El Taco Express #2 

5447 NE 42nd Ave, 284-8446

Anyone familiar with authentic Mexican fare in the Northeast knows the joys of La Sirenita and El Burrito Loco. Now, it's time to add another restaurant to the list: El Taco Express #2--offering Latino minimalism, and enormous portions at a great price.

The menu is diverse, presenting patrons with 10 different burrito options--including a delicious cow-tongue burrito (yum, I'll take seconds!). Both the veggie soft taco and tostada are more than satisfying, replete with beans, lettuce, sour cream, tomato, and guacamole. The tostada is crispy, and thankfully not buried under 20 pounds of lettuce. Bargain hunters will note that tacos are only a dollar, and two of them will almost certainly make the average belly burst.

Carnivores will enjoy the enormous beef quesadilla, which is nicely grilled, and generously loaded with spicy beef and sharp white Mexican cheese. However, those looking for more saucy selections should proceed with caution: The chili in the one pound chili relleno burrito, has a great smoky taste, but the inclusion of watery tomato salsa makes for one soggy burrito.

Unlike the sombrero-laced ambience of most family-style Mexican restaurants, El Taco Express #2 takes the minimalist route with a stark white interior and a few colorful shawls adorning the wall. However, any visual concerns should be offset by the quality of food and the prices: Two people can spend $10.75 on lunch--including drinks-- and still leave with a big container of leftovers. El Taco Express#2 is the real deal--authentic, cheap and a welcome addition for Northeast diners.

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