Originally established in Juárez, Mexico, in 1988 but now headquartered across the river in El Paso, Taco Tote is Chico’s Tacos only notable competitor—if there is one—for local affection. And if popular opinion and butts in booths are reliable barometers, Taco Tote is doing a bang-up job. “Taco Tote serves real Mexican food,” is a common pronouncement. Locations are jammed with lines at the cash register and packed seating. Everyone is clamoring for the adobado pork taco, the name for the non-trompo-cooked taco al pastor, in a house-made tortilla that’s closer in texture to a flapjack than thin hand-pressed corn disc. Its heft is needed, more so for the half dozen salsas available. The salsa tatemada (charred salsa) adds depth to the earthy pork, while the chambray, a chunky mix of green onions and jalapeños, sets the tongue ablaze.
2921 N. Mesa Dr, 915-532-6212 (multiple locations). Open Sun–Thurs 10 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 10 a.m. –11 p.m. www.tacotote.com