Editors' pick

Taqueria la Placita

Mexican
$$$$ ($14 and under)
Taqueria la Placita photo
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Editorial Review

2010 Fall Dining Guide

By Tom Sietsema
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Your senses let you know that you're in the right place for Mexican. Look around the Hyattsville dining room, dressed with colorful murals; nearly every seat is occupied by someone who appears to have been weaned on tacos. Listen to the sounds of a cleaver hitting a hunk of meat, then wood. Now, taste. The specialty of the house is the kind of meal that brings purists across state lines: tacos in nearly two dozen flavors and available as early as 5 a.m. daily to accommodate the laborers who flock here, says owner Javier Martinez. (On a busy day, his crew turns out 2,000 tacos.) Grilled beef sprinkled with chopped onion and cilantro is tasty, and I appreciate the fingers of fresh pineapple garnishing the well-seasoned pork taco. Like all the tacos here, the one with sliced cactus (vegetarian alert!) comes bundled in two griddled tortillas. But even better are the tacos filled with offal, including tender beef tongue and soft, deliciously fatty pig lips. Cut the richness with a splash of the red (chili) or green (jalapeno) salsa. Does the Coke taste different? It's from Mexico and is made with sugar instead of corn syrup, reflecting the preference of the taqueria's crowd.