Sometimes you want good tacos, but you also need them fast - and that’s when you should go to Marcelino’s, a scrappy operation on the East Side. For lunch there are mainstays like carne guisada and barbacoa, but it’s the breakfast tacos that we come here for. The tacos are scoop and serve, made assembly-line right in front of you, but Marcelino’s is so consistently busy that they’re hustling and preparing food non-stop. The efficiency is impressive: we’ve seen lines eight people deep get cleared out in a matter of minutes.
You can get a basic bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast taco, and it’ll be far superior to most you can get around town. Their system, however, allows them to have a much broader menu of options that you don’t see often, like repollo asado (grilled cabbage), calabacitas (squash), rajas (poblanos in cream), smoked Elgin sausage, and the incredible papa ranchera (French fries tossed in salsas) that we probably think about too much. Also, at Marcelino’s, the cheese isn’t grated - they peel a slice off of a huge stack and slap it onto a warmed tortilla, where it immediately melts.