:) = Casual, family-friendly atmosphere and tons of little diners. English-speaking servers who seem totally comfortable with catering to children. Yummy, real-deal tacos and a variety of other authentic Mexican dishes. Spacious, clean bathrooms with changing tables.
:( = The restaurant is in the corner of a small, high-traffic plaza right off Buford Highway, so the parking lot gets crowded. Parking right in front of the restaurant could be challenging during peak hours. And hold tightly to your little ones when you're in that parking lot because moving vehicles are going every which way - and the drivers in this area a little batty. Also, the restaurant has a divey feel to it, which isn't everybody's thing.
Notes: Your server will immediately put chips and salsa, along with two different taco sauces (red and green) on your table. Beware: ALL 3 sauces are spicy! Ask your server for mild salsa if your littles don't eat spicy food. Also note that it costs a little extra to get hand-rolled tortillas with your meal - but it's totally worth it.
|"Which taco should I eat first?"|
Mommy remained calm and did what every good foodie would do in this situation: she consulted with older, more experienced generations of foodies on Zagat. And then she drove straight to Taqueria El Rey Del Taco.
We arrived around 6:15 PM, and the place was already pretty full with a mix of couples, families with kids, and folks in business casual attire enjoying tacos and margaritas after a day at the office. The Spanish-speaking host led us to a booth, and our server immediately greeted us and brought us some chips, salsa, and squeeze bottles of red and green sauce. Mommy tested all three sauces to find that they were all delicious - but spicy! We passed on the sauces, but we loved the chips. They were warm and tasted homemade.
For dinner we ordered the Mediterraneo Parilladas (grilled pastor meat, shrimp, and octopus cooked with green peppers and onions, topped with cheese and served on a hot iron skillet alongside hand-rolled corn tortillas and a bowl of charro beans) and 5 tacos in hand-rolled corn tortillas: asado, bistec (grilled beef steak), lengua, pollo (grilled chicken), and goat barbacoa. We also ordered a small horchata.
|"I'll eat all the octopus if you eat all the shrimp, bro."|
|"This is how we roll!"|
|"I took some lengua and put it in my charro beans. I call this dish Lengua Del Charro."|
|"I created my own taco: barbacoa, shrimp, and octopus! I call it El Rey Del Toddler Foodies."|
And then there was the horchata. Mommy told us it was the best horchata she has ever had in Atlanta. Some horchata is too sweet and tastes artificial. But not this horchata. It was not overpoweringly sweet, as if the sugar knew to step aside and let cinnamon take center stage. Everything about this meal took us to foodie heaven.
|"This horchta tastes like Christmas!"|
We will definitely be back to Taqueria El Rey Del Taco the next time we're craving Mexican food. The menu is pretty extensive, and we are eager to explore every part of it. And maybe - just maybe! - we'll see the recipes we invented on the menu one day.