A true hidden gem in downtown Rockford. 

Priscilla and I went down to check out the latest batch of t-shirts at Guerilla Graffix. They are unfortunately going out of business and are selling all their t-shirts off at $2 bucks a pop. Some great finds in there. Particularly proud of my Bushwood polo shirt and Lil' Sebastien Farewell Tour shirt. Priscilla found a pretty cool Chewbacca shirt.

Chewbacca was great, but my Buffy the Vampire Slayer shirt was also a great flashback find.

We left to go get tacos and I suggested that since we were down there we should check out the taco place down the road, El Pueblo. Neither of us had ever been. We pulled up, the open sign was on, and they were advertising 3 tacos for 5 dollars. We were hungry. This was happening.

After shopping, I'm always starving. Plus I only had about 45 minutes to get back to the office for a video call.

I'm pretty sure we both audibly said "Oh!" when we stepped inside. It is much bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside. The pandaria (more on that later) takes up about half of the storefront but is actually quite small. Most of that entire building is the restaurant. The ceilings were also much higher than I expected.

Not only was it bigger than anticipated, but I totally caught whiff of the bakery next door.

Chips and salsa were brought to our table.

Horchata was ordered while we looked at the menu. Some great entrees in there. I will return for the tampequena.

My order was the one pictured above. One steak taco. One al pastor taco. One chorizo gordita, crispy. She asked me if I wanted it soft or crispy. I had no idea so, per her advice, ordered it crispy.

Priscilla went with one steak taco, one carnitas, and one shrimp tostada.

Check out the mound of fresh cilantro!

Can we take a moment to appreciate how wonderful that shrimp tostada looks? Just a professional order from Priscilla on this one.

On to the ratings:

Chips and Salsa:

  • Joe - 9 - I feel like we're really hitting a streak of great chips and salsa. Solid, warm, salty chips and the salsa tasted good. There was another flavor in there. Possibly roasted veggies but I'm not sure. Excellent.
  • Priscilla -9 - Just yum! Fresh chips, fresh salsa with great flavor. Not to spicy.

Tortillas:

  • Joe - 7 - These were perfectly adequate good tortillas. Nothing to complain about here.
  • Priscilla -8 - I thought they were a little better than adequate. I could really taste the corn. I might gone with and 8.5 if of course they did 1 tortilla vs. 2.

Filling:

  • Joe - 7.5 - The steak was good, but there was a different flavor in there that I couldn't identify. Not sure if it was in the marinade or how it was cooked, but it was sweeter and more tender than most steak tacos. Excellent but a little different. The al pastor was great.
  • Priscilla - 7.5- Steak was good. I agree with Joe, something more of a sweeter taste vs savory. The pork carnitas were good. Honestly, I think I woofed these down too quick because I wanted to move on to the tostada.

Value:

  • Joe - 9 - Total came to 23 dollars. When you factor in the great atmosphere, outstanding staff, and connected bakery, El Pueblo is well worth the price of admission.
  • Priscilla -9-Reasonable prices, clean interior and service was great. Plus, did you check out the heap of shrimp on my tostada? Great alternative to a Friday night fish fry during Lent.

Intangibles:

  • Joe - 9 - Here's where El Pueblo shines in my opinion. First, let's talk about the gordita. The pros: it was excellent, a crispy gordita is a pretty unique item. The cons: it was an absolute mess. In the middle of it, I felt sorry that Priscilla had to share the table with me. A lot of that is on me. Ordering inherently greasier meat like chorizo to go inside a deep-fried tortilla was just setting me up for disaster. Maybe too, I could have used some silverware. Regardless, I went through about 10 napkins on the gordita alone. Still delicious. The bakery next door smelled and looked great. Priscilla even said that the cakes looked so good there she would order one for a quinceanera.
    They also sold something called a Monster Preparado, or prepared Monster. I had no idea what it was so I asked while checking out. She said, basically, "It's a Monster energy drink, that I add a bunch of stuff too." Curious, I got one to go. I recognized most of the ingredients she added like lime juice, salt, Squirt, and tajin. There was a syrup that I was unfamiliar with that I found out was Chamoy, a Mexican condiment flavored with different fruits. It also appears to be kind of a regional thing. There's not much online about it but the botanas place across the street were advertising them as well. We're looking into it. Anyway, it was really tasty but WAY too big. I drank half of it and started to feel the stomach rumble. Ask if you can split it into two cups if you're thinking about ordering one.
    That is by far the longest intangibles entry of the season. What I'm saying is, I really liked this place.
  • Priscilla -9-I've driven by this place so many times. The bakery always caught my eye. I'm a sucker for sweets. Seriously look at these cakes and pan dulce. I was trying think of who's birthday was next that I needed a cake for.

Official WROK Taco Scores:

  • Joe - 41.5/50
  • Priscilla - 42.5/50

Check out our previous reviews:

Read More: Taco Tuesday Review: De Juan | https://1440wrok.com/taco-tuesday-review-de-juan/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

 

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