Friday, October 13, 2017

TFI EATS! El Camino Taco Shack Review-

One of the old staples of downtown Fairhope was the dive bar known as The Jambalaya Cottage. Maybe it was The Etouffee Shed? Anyway, it's gone, but like the fabled Phoenix it has risen from the ashes and emerged as El Camino Taco Shack, a new joint created by the folks that brought you Rosie's Bar and Grill.

It is truly an adventure trying to find this place. Although I've been to the former Gumbo Shack many times, it was always late at night during some downtown event. I would be stumbling around town through alleyways following the sound of music when I'd somehow run into the hidden bar. The google directions were no help, so I tried to recreate those old late nights. I started by drinking way too much wine at Red or White, then I set off through the town stumbling through every little side road and alley I could find. After several hours I could see the light at the end of the tunnel... my destination had been reached! I could give you simpler directions, but my method is surely more fun, and leaves you hankerin' for tacos.

It's a simple menu, which I like. Too many choices hurt my brain. I went with the Barbacoa and Chorizo tacos with a side of "Street Corn". Anyone whose tried real barbacoa before can't turn down the stuff when it pops up. The old fashioned way of doing it involves roasting a whole cows head in banana leaves for a day in an underground fire pit. I doubt this was the authentic stuff, but I didn't mind.

It was $8.50 for the combo of 2 tacos and a side. The tacos aren't extremely large, but they were very filling. The corn tortillas and the topping chosen for each tacos were very complimentary to the proteins with pickled red onion, cotija, black beans, tomatoes, and of course cilantro (haters don't hate).


The meal was excellent and was a great break from the usual Tex Mex style restaurants that plague the country. I mean, there's nothing wrong with the hundreds of Mexican Restaurants with the exact same menu of Fajitas and (insert meat) covered in Queso with rice and beans, but it gets tiring. The Street Corn side was very good with it's mixture of Cotija cheese, Cilantro, and some kind of aioli on top. In fact, next time I go when they ask for my drink order, I'm ordering a full glass of the Street Corn so I can guzzle it down like a rabid animal.

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