Friday, March 18, 2011

Huarache at R&R Taqueria -- The Secret Menu At R&R Is Your Mouth; Ask For Something Special

I keep writing about R&R Taqueria because you should keep going back to R&R Taqueria.

It was easy for me to fall into a rut of tacos, tacos, tacos.  They're so delicious.  But the takeout joint in a Shell station on Rte 175 offers a broader array of Mexican food -- broader even than its printed menu.

Definitely check out the specials.  Last week, they had a chorizo black bean soup that looked interesting.  But I ordered huarache because Tyler Cowen posted that R&R served the best huarache that he had ever eaten.  

What's a huarache? Start with Wikipedia's profile on the Mexican dish.  Then go order one.  I got an oblong cornmeal base, something between a thick tortilla and an Indian bread.  The base is grilled to have just a touch of char taste.  Mine came topped with a mild white cheese, "al pastor" pork, and some cream.  Dropped on top was probably half an avocado, sliced and perfectly ripe.

This is knife and fork food, slicing off pieces so that I could spear some meat, cheese and cornmeal and then dunk it in R&R's delicious fresh salsa.  The al pastor is quickly becoming my default filling.  I have liked everything from chicken to barbacoa to steak, but the al pastor comes out with flavor that I just can't create in my kitchen.  It's the first huarache that I have ever eaten and another in the line of Mexican dishes that makes me wonder why American restaurants stay so stuck on burritos, quesadillas and bad tacos. 

Huaraches aren't on R&R's printed menu.  Neither are the milkshakes that I had in 2009 -- just milk and fruit whipped in a blender!!  I think the secret menu at R&R's is your mouth.  Just ask.  This isn't a Chinese restaurant where the owners worry that Americans won't like the authentic dishes.  Everyone at R&R has been friendly, and the owner is an engaging, smiling guy who encourages me to try something new every time that he realizes that I am happy to try.  (Guy on the shorter side, maybe in his 30s, smiling, often at the cash register.)

First, check the posted specials.  That's how I saw ceviche last year.  Then ask if they have anything else because you want to try something new.  I walked in last week and said, "I hear that I need to try something called a huarache."  The owner beamed.  He asked what kinds of meat I preferred, then he just said, "You want me to just pick something for you?"  Yes, that's what you want.  He picked al pastor for me, and it was great.

Also, check out the R&R post on the P90 Noir blog.  He raves about the tacos -- and also talks up the tacos at Zapata's in Columbia.  I have never eaten there.

R&R Deli

7894 Washington Boulevard
Elkridge, MD 21075

NEAR: The deli is in the Shell station at U.S. 1 and Rte 175 on the Elkridge/Jessup line. It's really convenient from Rte 175 -- just go east from Columbia across I-95 and then look left at U.S. 1.


Anonymous said...

Does R&R sell lunch on weekends and/or could I grab some tacos for a post happy hour? Sorry if this has already been answered. I work in MoCo and can't really make it for lunch hours in the work week.

HowChow said...

I have definitely been on the weekends. I don't know about dinner. I feel like some old comments talked about dinner, but I can't find thm. Give them a call.

Joan M said...

I went for take out at supper time on 4/12/11. I have to say it wasn't very good -- the beef on the taco and the pork on the huarache were dried out and tough. I would not order either again, and probably won't return there. Maybe they were having a bad day?