BOSReview

photo credit: Natalie Schaefer

Taquería Jalisco review image

Taquería Jalisco

There are things in life that we come back to over and over again. Matt Damon yelling about apples outside Dunkin’ Donuts. The Celtics overcoming a 24-point deficit during Game 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals. Dancing to the “Cupid Shuffle” at every wedding known to man. And the tamales from Taquería Jalisco.

Because the tamales at Jalisco - a small restaurant at one of the many illogical East Boston intersections - are really good. They’re made in-house, with a healthy portion of masa surrounding moist chicken with salsa verde or tender pork with a spicier salsa roja. Choosing between the two is like picking a favorite child - possible, but probably not the wisest of decisions. Luckily, you can order multiples of each since they’re only $2.99 per tamale, which is a lot cheaper than lifelong family therapy sessions.

Natalie Schaefer

Taquería Jalisco review image

Almost everything else on the menu is solid as well. The tacos are simple meat, onion, and cilantro combos on corn tortillas, but the three tableside salsas (which all vary on the heat index) transform them into worthy tamale-sidekicks. The Torta Mexicana with carnitas is a huge grilled sandwich with an ideal ratio of tender pork to bread. And on those winter nights when breathing results in a brain freeze, the huge bowls of soup - especially the pozole - are more effective than the LED fireplace you bought at Kmart’s closing sale.

Jalisco’s only real drawback is its size - the booths make it almost impossible for more than four people to sit together. Even with four, it can be tight, especially once the table is filled with tamales, burritos, and a whole fried fish. However, unless your group includes Pierce, Allen, and Garnett, you can make it work. Just know that you could be cozying up to a romanticized painting of a farmer and his horse as you consume your delicious tamales. Either way, it’s still more comfortable than the 78th time you’re told to kick and walk it by yourself.

Food Rundown

Tamales Mexicanos

The tamales here are stellar. You have the choice of chicken with salsa verde, or pork with salsa roja - order five of each.

Natalie Schaefer

Taquería Jalisco review image

Tacos

Don’t expect any modern taco interpretations with heritage poblanos at Jalisco. The tacos here are the standard trio of meat, onion, and cilantro, but they’re still solid. Our favorites are the res and lengua.

Natalie Schaefer

Taquería Jalisco review image

Enchiladas Verdes

Despite being advertised as spicy, they are rather mild, but again the tableside salsas will remedy that problem. The surprising highlight is the refried beans - creamier than Jif and nicely seasoned.

Natalie Schaefer

Taquería Jalisco review image

Pescado Frito

A whole tilapia fried to a nice crisp. Considering how affordable this is at $14.99, we wonder about the well-being of fishermen.

Natalie Schaefer

Taquería Jalisco review image

Pozole

Sometimes hominy is like stale popcorn - edible and useful for passing time during long meetings, but still questionable. Here, it’s in a soup with pork so tender it’ll compete with the opening five minutes of Up, which is to say it’s good enough to induce some real feelings.

Natalie Schaefer

Taquería Jalisco review image

Featured in

.
The Best Restaurants in East Boston guide image
Guide
The Best Restaurants in East Boston

13 spots not named “Logan.”

Suggested Reading

.
Tawakal Cafe review image
Review
Tawakal Cafe

Tawakal is a small Somali restaurant in East Boston with great food.

Sammy Carlo’s review image
Review
Sammy Carlo’s

Sammy Carlo’s is an Italian deli in East Boston serving large sandwiches at affordable prices.

Rincón Limeño Restaurant review image
Review
Rincón Limeño Restaurant

Rincón Limeño is a Peruvian restaurant in East Boston with a full liquor license and great ceviche.

Tu Metapán Restaurant review image
Review
Tu Metapán Restaurant

Tu Metapán is a Salvadorean restaurant in East Boston with good pupusas and other budget-friendly plates.