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R&R Taqueria in Elkridge - Second Location Now Open in White Marsh Mall

Local Chain Taqueria Mexican Tacos Gas Station Shopping Center

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#1 HowChowBlog

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 05:36 PM

The takeout taco is the food discovery of my four years in Howard County.

Back in Arlington, I stopped occasionally at a stand that appeared on good weather weekends, but you can count on the joints around here for a front-seat feast of tacos, salsa and a squirt of lime. These are $2 treats that usually spice up a day when I'm out doing errands.

Now, you can count on the tacos at the R&R deli in Elkridge -- a new takeout spot for breakfast and Mexican food at Rte 175. R&R serves great tacos. I tried the barbacoa, the carnitas and the carne asada on Monday, and they're spectacular. Heaped meat, good tortillas, a nice salsa. R&R is near the Shell Station where Rte 175 hits U.S. 1.

Okay, let's admit it: R&R is in the Shell Station where Rte 175 hits U.S. 1. That's why Mrs. HowChow has not yet sampled the tacos there. But it's not like you're ordering food in a gas station. The restaurant's owners have a separate door, and they set up a bright commercial kitchen separated by a glass wall from anything automotive.

The tip about R&R came from a comment last month by Alberto A. Flores. The R&R tacos were stuffed, and they're in the league with the best takeout around, certainly in the league with my favorites at Pupuseria Lorenita's taco truck in Elkridge and Lily's Mexican Market in Columbia. R&R's big standout was the milkshake that I had with my tacos. The guys there whipped up milk and real strawberries in a blender, and it was a refreshing, delicious drink. Not the dessert of a milkshake at The Duchess in Ellicott City. It was more like strawberry milk, but real strawberries that they had pulled from the fridge and hulled right in front of me.

The R&R Deli serves a pretty broad menu from American or Mexican breakfasts to tortas sandwiches to platters of beef, cajun chicken, or blackened salmon. I really liked the guys there, who chatted and gave off the vibe of folks who were really interested in serving good food. Now, I just need to convince my wife.

#2 HowChowBlog

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 07:45 PM

The R&R Deli (nee R&R Taqueria) was one of my favorite discoveries when I was just eating tacos and fresh fruit milkshakes.

But the takeout in the Shell Station at Rte 175 and U.S. 1 has broadened its menu -- including a ceviche special that made a delicious lunch. For less than $4, you get a takeout shell filled with marinated fish and sliced avocado on a crispy tostada. This isn't exotic restaurant ceviche, but it's fresh and full of flavor with tomatoes, cilantro and onion. It's a nice mix of fish so that each bite is slightly different, and the marinating liquid soaked beautifully into the tostada.

If you're eating lunch in Columbia, then you need to give yourself a break and try R&R. For the price of your regular sandwich, I got the ceviche and a barbacoa taco. Those tacos are still shockingly fresh with the deep flavors of barbecue and the fresh taste of herbs and spicy salsa. This is a takeout that wants to make exceptional food. The classic "hole-in-the-wall" that makes it fun to troll for new options.

#3 Toogs

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 01:53 PM

I was skeptical as I approached. The glassed in taco counter in a gas station felt like a fish bowl. The taco al pastor, barbacoa, and enchilados (2 dollars each) were great. The pork in the al pastor was crispy on the outside with great seasoning. the barbacoa and enchilados are the same meat--a gamy lamb shoulder, but the enchilados is smothered in sauce and cream. My ignorant self knows barbacoa only from Chipotle, where it is stringy, greasy beef. This lamb was delicious. I forgive the two bits of bone I encountered.

Friendly service, and 8 other taco varieties to try before moving onto the tortas. I'll be back, but I will take 95 next time instead of Rt 1, since it's 30 seconds off the 95 exit for 175E.

Thanks for starting this thread, there is no way I would ever have noticed this place on my own.

#4 1000yregg

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 06:36 AM

I've gone to R&R now twice because of HowChow's mention on his blog.
I think it's pretty awesome how this pretty nondescript Shell gas station is home to cheap, yummy Mexican food.
My first trip I had the $2 tacos- they were out of lamb, so I tried the al pastor and carnitas. They warmed up the tortillas on the grill and topped the meat with onions & cilantro. All came with lime and a spicy tomatillo sauce.
I also ate the ceviche. They fried up a corn tortilla and topped it with a ceviche of fish and shrimp that was also very good.

