5139 S 24th St
Cost: $35 for three meals
Reservations: First come, first served.
Greetings, eaters and readers!
It’s not Cinco de Mayo just yet, but isn’t it always a good time for tacos? This month, I lured Martha and my friend Scott — our quarterly guest — to Taqueria Tijuana, a small taco joint with seemingly good reviews in South Omaha’s Main Street Historic District. Did we agree with all those 4-star Yelpers? Let’s find out …
Since there was no alcohol served here, both Scott and I ordered a Horchata: a popular Mexican drink made of rice, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar (recipes can vary).
We both loved it. Scott said it tasted like Rumchata sans the rum. And I equated it to the left over cereal milk you get after a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Delicious!
Note: It was hard to take a flattering picture of this delightful beverage in its red cup, so here are some fancier pictures of horchata.
Each table is donned with two salsa and a bowl of radishes, limes and fire-roasted jalapeños. Martha and I both thought the salsas were wicked hot. Scott seemed unfazed by the heat. (Is he even human? We’re not sure.) He rather liked the orange-red salsa — commenting that you could really taste the roasted peppers.
Fresh from a trip to California, Martha wanted a recreated of a dish she’d enjoyed there: Sope – a small, fluffy tortilla topped with meat, lettuce, cream and cheese.
Compared to her CA sope, this one didn’t quite live up. It wasn’t as crispy or fluffy, and the toppings wren’t piled as high. Overall, it was good enough, but she’ll always compare future sopes to Cali’s rendition.
I got two menu items. The first: a grilled asada (steak) burrito. Unfortunately, there’s not much to say about this burrito, as it was pretty bland. If there was any seasoning on the steak, I couldn’t tell.
“You have to get the beef tongue taco. I know, it’s weird. But you just have to.” After receiving this advice from a friend, I had to oblige. And you know what? It was the best thing I ate the whole meal.
Think stew meat that’s been tenderizing in a crockpot all day. Tender, juicy and downright delicious. I also loved the creamy guac they appear to put on all their tacos. My only regret is not ordering more!
Scott got the pollo (chicken) burrito and had the same reaction a me: bland. In fact, we both agreed we’ve had better burritos at Chipotle.
The tacos, it seemed, were the way to go. Scott ordered two — chorizo and grilled steak — both of which he enjoyed a lot more than his burrito.
Leaving Taqueria Tijuana, we all left thinking the same thing: it was just okay. And we’d be remiss not to pose the question, “Did we feel this way because it wasn’t the Tex-Mex we’re used to?” We agreed the answer is no.
Personally, I have enjoyed several authentic Mexican restaurants, all of which came with a lot more flavor in each dish. (Try Taqueria Chingon in Benson, a definite favorite of mine!)
That being said, we wouldn’t hesitate to give it a second shot and explore more of the menu. Albeit not a large menu, there’s a handful of tacos we’d happily order again.