September 15, 2013

South Philly Taco Toss Up: El Jarocho vs. Tacos El Rodeo

Best tacos in Philly--hands down. All tacos come with pickles veggies and avocado. I haven't encountered this anywhere else. Moreover, everything is inexpensive and simply delicious. And they're open late (around 11:30 PM or until they run out). Can't be beat.

The comment above is from reader Jake who suggested Tacos El Rodeo as place we had to visit. A comment like that leaves little choice but to tackle a good ol' taco toss up - El Jarocho vs.Tacos El Rodeo.

El Jarocho has been our taqueria king since our first visit in 2011. It was also our only blog post to include an ode to the great footballer Chicharito, who plays for Manchester United. But I digress...

I jumped on my bike and headed to South Philly to eat three al pastor tacos (pork typically shaved off a vertical spit), my favorite type, at each joint.

Tacos El Rodeo

Tacos El Rodeo is actually a food truck and always located at 10th and Washington. You can't miss the colorful, muraled truck. An added touch I like is the collection of milk crates on the sidewalk so you can sit and enjoy your tacos.

Tacos El Rodeo's side mural
Outdoor seating
The "trompo" is Tacos El Rodeo's version of al pastor with a sweeter taste. I think the server said pineapple is included. I got it with "everything," which also includes tomato, lettuce and avocado. Three tacos are only $6 total!

Jake is right. Tacos El Rodeo makes some killer tacos. The rotisserie meat is crispy and flavorful and the tortillas are soft and fresh. Both the salsa verde and spicy red salsa were good complements. I kept switching back and forth between sauces to decide which one I liked best (result: tie).

A surprise treat at Tacos El Rodeo was the sincronizada, which is basically a cheese, ham and tomato quesadilla. A medium order of sincronizadas costs only $5 and you get four! They’re awesome.

Crowning the Taco Toss Up King

Taco El Rodeo clearly came to the fight ready to win, but was it enough to take the crown from El Jarocho? 

After the first bite of El Jarocho’s al pastor taco I knew it was the winner of this throwdown. The tender meat packs more flavor and I also like that El Jarocho has a little more greasy seasoning. Three tacos are $8, which is $2 more than Tacos El Rodeo, but you definitely get more meat.

If you haven’t tried Taco El Rodeo you would be remiss not to go. This was a close contest so you can't go wrong with either as your go-to taqueria. I’m sticking with El Jarocho, but don’t be surprised to see me Tacos El Rodeo, too.

El Jarocho on Urbanspoon