At El Taco Riendo (the laughing taco), Northeast Minneapolis’s new fast food Mexican restaurant, it’s all about the food — tender, stewed meats and fresh vegetables that beautifully dress up the casual setting, styrofoam plate, and plastic utensil service items.
Upon entering the small restaurant, owner Miguel Cruz-Gomez is eager to talk newcomers through the extensive menu, which features the usual Mexican offerings such as tacos ($2 each), burritos ($6.50), tortas ($6.50 — $8), combination plates with beans and rice ($8), nachos, and fajitas, as well as more traditional dishes, such as menudo and tripe. Orders come with your choice of a seemingly endless list of meats — asado (grilled steak), barbacoa (shredded beef), carnitas (crispy stewed pork), and chicharrón (stewed pork rind), just to name a few.
And of course, there is the tinga de pollo — a beautifully prepared shredded chicken spiced with smoky chipotle pepper and tomato sauce. The pepper brings just enough heat to make you grab for an extra napkin, but without making you beg for water. Stuffed inside corn tortillas and topped with chopped onion, cilantro, salsa verde, and a squeeze of lime, the tinga de pollo taco is near perfection.
Mexican restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis
2416 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
OWNER: Miguel Cruz-Gomez
ENTREE COST: $2-8