Tag Archives: Philadelphia

SJ Taco Time: Reflections

18 Dec

This blog started as an assignment for my Online Journalism class. When I picked a topic, Mexican food in South Jersey, I was familiar with it but over the course of the semester I have learned so much more about Mexican food and culture. I’ve sampled Tex-Mex, classic Mexican food, several gallons of horchata, a few quarts of salsa and mole sauce.

Through visiting restaurants, talking with chefs, friends, and servers I’ve learned that Mexican food is all about feeling at home. It’s about expressing yourself with materials as simple as beans you made yourself or horchata that you prepared for your guests. It is both humble and complex (if you don’t believe me try to make a mole sauce like Plaza Garibaldi).

The focus of this blog is Mexican restaurants but the most popular entries were about cooking at home. A few of my greatest hits:

Making Horchata

Mexican Food In Your Kitchen

Shopping At the Collingswood Farmer’s Market

More than just Tacos at The Tortilla Press in Collingswood

SJ Taco Time Mexican Restaurant Map (newly updated!)

This has been a wonderful learning experience.


El Azteca: Spicy Mole, Fun Atmosphere

11 Dec
Chicken taco from El Azteca

Chicken taco from El Azteca

El Azteca in Philadelphia appears to be a quaint little store front on Chestnut St. between 7th and 8th St. It’s a BYOB that also has a full bar. However, there is a $5 cork fee.

I got a chicken taco and cheese enchiladas with mole sauce. The food was pretty good, the mole definitely had a kick to it.  The atmosphere inside was lively and exciting since there were several large parties celebrating in the restaurant. The price range is middle of the road: dinner entrees range from $11-$15 with a variety of sides. They also have a vegetarian menu.

Enchiladas from El Azteca

Enchiladas from El Azteca

I would recommend visiting the Philly location if you want to have a nice dinner with friends. There is more than enough space to accommodate large groups.

El Azteca also has locations in Mt. Laurel, NJ; Pottstown, PA and Levittown PA.


SJ Taco Time Mexican Restaurant Map

1 Dec

I’ve created a map with exact locations of every restaurant reviewed and a few that are to come. I will be updating it accordingly.

A Clean Plate Means Good Food for Juan Diaz of Taqueria La Raza

10 Nov

Juan Diaz of Taqueria La Raza

Juan Diaz is the owner of Taqueria La Raza, a restaurant in North Philadelphia, that I have written about before. It is a warm and inviting place that is family owned and operated. Many restaurant owners are invested in their profession, but Juan is an active participant, often speaking to customers directly. He was kind enough to sit down with me and explain what he loves about running Taqueria.

Taqueria La Raza: Homestyle Mexican Eats in North Philadelphia

27 Oct

Taqueria La Raza's spicy chicken burrito

So far I’ve focused on Mexican places in New Jersey, but Philadelphia is just over the bridge and has its fair share of excellent restaurants. I’d like to highlight a little place that’s off the beaten trail.

Taqueria La Raza is a small unpretentious restaurant on the corner of Allegheny Ave. and American St. in Philadelphia. The food is incredibly affordable, the most expensive item on the menu is $11. The people at the eatery set it apart from other taco joints. The staff is awesome, and the owner, Juan, is a sociable alligator hunter who said, “It tastes like chicken.”

The largest glass of horchata I have ever seen.

I got the spicy chicken burrito and my companion ordered tacos pobres. I washed down my food with the largest glass of horchata I have ever consumed.

If you’re looking for a good meal with a lot of personality I suggest you head on over.