America's Taco Shop
735 E University Dr
America’s Taco Shop is a bit dingy, looking as much like a surf shop as a taco stand. Of course, sitting at a picnic table on the patio drinking a $1 Pacifico, watching the sun set and pedestrian traffic wander down University, I wasn’t paying much attention to the décor.
America’s Taco Shop boasts “the Valley’s best Carne Asada” and this seems to be the consensus. Single menu items like tacos, quesadillas, and burritos range from $2.25-$3.25 with larger sizes available at an additional cost. There are also several combination meals available.
We ordered the Carne Asada tacos, a bean and cheese burrito, and an order of chips and salsa. My dining companion was very impressed with the tacos. The corn tortillas were spread with guacamole, guaranteeing avocado goodness in every bite. There was an ample serving of Carne Asada on each taco, which was dusted with finely shredded, crispy cabbage. A friend also highly recommended the Carne Asada “vampiro,” basically a tostada topped with meat, Monteray Jack cheese, guacamole, and caramelized onion.
The Carne Asada is the selling point of America’s Best Taco shop. I was less impressed with the bean and cheese burrito. The tortilla was delicate and delicious, but the filling was totally ordinary.
The hot sauce and salsa both deserve honorable mentions. The former was based on fire roasted tomatoes that leant it a sweet, charred taste. The latter we ordered extra spicy, and it was, but it was also packed with full, fresh flavors (tomato, tomatillo, jalapeño) that gave the salsa a flavor I can only describe as "raw." I mean that in the best possible way.
We didn’t make it to the pork offerings on the first visit. When we go back (and we will), I plan to venture into the quesadilla offerings and try the burrito “Terry’s way,” with raw onions and tapatio.
All and all, a good cheap meal that would translate into excellent drunk food.