If you judged me by what I cook, my tattoos and the food I talk about most you could probably come to the conclusion that my first love for food is BBQ. In reality, if I could have any choice any food for any meal I could easily come up with four or give different Mexican joints I would go to. I say joint because your typical Mexican restaurant isn’t my idea of good Mexican food. Large menus with tons of options are great but when I think of GREAT Mexican food I think of small places with a few chairs, usually shared with a grocery store and a basic menu with the items that they have perfected from their hometown. No sizzling trays of fajitas being walked past your table every five minutes, no jumbo margaritas, just the essentials with your choice of meats. I recently came across a joint in Allen Park called The Taco Stand Taqueria, which could not be any more of the epitome of what I love about Mexican food. No bullshit, just a one page menu and great Mexican food.
I’m always on the lookout for little Mexican joints and had seen The Taco Stand on a few different lists that suggested it met all criteria of greatness. It took seeing a share from Mr. Chris Baker to really push me over the edge and get over there the next day. When you pull up to the Taco Stand, it’s not one hundred percent clear on exactly what you do to get your food. There are a few benches with screen windows in front of them and you eventually find yourself in front of a screen door that leads you to a small space where you can order your food. The entire kitchen is opened up in this area so you can see exactly what is going on. I could see a guy prepping pork fresh for other customers’ orders and goddamn was this exciting for me.
The menu is as basic as you can get — tacos and quesadillas with your choice of five different meat varieties, two burritos, tortas, Carne Asada fries and few sides. That, boys and girls, is what a taco stand menu should look like. Choose what meat you want and what delivery device you would like to surround it. None of this fajitas sixteen different ways, bullshit.
Now being the fat man that I am, I had my eyes on the tortas but I had to get a couple of tacos. If I posted something about a place called “Taco Stand” and didn’t get any tacos, I would fully expect all of you to close this site out and never return. I started with two Asada tacos that were everything a great taco should be — a delicious, slightly crispy corn tortilla filled with seasoned meat and topped with fresh cilantro and onions.
Now before I continue this post, I have to go on a little side rant here. Recently, I have discovered what I believe to be the greatness of the taco and I have been able to put it into words. For the longest time, I believed what made a great taco was the meat. Deliciously crispy, yet juicy carnitas.. Pastor seasoned perfectly with a little fruityness.. That has to be the obvious reason for a delicious taco, right? Wrong, I say. The greatness of a taco is defined by the reason for its delicious changing. After I eat a taco, sometimes I am thinking about how great the onions were. Sometimes I’m thinking about how well the fresh cilantro tied everything together. Sometimes I’m thinking about how great and crispy the tortilla was and how it acted as the perfect delivery device. Other times, yes, I’m thinking about how great the meat filler was. In reality, all of these ingredients shine together and create the perfect food combination. If you really think about it, great tacos are like the 2004 Detroit Pistons championship team — A perfect combination of players with a different player stepping up every night.
Now the tacos here are great. But the tortas. Holy shit, the tortas. If you’re unfamiliar with the torta world, it basically takes what you would get with a taco and turns it up to an eleven. A torta is basically a Mexican submarine that can house the same ingredients of a taco but because it’s supported by two pieces of bread all kinds of ridiculousness is possible. I would explain more on the greatness of tortas, but someone has already done that for me in a post entitled The Torta is the Best Mother Fucking Sandwich Ever. This torta is Al Pastor, onions, cilantro and avocado, This was one of the better sandwiches I have ever had. Normally tortas can be messy and require a fork to pick up the remains off your plate but I was able to eat this entire thing in the front eat of my car with no issues. Seriously, get the torta.
Here’s another beautiful thing – This entire meal cost $9.00.
The Taco Stand is located at 5038 Allen Road in Allen Park. You should go there.