Tacos to try
I must warn you, this place is deep east. It’s way out in Concord. Have you ever been to Concord? If not, you should. People wear cowboy hats out there and they mean it. Plus, there’s a Six Flags water park and a Costco. And on the way to Costco there is a magical place called Tortilleria el Molino. If you consider yourself a real taco enthusiast, I’m surprised you haven’t already been. When I was pregnant I was craving crispy tacos. A very specific craving and while not necessarily an auténtico one, it was what I needed. I wanted the crunch of the shell. The shredded lettuce. The little diced tomatoes. The sour cream. The greasy meat. The kick of the salsa. I wanted it all.
I tried many tacos during this time and ran infinite Yelp queries, but the tacos that caught me by surprise were at Tortilleria el Molino. I set out looking for the americana taco bell version - so they were not the crispy tacos I expected - but Tortilleria el Molino’s Tacos Dorados are much better. Tacos Dorados translates to “golden tacos”- and finding these indeed felt like finding gold. At $1.79 a taco, you can’t really beat the price (though there is a taco bell down the street if you want to save 50 cents). The tacos dorados offer a more traditional Mexican crispy taco with potato and ground beef inside. I don’t know why exactly, but its so good you can inhale a few at once.
As an aside: like many origin stories of successful inventions, I’ve learned that the history of the crispy taco is a bit unclear and contested. Some say the concept of frying tortilla shells was invented in Mexico in the 1940’s, others say Texas - and yet Glen Bell (of the aforementioned taco ‘Bell’) also claims he had a hand in it. You can come to your own conclusions and get your fill on the history of tacos here.
But back to the matter at hand - if you go to el Molino during lunch hours, you’ll usually encounter a line of people out the door. And you’ll also see an industrial conveyer belt behind the counter, as they also use the restaurant to produce their corn tortillas for distribution, which you’ve probably seen or bought from your local grocer. They also sell burritos for $7 - which these days is a bargain price, and they offer a wide selection of dried peppers to buy in bulk.
‘Tacos to try’ will be an on-going series, because how could it not be?