Authentic Mexican food in Fells Point

TAKEOUT

Service is friendly, parking difficult

August 14, 2002|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

On a recent scorching day, we decided to revel in the heat and made our way to El Taquito Mexicano in Fells Point.

What we found was an unpretentious restaurant/carryout that serves authentic, sometimes quite spicy, Mexican food.

El Taquito occupies a long narrow storefront just east of Broadway. Ceiling fans moved the air around a bit, and Spanish-language soccer was playing on a couple of television sets. Pictures of a sad-eyed Virgin Mary hang alongside serapes, sombreros and gigantic pinatas.

While waiting for our order, we picked out some Mexican fruit drinks --Boing! and Jarritos brands -- from a large refrigerated case near the counter. Service was friendly, and our meal was ready in about 10 minutes.

Some dishes were better than others. We loved the hearty, peppery hominy soup -- a thick concoction of hominy and big pieces of chicken in a tomato-flavored broth. At $6.75, it was expensive, but could easily serve as a meal for one.

An equally delicious tostada, which came with one of the entrees, featured melted cheese, fresh chopped cilantro, onions, a dusting of beans, lettuce and a wedge of lime.

Chile rellenos ($6.75) were peppers stuffed with cheese, covered in a spicy, savory tomato sauce. It had a nice bite and the flavors held their own without becoming one big taste mush.

We were less taken with guisado de albondigas, or meatball stew ($6.75). It came with five meatballs, made of ground beef mixed with pieces of boiled egg, covered also in a spicy tomato sauce. It was certainly hearty, but the combination of flavors didn't work. Beef tacos ($6.75) featured big pieces of meat instead of the ground beef you tend to see in Tex-Mex food. Unfortunately, the meat was too stringy and chewy.

Finally, the flan ($1.75) was eggy and mild and came in a plastic cup.

Parking in Fells Point is, of course, a chore. But if you're in the neighborhood, El Taquito is worth a visit.

El Taquito Mexicano

Food: ** 1/2

Service: ***

Waiting area: **

Parking:*

Where: 1744 Eastern Ave., Fells Point

Phone: 410-563-7840

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Prices: Entrees from $5.50 to $7; cash only

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