A few years ago The Food Bros went to Mexico (yes that’s right, The Food Bros are international) and while wondering through the flea market in Cancun we happened upon a small courtyard with four plastic tables with mixed chairs around them and a hole in the wall that was serving tacos. So they have to be good right? Or was it just all the booze talking? Either way we sat down, ordered some tacos and I began a new love affair with authentic street tacos. No lettuce or sour cream, none of that crap just awesome meat with corn tortillas, onions and cilantro. Now back in the burbs of Minnesota there wasn’t a lot of options until the last couple years, now they are popping up everywhere and I love it. So when a friend of ours asked if we would hit up Andale Taqueria with him I was down like a clown Charlie Bauh… Charlie Braaaaa…. down like a clown Charlie Brown!
First I ordered an Al Pastor taco, it’s my favorite so I had to try one and it was awesome. If you have never had al pastor you need to try it. Its Mexican barbecued pork, marinated and cooked on a rotating spit (think gyro meat style). The corn tortillas were soft and flavorful, the onions and cilantro were fresh and not ridiculously overpowering and the meat tasted amazing. Putting the superb creamy avocado salsa on this made me go to my happy place Happy Gilmor style complete with a midget on a wooden horse, except the midget in mine was Tyrion Lannister handing me a Mexican glass bottle Coke(yes they have that too). Anyway……….. go get some now!
I also got a Carnitas en Adobo Burrito. Now if you think Chipotle’s burritos are absurdly large then don’t bother with a burrito here, they are HUGE, and I am a fat guy who has eaten two from the previously mentioned place before (hey it happens, it’s not a regular thing, stop judging) telling you this. Inside this behemoth was rice, sour cream, lettuce and cheese all wrapped in a flour tortilla. The carnitas en adobo was great; the adobo sauce added a smoky and slightly spicy flavor to the very moist and already delicious pulled pork. Now If I had my wits about me I would have asked for no lettuce but even that didn’t distract me from the awesomeness of this burrito.
The previously mentioned friend got a little more adventurous with his order than us as he went for some tripe and beef tongue tacos. He said both were just ok and I even tried a small piece of the tongue and it just tasted like cheap steak to me. Andale even opens at 7am, for someone who works grave shift and likes to eat normal food at 8am it’s an oasis in a land of fast food breakfast. The building is an old Embers that has a giant windows that let in a ton of light and they also have a nice little patio, not a place you would expect to get authentic Mexican street food, but that is exactly what you get and you should go right now, seriously stop reading, what more do you need? HUH? GO NOW!
Let me start by saying I LOVE Andale Taqueria! However I do want to discuss what makes authentic Mexican cuisine “authentic” in my opinion? Is it the fresh ingredients and vegetables? Is it the hot peppers and salsas? How about the fresh tortillas? Sure it’s all of those things, but you can get all of those items and any old un-authentic Mexican restaurant in the cities. What you can’t get is what, in my opinion, truly makes “authentic” Mexican authentic and that is….drum roll please….cheap cuts of meat. To me authentic Mexican food has to offer tripe, pork stomach, beef tongue, beef head etc, all which are available at Andale Taqueria. So if that sounds like your cup of tea you will love this place. And if you’re like me and can appreciate Mexican flavors without partaking in a make-out session with a cow, you will also find plenty to love at Andale Taqueria.
I decided to go with the Alambres which is basically in layman’s terms a fajita mix topped with cheese and served on top of corn tortillas. This dish is meant to be eaten with a fork. You can make some tacos out the last few bites but mainly you will be eating fork to mouth. I ordered the Hawaiian Alambres which is made with green and red bell peppers, onion, bacon, ham, pineapple, and al pastor meat covered with cheese and served on top of 5 corn tortillas. Al pastor meat is spit-grilled marinated pork that is carved off of the spit similar to gyro meat. My meal was served piping hot and all flavors were excellent. I can honestly say this made for one of the best meals I have had in a while. As good as some of the rest of the food looked I think I am going to have a hard time ordering something different next time.
Quick side note: Brad’s burrito in his opinion was very good. In my opinion looked very good. Their burritos are made with fresh ingredients, excellent rice, and plentiful meat and is probably better than Chipotle in every way. So if you live in Bloomington please just say “Suck it Chipotle!” and go to Andale Taqueria for your giant burrito fix. Those assholes at Chipotle fired hundreds of their Mexican workers in 2011 and replaced them with spoiled ear gauge wearing college douche bags that could care less about making decent food or providing any kind guest service. C’mon now with the douche bags! Ohhh-Waaa!
I highly recommend Andale Taqueria if you’re in the mood for fresh, fast, and reasonably priced Mexican food. They do have a Mercado right next door so you can even do some grocery shopping if you liked any of the ingredients you tried during your meal. The bakery smelled wonderful, however the meat counter on the other hand well let’s just say…I’ll stick to Cub.