Sunday, July 13, 2008

Taco Kings (play songs of love)

One of the things that surprised me about Anchorage is the sheer volume of ethnic restaurants. There are a profusion of Mexican, Indian, Greek, South American, Chinese, Japanese, Thai…you name it. This sort of goes with the wealth of ethnic foods in the supermarkets. I was stunned by that too. The Mexican and Asian aisles in an average Fred Meyer's or Carr's are packed with an incredible variety of foods and condiments, most of which are pretty authentic, if I'm any judge. This is stuff that was not readily available in our stores on the East Coast, so I'm double surprised to see it here. Anyway, back to today's restaurant.
Taco King is a mini-chain of about 4 locations here in Anchorage and boasts some pretty good Mexican food. I will grant you I am not Mexican, but it was good food, and seemed pretty close to what I've read about in the cookbooks. I had pozole, which was very, very good. The pork was well done, and the hominy complemented it well. The broth was very flavorful and spicy without being too hot for people who like their taste buds and want to keep them around. The vegetable accompaniments - cilantro, chopped onion and tomato, and shredded cabbage- added spice and vegetal freshness that went perfectly with the soup. I had originally planned to order a sandwich or appetizer as well, but in the end was glad I had only the pozole - it was a big portion and hearty besides. Mr Eating Alaska had carne asada dinner, which was also very good. The beef was also nicely seasoned, and well cooked - some crispy brown bits but not over-cooked or dry. Wrapped in the delicious corn tortillas, it made some excellent tortilla. The dinner came with beans and rice on the side. The beans were exceptional - less gratuitous salt than I have ever tasted in refried beans. The rice was typical - maybe a little bland. It was more like red-colored regular rice than Spanish rice.
We went to the Tudor street branch last night, and there was a steady crowd level in the branch we visited, so this does not seem to be a undiscovered jewel. The restaurant was clean and the d├ęcor gives the usual Mexican look a decent shot - with some charming eccentricity.

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