Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Anna's Taqueria: Boston: Multiple Locations

Even before I moved to Boston, many people had told me that Anna's Taqueria was the place to go in Boston for some good Mexican food, hard to find as price-conscious Mexican food can be in the northeastern chunk of the U.S.  As a Texas, this is important to me.

On my first trip to Boston, I visited Anna's Taqueria to see.  For some reason, the picture of the food  Cami and I ate at the one near MGH are missing as is the menu with my notes, but I remember we had tacos with chips and salsa, and I remember generally liking the place and enjoying the food.  It wasn't the best ever, but it was tasty, and the salsa wasn't bad.

Anna's Taqueria on Urbanspoon

A few weeks ago I was walking from Cambridge, heading across the Harvard Bridge, and I was hungry but wanted to stay on my paleo diet as well as my budget, so I decided to head into the MIT campus Anna's location to see what I could wrangle in the meat and vegetables only department.

It turned out to be a pretty accommodating situation.  I could get the "Mexican Plate" with one of the meats and sub in a bunch of grilled vegetables and guacamole for the rice, beans, and corn tortillas.

I had a moment's hesitation when the man said the chicken I'd pointed to was "spicy chicken," but it turned out I was lucky to have spotted the pickle jalapeƱos, not only because anna's taqueria is one of there's places at which one can find them, but also because they would be necessary in order to get any bite of my food up to a good heat level.  This was just another case of needlessly warning a white about heat.  By "spicy chicken," I've deduced that he meant their chicken ranchero option:

The Chicken Ranchero "Mexican Plate" with grilled veggies and guac in place of the carbs + pickled jalapenos and pico de gallo

The guacamole wasn't exactly made 5 minutes ago, but it wasn't bad for old guacamole. I'd complain about the lack of cilantro in te guacamole if the pico de gallo weren't a generous heap filled with the wonder herb. The guacamole was also not spicy at all on it's own, but I had my jalapeƱos.  Sadly, the pico was a bit soggy.  So everything was more or less fine, able as I was to combine various elements of my plate in order to get heat and cilantro involved in each mouthful.  The grilled vegetable situation was pretty stellar, with squash, zucchini, broccoli, sweet potato, and peppers.



All in all, I'd say the availability of Anna's taqueria is like finding a warm glass of unfiltered tap water in the dessert of Boston's casual Mexican food scene.

Also, I think the other locations might all be better than the MIT one, based not only on my own statistically insignificant experiences but also on the ratings on the various restaurant rating sites.

Since I've moved here, I continue to hear some people sing AT's praises, others saying that no no, the good stuff is at Dorado Tacos & CemitasEl Pelon, or Tacos Lupita.  We'll have to see, but their menus certainly look promising.

Anna's Taqueria on Urbanspoon

Another time I went to the Anna's at Davis Square and got a taco:

One Al Pastor Taco for $1.95
Though I've looked up what "al pastor" actually means, it's still unclear to me what's going on here:

It seems as though first there's a type of taco to choose (regular or al pastor, for cheaper), and then a kind of meat, among which "al pastor" is also an option. So, can you get a "regular al pastor" taco for $2.85 and an "al pastor lengua" taco for $1.95? What is the difference between "regular" and "al pastor" that changes the price? I tried asking the guy helping me, but his English wasn't good enough to be helpful. Anyway I wound up paying $2.85 for some kind of "al pastor" something that tasted pretty good but not great.



Anna's Taqueria (Davis Square) on Urbanspoon