twin Cities that started non-bricks and mortar, building a following before opening a restaurant. But unlike the many food trucks that have taken that route, Taco Cat offered taco delivery by bike within the Uptown and Powderhorn neighborhoods. They worked out of a shared kitchen space at Midtown Global Market, so it wasn’t too much of a leap to open a retail establishment there, taking over the former Burrito Mercado space, conveniently located next to East Lake Brewery.

Amy Rea / Heavy Table
Amy Rea / Heavy Table

It’s a good fit for the Market and the brewery. Taco Cat has a solid menu, with all entrees offered as tacos ($2-$3.75), burritos or nachos ($8-$11). You can go basic and get a steak burrito, which is a hearty, plenty-for-two burrito filled with tender grilled flank steak, rice, crema, salsa, and a generous amount of cilantro. Or you can order a veggie taco, which has the option of also being vegan. Unlike some taco shops in which a veggie taco is an afterthought, this is actually a tasty offering, with refried black beans and a corn pico de gallo that has some spice to it, countered by a goodly dash of cotija cheese.

But it’s the specialty offerings that really shine. The Outlaw taco ($3.49) is a Mexican/Korean hybrid, with succulent roasted pork and tangy kim chi and pickled jalapenos providing a slow-burn aftertaste. The special of the week was a taco comprised of braised beef heart ($4.50 each, or 3 for $12) that was so tender, yet a little bit chewy with a rich beef flavor, served with pickled fennel, fried shallots and horseradish crema boosting that beef flavor and adding some crispy textures and tanginess to the beef.

Amy Rea / Heavy Table
Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Chips are housemade and gratifyingly crunchy and salty. The guacamole ($3) is a solid version, full of garlic, lime, and cilantro, but the housemade salsa ($1.49) that accompanied the chips had the faintest smoky flavor, and not much else. Skip that and get a tray full of specialty tacos, then wander next door to East Lake Brewery, and you’ve got a solid meal.

Taco Cat

920 E Lake St, #107
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Daily 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Bike delivery Mon-Sat 4 p.m.-11 p.m
Sun 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
BAR: Beer at adjacent East Lake Brewery
NOISE LEVEL: Amenable din
PARKING: Validates parking in adjacent ramp