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04 Mar 2016

The Indy Endorsement: The Tacos Al Pastor at Jalisco Restaurant

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What: The Tacos Al Pastor

Where: Jalisco Restaurant, 1605 Sixth St., Coachella

How much: $1.55; three-taco combo plate $7.25

Contact: (760) 398-7113

Why: It’s simply a perfect taco.

Being a West Valley resident, I don’t get a lot of chances to dine in Coachella. However, a recent business meeting afforded me the chance to have lunch in downtown Coachella—and considering the tacos I had at Jalisco Restaurant, I am now bemoaning my lack of East Valley dining opportunities.

I knew I wanted tacos, but wasn’t sure which tacos to try, so I got the three-taco combo plate—a steal at just $7.25. I had a lot of potential choices—Jalisco has about 14 tacos on offer, with options both locally common (pollo, carne asada) and not so common (beef brains!)—but I kept it simple and got one each with pollo, carne asada and al pastor.

On the English portion of Jalisco’s menu, al pastor is described as “marinated pork.” Yes, that’s accurate, but al pastor (literally translated: shepherd style) is so much more than that: The pork is usually slow-cooked on a rotisserie, much like shawarma and gyros meat is cooked. (In fact, it’s believed that pork prepared al pastor got its start in Mexico thanks to influences from Lebanese immigrants there.)

The pollo and carne asada tacos were both quite tasty. However, the al pastor was beyond fantastic: The meat was somehow both crispy and juicy—and, boy, was it packed with flavor.

It was sooooo good that I find myself trying to think of excuses to have more business meetings in Coachella. If you’re an East Valley resident, and you’re not enjoying the tacos el pastor at Jalisco Restaurant on at least a semi-regular basis, either you must be a vegetarian … or something must be wrong with you.

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