If there is one thing that Dallasites feel very strongly about, it's good street tacos. It seems like everyone has their favorite taqueria and is willing to defend it to their last breath, myself included. Unlike most taquerias, this one is not only in Addison smack dab in the middle of Belt Line, but also features a casual, family-friendly atmosphere, a great patio, and a full bar. The original La Ventana first opened behind Meso Maya in downtown, and the arrival of a tried and tested taqueria in Addison was welcomed with open arms. In addition to a large variety of tacos served on their daily made corn tortillas, they offer salads, bowls, and burritos. Once you sit down, it's hard to believe you're in the middle of Addison and not somewhere more exotic.
Salsa and Queso Blanco
Salsa and queso is a fairly common starter in any Mexican restaurant, but what stood out to me in this was the addition of small pineapple chunks in the queso. Plus, if you're really a breaker of rules and a heathen, such as myself, you can add the above to any item on the menu at your table. The only downside is how quick the queso cools off, as you can see in the image above. It's still fantastic and I highly recommend starting off with these items.
Imagine a more authentic, fresher version of the bowls from Chipotle and you've got the right idea. I got to go behind the scenes to see how the chicken is made; cooked whole in their secret sauce, then torn apart by hand and served in tacos, bowls, and burritos. This was a lovely bowl, served with rice, beans, cilantro, onion, lettuce, cheese, chicken, and tomatoes. I love everything spicy, so I doused my bowl in many sauces and queso: the cheesier the better. The tomatoes were a nice way to break up the other flavors, and although I would recommend getting the tacos before you get the bowl, this is a good choice when you're in the mood.
As healthy as you can get when you visit a taqueria, the salad is made up of fresh vegetables and features lettuce, avocado, candied peanuts, tomatoes, charred cilantro vinaigrette, and your choice of protein.
Fresh corn tortillas
The fresh corn tortillas are made daily in-house, something La Ventana prides themselves on highly.
The elotes, or corn with Mexican crema, was great but not the best I've ever had, that honor goes to Fuel City. Served with a special sauce for you to modify for your own personal tastes, it's a nice way to personalize this dish. The actual corn is very fresh and steaming hot, great to enjoy by itself or on top of other dishes.
Fish, Camaron (shrimp), and Pastor (pork) Tacos
Steak, Machata (egg and steak), and Carnitas (shredded pork)
Now we are finally getting to the stuff that really matters: the tacos. All were served with cilantro and onions in the tortilla, with heavenly onions, a pepper, and generous helpings of lime on the tray. As any other taqueria, they also offer you the verde and regular salsas to spice up the tacos. The fish taco was good, with fried fish that tasted like it was freshly made, best with a touch of lime and the verde. The Camaron, or shrimp, taco was delicious, a must-have if you're here. After tasting it as-is, I loaded it up with lime and verde sauce as well; their combination enhanced the flavors of the shrimp. The pastor, or pork, tacos are best with extra onion, lime, verde, and regular salsas. One of the best tacos was definitely the steak, cooked to perfection and expertly seasoned. I enjoyed them with onion, lime, verde, and a touch of queso. The machata taco didn't stand out to me as the others did; I suggest getting a few more shrimp or steak tacos in place of this. The carnitas tacos, or shredded pork, was a lovely explosion of flavor and best with lime, onions, and verde.
Churro con cajeta
My weakness and sweet tooth is back again, and satisfied with the extremely hot churro con cajeta. Sweet but not overwhelming, this dessert is perfect to finish off a lunch or casual dinner. The cajeta, a type of sweet spread similar to dulce de leche, is put into each churro per order, so it always fresh. If you're not a fan of the churro, they also have a bread pudding to order as a dessert, although I didn't try it.
Regular and Mango Chile Margaritas
Fairly good margaritas, and exactly what you would expect at a taqueria, the regular margarita isn't anything phenomenal. Although their other type, always changing and seasonal, was a wonderful Mango Chile margarita, and if you have the chance to order one, do it! The chile on the rim is a spicy sweet accompaniment to the sweetness and fruitiness of the drink itself.In addition to the margaritas and full bar, they have a variety of beer and Mexican soft drink selections.
Overall, this was a fantastic experience and a very welcome addition to the restaurant circuit in Addison. Not only that, but it's next to impossible to find a family-friendly taqueria in North Dallas with a nice patio and full bar. If you're in the Addison area, or even downtown near Meso Maya, I recommend a quick stop here for some great street tacos.
To follow more of my adventures, check out my Instagram @czarina_ekaterina
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