Food Reviews—Taqueria El Vecino

By Mallory Bowers

Originally published Fall 2012.

sulcus142Liz and Dick, Britney and Jason, Ron and Yoland — classic couples of the ages — meet Taqueria el Vecino, “the neighborhood taqueria”, where delicious is paired with affordable. El Vecino (I have shorthanded to reflect my affection) is the only lunch spot on my rotation where I can walk away stuffed and short just ten dollars in my pocket – for two people. The lunch special is a must for the cash-strapped and hungry graduate student. Starting at 11:30 and running for a generous 3.5 hours, the lunch special sulcus145includes two baskets of chips, two dips from the “wall of flame”, and iced tea, sweet tea, limeade, or my favorite, the iced tea/limeade combo (with refills!) for free! If you are looking to make your visit to El Vecino a “liquid” lunch, be warned that you won’t find any $3 Los Loros lunch margaritas here. Basic margaritas cost $7 and, although large, are fairly weak. Flavored margarita offerings include blackberry, guava, and mango and cost between $7 and $8. The “wall of flame” sulcus144includes highlights like chipotle ranch, cilantro lime balsamic vinaigrette, pico de gallo, and fresh jicama slaw. I often mix 3/4 chipotle ranch and ¼ cilantro lime balsamic for a tangy/spicy sauce to dip chips and dress my tacos. Tacos, which run between $2-$4 dollars during regular hours, are listed under $2. I favor the fish taco which comes out so fresh that impatient diners like me often burn their mouths. The actual fish is delicious, without any lingering “fishiness” taste or smell. The fish is topped with a heavenly cole slaw of cabbage, pineapple, jicama, jalapeno, and a tiny bit of mayonnaise. Other options include chorizo, carnitas (pork), camarones (shrimp), brisket, carne asada and smoked pork. All of the smoked fillings are house smoked in the “big black box” out front.  Enchiladas, poblanos rellenos, and huevos rancheros all cost around $6 during lunchtime. The enchiladas are a more filling option for the hungry student. The enchiladas plate comes with three enchiladas, Mexican rice, and beans. The diner has the option of three sauces –salsa roja, salsa verde, or mole. Fillings include chicken, steak, and carnitas. By now you should be salivating more than Pavlov’s dogs, however, the restaurant will be closed for renovations until September 10. The renovations include an sulcus143expansion that will increase the size of the kitchen and seating areas. The menu is also undergoing an expansion with more smoked and BBQ items, as well as more beer and liquor options. Please visit Taqueria el Vecino after September 10 at:

2743 LaVista Road
Decatur, GA 30033

11:30am – 9pm Su-Thu
11:30am – 10pm Fri & Sat

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