My second trip was before going to Merriweather for the Arcade Fire show. I had planned on trying the lamb this time, but I saw on special, they had an $8 mole poblano.
It was a quarter chicken topped with a decent, slightly oily mole sauce with rice, beans & cheese. It really hit the spot, especially with a fresh strawberry shake.
I most definitely would love to go back and try breakfast as well as their tortas.
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#5 Tweaked

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:04 PM

R&R gets some love from the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.co...3082214370.html
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#6 Toogs

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 12:27 PM

Went again today. Place was packed with gringos. Several new tacos including tripa, which I got and it was amazing. So tender and almost fluffy. Unfortunately they were out of buche. They've been out of buche every time. This time she said yes but then the cook said no. I was sad. They were out of several things unfortunately, but who cares because they had tripe and whatever else I got was good too. I am happy for their success.

#7 porcupine

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 07:58 AM

Thanks for starting this thread, there is no way I would ever have noticed this place on my own.

Indeed. Ain't this a great website? Places like R&R are exactly what I hope to find when on a short trip and in need of a nosh. I agree with the above poster that the barbacoa is gamy, but it's pleasantly gamy. And the carnitas are wonderfully crispy and flavorfull.

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#8 HowChowBlog

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 08:14 PM

Indeed. Ain't this a great website? Places like R&R are exactly what I hope to find when on a short trip and in need of a nosh. I agree with the above poster that the barbacoa is gamy, but it's pleasantly gamy. And the carnitas are wonderfully crispy and flavorfull.

If you like the carnitas, check out cochinta -- another pork variation with achiote and citrus. They had that on the handwritten menu on the wall with the buche, tripe, etc. I'd recommend trying anything here. So far, all the tacos have been delicious, and they're only $2 so you risk almost nothing!

#9 DonRocks

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 07:24 PM

The tip about R&R came from a comment last month by Alberto A. Flores.

So, who is Alberto A. Flores? (Good find, btw.)

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#10 Beto

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 07:29 PM

I have it on good authority that they are going to get massively busy soon. Get over there now before you have to fight the crowds.

(Please don't ask why, cause I can't say.)

#11 JDawgBBall9

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:48 AM

I have it on good authority that they are going to get massively busy soon. Get over there now before you have to fight the crowds.

(Please don't ask why, cause I can't say.)

Rumor I've heard is a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives appearance

#12 1000yregg

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 02:28 PM

I just went to to R&R Taqueria 2, located in the food court in White Marsh mall, nestled between Red Robin and Mama Ilardo's of all places. The menu and prices are exactly the same as the original store. I'm glad they're branching out without changing a thing.
Had the lengua, el pastor, and chorizo tacos with a Mexican Coke.
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#13 DonRocks

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 08:58 PM

I just went to to R&R Taqueria 2, located in the food court in White Marsh mall, nestled between Red Robin and Mama Ilardo's of all places. The menu and prices are exactly the same as the original store. I'm glad they're branching out without changing a thing.
Had the lengua, el pastor, and chorizo tacos with a Mexican Coke.


Ten years ago, the dream was to open a restaurant - then, if it makes enough money, to open a little 50-seat place, doing "what you really want to do."

About five years ago, Citronelle, Restaurant Eve, (yes, even Cava), changed that, by opening their flagship first, then capitalizing on the name by cashing in on the low-end with brand recognition.

Now, Pupatella has led the recent business model, with District Taco, R&R Taqueria, and others following suit, by food-trucking it into solvency.

It's interesting, that's for sure.

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#14 Lydia R

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:18 PM

I was skeptical as I approached. The glassed in taco counter in a gas station felt like a fish bowl. The taco al pastor, barbacoa, and enchilados (2 dollars each) were great. The pork in the al pastor was crispy on the outside with great seasoning. the barbacoa and enchilados are the same meat--a gamy lamb shoulder, but the enchilados is smothered in sauce and cream.


Yesterday, I made my first visit to the original location of R&R. They were out of several of the handwritten specials - no chicken tamales or mole. I had the aromatic and tasty Lamb Enchilados [a real fkj, don't try to eat this in your car].

Thank you, HowChow for the original post - looks like you also got a shout-out on the new menu.

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#15 Lydia R

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 11:45 AM

Rumor I've heard is a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives appearance


Food Network set the date for this episode: Monday Feb 27th at 10pm.

