When a stranger in the parking lot excitedly goes on and on about how great his food was, you know you’re about to have some good eats. Such was the case at Taco Morro Loco in Avondale today when my coworkers and I arrived for lunch.
The small Mexican restaurant, nestled next to the gas station on the corner of 41st Street and 5th Avenue South in Avondale, is bright and cheery when you enter. Warm tangerine walls and bright, flowered tablecloths make the atmosphere inviting and festive. For WRW2017, Taco Morro Loco is offering a bounty of a $10 lunch of chips, salsa, tacos, and drink. I brought my two hungriest coworkers, and we all eagerly perused the wide variety of taco options as the waitress brought our chips and salsa.
The salsa was an exceptionally pleasant surprise. No ordinary mixture of tomatoes, onions, and spices, this salsa boasted a complex smoky flavor with a great heat. We asked the waitress, and she confirmed this intense flavor was achieved through a combination of smoked chipotle and jalapeno peppers. I don’t know that I’ve ever tasted a similar salsa before, but it might be one of my all-time favorites now.
For my entrée I chose 4 different tacos, to get the maximum flavor experience – the Asada (Steak), Pastor (Pork and Pineapple), Vegetarian, and Fish. The tacos came on a mixture of flour and corn tortillas, depending on the filling, and both versions were homemade. I dove into the fish first. The crispy slice of fish was expertly cooked, tender, and served on top of the lettuce and tomatoes and wrapped in a flour tortilla. The different salsa that accompanied the tacos was really good here, but the fish was also super tasty on its own. The vegetarian taco was stuffed with grilled squash, zucchini, peppers, and onions and the smoky flavor made this option feel more like a treat than a vegetarian afterthought. The Pastor was wonderful too. The sweet diced pineapple cut the fatty, flavorful pork nicely, and the corn tortilla – double stacked – complemented the entire package nicely. I saved my favorite, Asada, for last, and it did not disappoint. Crispy bits of steak, tons of diced onion and chopped cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime, and corn tortillas melded together excellently. The steak itself had a nice lime flavor on its own, most likely from the marinade, and I really had a difficult time deciding on my favorite taco.
I will most definitely return to Taco Morro Loco to continue my taco investigation, so I can decide.
A proud Birmingham, Alabama native, Emily Brown has long been in on the secret that Birmingham is an incredible food town. When she’s not writing about food, restaurants, and purveyors for Birmingham Restaurant Week, she’s out enjoying new culinary adventures, whether in one of the city’s restaurants or from her own kitchen. Raised equally on a diet of storytelling and great, Southern food, Emily is also the author of Birmingham Food: A Magic City Menu, a book about the history of food and restaurants in Birmingham from The History Press.