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Friday, August 04, 2006

El Rincon

There are more authentic taco joints opening in Lincoln than a person can keep up with anymore. I noticed El Rincon on the way back home after the first day of the bar exam and decided I'd try it after the second day as a reward.

Inside it's pretty stark. The burger-dressing counter from the old Sam's Gutbombs is still there covered by a tablecloth though. I walked up to the counter to order and was invited to sit down so someone could take my order. That threw me for a loop because in most of the simple taquerias - Super Taco, Tacos del Pueblo, El Chaparro, El Comal, etc. - you order at the counter. It didn't make much of a difference though, since I ended up waiting for my food about the same amount of time at El Rincon.

The menu is very similar to the abovementioned restaurants but a little bit simpler. The basics are there - tacos, burritos, tortas, combo platters - but not much else which is fine for a place like this. One thing I did find intriguing, though I did not order it, was the option of having a chile relleno taco or torta. Maybe next time. I ended up getting what I usually order at a new taqueria which was a selection of tacos. At $1.25 each they were a pretty good value as they were noticeably heavier on the meat than the tacos at similar places. I ordered one each of chorizo, carne asada and carnitas. Lengua, pollo and cabeza were also available the day I was there.

Starting with the best, the carne asada was fresh, hot and juicy. Probably some of the best carne asada I've had on a taco in Lincoln. Oddly, it was topped with lettuce and tomato while the other two tacos had the standard cilantro and onion topping. The chorizo was flavorful but the texture was a little softer than I like; the meat was looser than I'm used to. Finally, the carnitas was in bigger chunks than you usually find which allowed the crispiness of the pork to be more noticeable. However, the meat was a bit too dry.

Hot sauces were served in squeezeable bottles. The salsa verde was very heavy on tomatillo and jalapeno and spicy but not too spicy. The salsa roja was very smoky, tinged perhaps with the Mexican smoked paprika I like so much, slightly spicier than the green sauce but again, not too spicy. Hot sauce passionistas will not be blown away.

I was also served a basket of hot from the oil corn chips and a bowl of salsa while I waited for my food. The chips were great but the salsa was a real disappointment. It was very fresh but about the only thing I could taste was tomato along with cilantro. Definitely ask for the hot sauce bottles to spice up the chip salsa.

A secretary where I work is from Mexico and she seems to know everybody who runs a Mexican restaurant in town and has an opinion on their food as well. El Rincon is not high on her list. She placed it below all the restaurants I've mentioned here and singled out the carne asada for particular criticism which definitely differed from my experience. It seems consistency might be a problem at El Rincon. Given they've only been open since early July that's understandable. Still, El Rincon is a nice addition to Lincoln's growing selection of taquerias, especially given it's location.

El Rincon
2100 N 48th St, Lincoln, 68504

4 Comments:

Blogger Awesome Inc. said...

Steve,

I hit Super Taco a couple weeks ago, and wow, their chicken torta was outstanding. I loved the big chunks of avacado.

Jamie

11:31 AM  
Blogger Gunscribe said...

Added you to my Blogroll

http://nebraskanews.blogspot.com/2006/08/eatin-in-lincoln.html

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend liked his chile relleno burrito the other day, and I was pretty impressed with my burrito de lengua (though I think the lengua is even tastier at El Chaparro).

Another place to eat in NE Lincoln is always welome, though, and the food was both tasty and a great value. I hope El Rincon can last longer in that location than the Piezanos did.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous foxspit said...

J.J. Harder begs to differ in what may be the best restaurant review I've ever seen.

Link

3:08 PM  

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