Review: Tacos Don Martin (TDM), what can one say about you? Here are a few things: alright; okay; meh; not bad; sure, I’ll go again, maybe. I had high hopes for this little Sugar House taco stand. This place is surrounded by restaurants with much higher budgets and fancier facades. Heck, not a block away is Chipotle: that bastion of slick corporatized Mexican fast food whose recipe is so formulaic that its burritos somehow (and only heaven knows how) taste like meat twinkies. Against such great odds we all want the little guy to succeed. Unfortunately, objectivity must prevail.
As I approached TDM, all signs pointed to “this place will be good.” There were a number of Latinos ordering, none of which spoke a word of English. So far, so good.
The condiment tray had all the normal condiments. Cool. The stand itself was simple and elegant in its ergonomics. The selection of meats was standard, yet authentic — e.g., al pastor, lengua, pollo, tripe, etc. Promising, promising.
I ordered three tacos (all of which came on two white corn tortillas): al pastor, lengua, and cabeza.
The al pastor was stringy, dry, and not spicy. The lengua was tender and juicy, but entirely lacking in seasoning and flavor. (Note: to all those out there who cringe at the thought of eating tongue, don’t. Tongue is one of the best cuts of meat out there. The generous amount of intramuscular fat makes it tender and lovely. Try it. It will not disappoint.) The cabeza, which refers to the meat taken from the head of a cow, not the brain of the cow), was quite good. The meat was cooked to tender perfection, and the spices accented the flavors well. So, one out of three. That might be a good batting average in baseball, but it doesn’t cut it in the land of taco stands.
The condiments were all freshly prepared. However, the salsa had no kick to it at all. Not even a twinge of capsaicin on the tongue.
I’ll go back for the cabeza taco, but that’s it.