This is an American story. 

An American Story about an American Restaurant.  An American Story about an American Restaurant in America that serves Mexican Food—prepared by Mexicans,—in the newly redefined, for the purposes of this astutely written restaurant review, D.C. Metropolitan Area, AKA, The D.C. Metro.

 The D.C. Metro—a land of immigrants, situated on and between a swampy area and two polluted rivers, once wanted by no one, now coveted by all, donated to the fledgling government of the United States of America, for a minor fee equaling no more than several hundred times the cost to the original owners who stole it from dead redskins, as the site for the future capitol of the most power country in the world—The United States of America.   A land known, in Federal Law Enforcement parlance, as a “100% Mexican Free Work Zone.”   A Land without Mexicans.  A land where there are indubitably more liars claiming to operate Mexican food restaurants than there are Mexicans and an even greater number of self-deluded fools willing to pay money to eat there.  And, not only do none of them have a clue whatsoever as to what Mexican food is, the overwhelming majority of them wouldn’t know a Mexican from a French Canadian if they saw them standing next to each other in a crowd of two.   Alas, the D.C. Metro is A Land Without Mexican Restaurants. 

Which is why, for the purposes of this even handed, balanced, unbiased, keenly and astutely, not to forget cogently, written restaurant review, the boundaries of the D.C. Metro, the capitol region of the most powerful country known to man, have been redrawn.

The easiest way to get to the closest of these old time rarities of days when people roamed the United States as if they lived here is to go south on Interstate 95, about 710 miles from the Washington Monument, until you reach Interstate 10 (Jacksonville, Florida), then go west until you get to the Highway 29 off ramp in Pensacola, Florida, about 400 miles.  This is the same Hwy 29 that passes through Falls Church, Virginia, and Rosslyn, Virginia.  From that intersection, go South on Highway 29 about 2 miles and it is on the left.  This fine dining establishment is called, “Taqueria Taco Rock.”  “Taqueria” translates as “Taco Shop” and, in the more traditional parts of AmericaSouthern California—it is either pronounced “Tah-kay-ria” or “Taco Chop.”   The building housing the restaurant used to be painted with some traditional Guanajuato style colors (politely and modestly described as “gaudy” or “outlandish”), but the Florida culture has had its impact and the building has recently been painted in toned down Florida pastels.

This review and report focuses on the “Taco Rock” taqueria in Pensacola, Florida.  The next closest such restaurants, that I know of, are the El Cuervo Taco Chop on Washington Blvd, in San Diego, and the Alberto’s Taco Chop at Wisconsin and Hill, in Oceanside, California.

The owners, or original owners as I knew them, are from Mexico City—genuine Chilangos (Mexican slang for person from Mexico City).  Their employees and cooks come from all over Mexico.  These fine men are all men, true men, masculine men, men who wear leather belts with large buckles that have images of bulls on them and leather western boots, men who wear black cowboy hats to the cantinas on Saturday nights, get drunk, tell their women they love them order them naked into bed, fall down, puke and pass out—though not always in that order.  But mostly, Men who produce a truly fine and masculine taco or bowl of savory menudo (beef tripe and hominy stew).  And the young women who work the counter and cash register and the drive through window, are all women, real women, women with genuine and authentic made-in-Mexico-by-God’s-own-hands breasts and hips—no made in Taiwan plastic parts allowed—with rich full lips begging to be kissed and even white teeth that flash in their smiles, deep warm eyes, and long black hair pulled severely back to outline the elegant profile of their Mayan heads.  Women of true depth who prefer masculine men with powerful sex drives and strong turgid sex organs—these are not the sort of women Lou Dobbs would be attracted to.

Taco Rock offers the five basic Mexican food groups:  tacos, refried pinto beans, rice, corn tortillas, and salsa.  The two most basic, beans and rice can’t be beat east of the Colorado River.  The third leg of the Basic Five, tortillas, has been restricted and otherwise adversely affected by what is available locally.  The frijoles refritos are made with boiled, unseasoned (except for salt) pinto beans, lard, white cheese, and elbow grease and the rice is cooked with a little lard, fresh tomatoes, long green Anaheim Chile’s, onions, garlic, oregano and salt.  Some dishes also contained potatoes that are fried with onions and green chilies—very flavorful.  The fourth pillar, salsa, is alive and well and rich with tradition.  They use fresh chilies, onions, garlic, oregano, cilantro and salt in all their salsas.  Their “mild” is flavorful with a mild bite.  Their “hot” is blazing with habanera. 

The food is genuine and probably not much different from what one might expect from a Mexicali Abuelita (Grandmother). 

Taco Rock dishes are made fresh with basic Mexican ingredients prepared fresh from scratch.  No prefab entrees ready made for the microwave.  No freeze-dried-add-water-heat-and-serve “refried beans” with reconstituted freeze dried cheese sprinkled over the top. No bottled salsa that tastes like spaghetti sauce, Campbell’s Tomato Soup, or some ill advised raspberry flavored desert sauce.  They don’t use effeminate spices or offer effeminate Hollywood style Faux Cuban or Costa Rican Black Bean Soup—this is MEXICAN food.  They use truly masculine, traditionally Macho Mexican ingredients in their tacos:  2 fresh steaming hot and plump corn tortillas wrapped around a chunk of meat just dripping with fresh hot juices and served dripping with fresh salsa at your table, by a properly rounded, firm bodied, dark haired, dark eyed chica canelita (cinnamon skinned Mexican babe—see additional descriptions above), with well shaped full lips that open easily into a wide well formed dazzling smile.  On Sundays, similarly bountiful young woman serve a masculine beef tripe and hominy stew at your table.   And they use genuine honey comb tripe when they make it.  NOTE:  These spices DO NOT include CUMIN.  This MEXICAN food, NOT Arab!

Just like in Old Mexico.

You can’t get much more Mexican than that.

They don’t offer the California Taco, also known as the “Taco Dorado” (Golden Taco) a centuries old tradition in California, dating from before the days we stole it from Mexico, involving a single corn tortilla, folded over shredded beef or roast pork or beef mammary glands and fried, in lard, to a golden crispness.  According to the owner, he offered these for a while but the local Northwest Florida population seems to prefer the Taco Bell or Del Taco style taco.  So he offers those instead.  But, as compensation for his compromised integrity he charges $5 each, and Northwest Floridians pay it because these Taco-Bell-like delights are made by true to life taco benders.

Simply put, from the incorrectly displayed flags and unlikely paint job to the misspelled menu items to the hardworking friendly staff and fine food, they don’t come any more genuine than the Taqueria Taco Rock.  A genuine, World Class Traditional Mexican Taco Chop of the highest qualities. 

In Northwest Florida, life is good for Aficionados of comida Mexicana. 

Buen provecho!  (Good eating!)

God Bless America.

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