Industrial Mile Rd., just off Georgesville (address not posted)
I don’t know that I’ve ever said this about a restaurant before, but Azteca De Oro is, well… cute. Not unlike most of the restaurants we’re reviewing here, it’s an assemblage of the second-hand: start with the bones of an old restaurant, add tables, chairs, and whatever else you can scrounge up, maybe hit a few walls with paint. Sometimes this approach adds up to something more than the sum of its parts, other times… not so much. In ADO’s case, it comes together with an unaffected, well worn, cheerful charm (that the photos, unfortunately, do a bad job of conveying).
ADO’s menu is extensive and clearly oriented towards a Mexican customer base. With offerings like huaraches, gorditas, menudo and pambazos, these guys operate as though their competition is the taco trucks (which, as far as their Mexican clientele are concerned, they probably are). This felt like familiar territory, so I figured I’d put them to the test by ordering the tacos campechanos – a plate of 5 tacos, each with a different meat inside – and washing it down with some horchata.
Chips and a nice selection of salsas came out. The tortilla chips were fine, but the salsas were the star – conspicuously fresh and flavorful. The lighter red-orangeish salsa was a standout – smoky, garlicky, and with a nice hot kick. The deep red stuff packed a searing spicy heat punch. The horchata, a sweet rice milk beverage flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, was there to help take the edge off.
My taco selection arrived quickly, and as expected, was prepared Mexican style (two small corn tortillas each, cilantro and onions on top). Going through the list by meat selection:
- Al pastor (seasoned pork) – About as good as al pastor gets without being spit-roasted. A satisfying, big-flavored option.
- Asada (seasoned roast beef) – A little on the tame side, flavor-wise, but a willing companion to the smoky salsa
- Cecina (cured beef) – Nice flavor, expectedly chewy. Great with the smoky salsa.
- Pollo (chicken) – excellent seasoning, but a bit on the tough side.
- Cochinita (marinated shredded pork) – Very tender, subtle flavor, best with the green sauce.
Overall, the tacos were solid, authentic, and certainly taco truck worthy. Vegetarian options were scant to non-existant.
ADO also serves breakfast, and with huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, tamales as well as other egg options. It’s feels slightly odd having chips and salsa at breakfast time, but once they’re there it’s hard to resist. We sampled both the rojo and verde chilaquiles and preferred the red. The verde option was too acidic (lime and tomatillo heavy) for our taste.
Chilaquiles are cut up corn tortillas fried and served with chili sauce. They are served to use up leftover tortillas and as a hangover cure. At Azteca de Oro they are topped with lettuce, sour cream and cheese and served with rice and beans.