Original El Taco, tucked into the Morningside neighborhood of Virginia-Highland, is
truly one of Atlanta's hidden gems. The perfect mix of chef-driven concept
cuisines and neighborhood hang out, this quirky taquería boasts a seasonal menu
of comfort dishes that just so happen to be good for you, too!
lit from hanging tin lanterns - as well as the waitstaff's smiles - The
Original El Taco offers a convivial atmosphere. Glinting below an
impressive stock of spirits, the rich wooden bar boasts 25 tequilas and a menu of
specialty cocktails. Charming eclectic décor is found throughout, but the mixed media wall mural is guaranteed to spark
conversations. Vibrant, and engaging with ethnic inspiration and a bit of urban
flair, the wall was completed by local art students in just two days. Says
Executive Chef Scott Keefer, "We told them to make it look like a viaduct wall
in Mexico City that's been graffiti-ed for 25 years." What resulted is a
"collage of paint, wood, paper and metal that features images of Mexican
parodies ... mixed with one-of-a-kind drawings and other reclaimed items." From
the communal tables and intimate booths to the heated, all-season patio,
there's plenty of room for new neighbors!
As for the menus, The Original El Taco focuses on
conceptual Mexican cuisine with a Tex-Mex twist. Skilled at teasing and
pleasing the palate, Chef's seasonal menu is filled with delicious dishes. For
you first trip, I suggest a FroMo (frozen mojito) or Original Margarita
(house special with fresh lime and agave nectar) and a round of lime-salted
corn chips with Queso Royale - melted Mexican cheese with
jalapenos, housemade chorizo, chile rajas and charred onion, served in an iron
skillet. For dinner, opt for Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas - corn tortillas
stuffed with grilled corn, chicken and Monterey Jack cheese, and covered in a green
chili sauce. The only catch is that you simply must add an egg to the top!
(Weird I know, but it's such an intriguing mix of flavors, you'll fall in love
with just one bite.)
picks from the Taco Truck include the savory Roasted
Chicken Taco - a cilantro, crema, guacamole, fried jalapeno-filled flour
tortilla - and the succulent Pork Carnitas Taco - corn tortillas filled with
fresh cilantro, diced onion and flakey pulled pork. Though these are served a
la carte, each taco is quite filling and two or three can make a meal. Just be
sure to add a side of Mexico City grilled corn, served in a chili-lime mayo.
Another foodie favorite is the self-serve salsa bar featuring 8 to 10 different
entrée enhancements such as salsas, pickled vegetables and other fun add-ons.
much of the menu features roasted veggies and creamy housemade sauces, The Original El Taco is
a very vegetarian-friendly. They also offer an entire gluten-free menu, a
surprisingly large selection, including appetizers, cocktails, entrées and
seven days a week, you can enjoy dinner nightly and weekend lunches
as well! As an extra-tasty bonus, the full menu is available for to-go orders,