(Not Quite) Ghetto Grub: La Taqueria Amiga MiaMarch 4, 2019
- Diana CamachoWords
From food carts, to hole-in-the wall joints, we try out meals that literally test your intestinal fortitude. There may be flies on the counter, and the dishes aren’t always clean, but that big, hot bowl of what’s presumably food just looks so good. Yes, these are the places your mom warned you about. But it’s okay, we won’t tell if you won’t. Welcome to Ghetto Grub.
In case I haven’t stressed it enough, I am not a prissy eater. I like using my hands when I eat, there is something so primal and sensual about it that I almost always do away with utensils even when I’m out. I’d eat spaghetti with my hands if I could. Finding a place where it’s socially acceptable to get touchy-feely with your order, with drippings trickling down the side of your mouth, would be a special treat. And that’s exactly what I found at La Taqueria Amiga Mia.
La Taqueria Amiga Mia is quite literally a hole in the wall. Although located at one of the side streets along Tomas Morato, you’d never discover the place accidentally. Except, perhaps, if you happen to chance upon it, one drunken evening, while trying to remember where you parked your car. Or if you’re a hungry vegetarian(the place is located in front of a vegetarian joint with a huge-ass sign).
La Taqueria Amiga Mia has a warm and welcoming vibe.
Unlike its vegetarian neighbor, La Taqueria Amiga Mia his much less preoccupied with calling attention to itself. And while I am sure that it isn’t deliberate, there is even shrubbery on one side that obscures the place from view. Nevertheless, the vibe inside is warm and welcoming. You wouldn’t think twice before entering the door.
La Taqueria Amiga Mia is known for its nachos (which I’ve also tried prior to this feature and yes, they’re good and the serving size is huge) but since it was just about time for lunch when I visited, I decided to have the tacos, which was a more substantial item. In La Taqueria Amiga Mia, a single order is comprised of three tacos (you may choose either a soft or hard taco as a base) for PHP 205.
You get to pick three kinds of meat for your tacos.
For each order, you get three choices of meat. I went with ground beef, Mexican sausage, and pollo asado. Because I wanted to try everything, and I wasn’t eating by myself, I also ordered a second batch of tacos with homemade chicharones, pescado, and carne asada. Finally (again, I wasn’t eating by myself), I also ordered Mexican fries with fire mayo.
Among all the things I ordered, the homemade chicharones and pescado tacos were my favorites. The chicharones wasn’t as crisp as I was expecting but, nevertheless, it provided a salty kick to the otherwise overwhelming flavors of the grated cheese and sour cream. The pescado taco was, similarly, a pleasant surprise. The fish was cured and it gave a different texture from your usual fish taco.
Each taco is approximately PHP 68.
The Mexican fries were also quite good. Each fry was cut in wedges with the skin on and sprinkled with some sort of taco seasoning. The fire mayo was too sweet for my liking hence, I ended up dousing the fries with the array of homemade hot sauces available. If you do the math, each taco costs about PHP 68, which is cheap compared to the other commercial taco joints (especially considering the fresh ingredients and premium meats used). I think it’s definitely worth it.
Is La Taqueria Amiga Mia the taco shop for your and your friends? We shall see.
Ghetto Factor: 3/10
It’s along a fairly un-ghetto residential street. The houses also look like there at least two cars owned by each homeowner.
Health Hazard: 2/10
My research says Chef Gino Gonzales and his wife China Cojuangco are the people behind La Taqueria Amiga Mia. I assume they are sticklers for cleanliness. Also, they serve cooked salsa. Little chance of bacteria growth there.
The place is small and has only four tables inside the place. Nevertheless, it is air-conditioned and they have a good exhaust system so you don’t smell like tacos after your meal. Parking might be a challenge but the array of imported beers available can make up for the fact you have to walk a few meters from your car to the restaurant.