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#16 JDawgBBall9

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 11:55 AM

I think I know what I'm getting for lunch now

#17 SeanMike

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:37 AM

On Saturday I was headed to Elkridge to buy an exercise bike I'd located via craigslist. I plugged the address into my phone and took off up 95.

When I got to the exit it told me to drive to the traffic light and make a U-turn. What the what? There was a Shell station right there and knowing I needed cash (and another Coke Zero) I stopped there to hit the ATM and get my precious.

As I reached for the Coke Zero, I noticed a clear wall. Looking through it I spied HOLY WTF I'M AT R+R?!?!?!

Also, I had not eaten all day.

Despite running a couple of minutes late, I got four tacos - lamb, al pastor, chorizo, and pork belly (they were out of cabeza). I put them in the car and went to get the bike, dying as I smelled them. (I hadn't eaten all day, and it was around 3:30 PM.)

We finally got the bike into my little car as the snow poured down. I drove across the street to a package store parking lot and demolished those tacos.

I couldn't stop thinking about them after I was done. Those were some fantastic tacos. I mean, damn.

My company has an office in Elkridge, and my brother works in Hanover. I need excuses to go visit one or the both of them more often.
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#18 JDawgBBall9

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:48 AM

I went Saturday as well and got al pastor, barbacoa, and buche...nothing really that hasn't already been said, you could tell a lot of the ingredients were fresh and each taco was bursting with flavor. They did have a three taco special that had cactus on one of them but I figured that since it was my first trip I'd keep it fairly basic. I don't think I've demolished a plate of food like that in a long time.

#19 Pat

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 04:04 PM

I don't know when it first aired but there's an episode on R&R airing on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives right now that features Joe Theismann.
ETA: I guess this is the February 27 one. Should have read through the whole thread :rolleyes: .

#20 sphere777

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 11:25 PM

Hello from Catonsville!

Since I have a new apartment and a new job in Columbia, I took the opportunity to track down R&R when I went home one evening. It is worth noting that I was misled by Google Maps, which seemed to think that the gas station was about a mile further down Route 1 than it actually is.

For the record, R&R is at the Shell station on the intersection of US-1 and MD-175 near Jessup. In fact, it is right off Exit 41A on I-95 toward Jessup, so it is very easy to find.

And I had four tacos, including lengua, al pastor, and tripa, and they were all great! Though I'll say the little plastic tub of pepper-red condiment was just hot but that didnt matter a whit given the greatness of the main event.

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#21 Sundae in the Park

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:04 AM

We went twice this weekend, once on the drive up to Baltimore, and again on the way back. Excellent tacos, where barbacoa < carnitas < el pastor in juiciness and flavor. The red sauce is HOT, and the el pastor meat is already perfectly spiced so you don't need additions. I was very excited about trying the huaraches, but their version was much less puffy and chewy than the versions I tried in Mexico City (where it was a lot like "Indian" fry bread) - it was kind of like an extra-thick fried tortilla, and I didn't really care for it. This place is so easy to find, it is a must-visit on the way to/from BWI. It was a little crowded both times we were there, but the line moves quickly and most of the time is spent waiting for your food to come out. Lots of folks there were talking about the TV show, but there was a healthy sprinkling of non-gringos. The parking lot looks like a tailgate party, as there is hardly any space inside to eat and you don't want to wait to eat your food! The menu linked above is current and they do take call-ahead orders, if you want to be planful.

#22 Pool Boy

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:02 AM

Finally made it here.Tried the al pastor, lengua and pork belly -- al pastor was the best. What impressed me more was the extensiveness of the rest of the menu -- something I'd like to check out and try on a future visit. And, while their tacos were quite good, I like some of the offerings on the various trucks on route 1 better (especially La Poblanita, about a mile south on the northbound side).

 

Some nits-

-They seriously undercharged me. I point it out, then they overcharge me. I point it out, and a 2nd person tries to help, and we get it more or less fixed. I don't think it was a communication thing, just an honest mistake, and then another. ;-/

-The place is indeed separated from the rest of the shop/store, but there was a strong smell of gas nonetheless when we decided to just dine in on the stools and counter. I think in the future, I will just get stuff as carry out and bring it home or eat it in the car. The gas smell was a serious distraction.


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#23 JDawgBBall9

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:03 PM

oooo I forgot...I went maybe two months ago and got a breakfast burrito, which appears to be the first time anybody has actually documented getting breakfast in this thread. The eggs were fluffy and it was filling, tasty and a great deal....do not be afraid to branch out from the normal tacos.







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