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.
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.
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.
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
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / No
NOISE LEVEL: Amenable din
ENTREE RANGE: $2-$11
PARKING: Validates parking in adjacent ramp