Jump to content

Taco Bar - Gas Station Mexican at its Best - in Washingtonian Village, 10003 Fields Road, Gaithersburg


Recommended Posts

After hearing about this place on Chowhound, I decided to give it a try for a quick lunch today while running errands in the Rio Center. While this is definitely not a restaurant, I thought it was worth a new topic for those craving some quick Mexican near 370 in Gaithersburg. Its easy to find and thats about the best thing I can say for its location, since it is inside a Chevron gas station. The lot is cramped, but on the plus side you can fill up your tank and buy soft drinks or snacks at the main store while waiting for your order from the Taco Bar side retail space. The Taco Bar portions half its space to beer and wine sales, so the dining area is fairly small. They do have 4-6 small tables with chairs. Take out was very popular the entire time i was eating there.

The kitchen itself is efficiently layed out, and I personally like the large window area that looks directly into the kitchen so you can see that its clean and well manned by a few Mexican women. Their best dish and the reason I went was the Pozole with Pork. To me, this is the Mexican version of Pho, a very popular hearty homestyle soup served throughout Mexico. This is a long-simmered stew made with Hominy and Pork traditionally, although I think they also had a chicken version if pork's not your thing(it really makes the stew in my opinion though). Their version includes a mild chili sauce mixed in, a Tostada(fried tortilla) for crumbling into bits and adding for crunch, and plenty of lettuce and cilantro on top.. Add in some lime and onions from their condiments bar, and you'll have a wonderful meal full of Mexican flavors for a bargain $6.

I also ordered the Chicken Taquitos Platter, which came with four fried chicken tacos topped with shredded lettuce, Mexican Crema and Queso, along with Refried Pinto Beans and Yellow Rice. Their combos all include these two sides and a can of soda for $8. The taquitos were just so-so, somewhat bland, but well fried and they perked up well with some hot sauce and lime. The beans were very good, thick with a strong bean flavor that most places just don't get right. The rice was also cooked well and fine for soaking up other flavors.

Finally, we had some Tacos al Pastor(pork and pineapple), Tacos de Bistec and Tacos de Suadero(shredded rib meat). These were all tasty and worth ordering, with two nice firm tortillas used for each taco. The Tacos al Pastor were my favorite, although all 3 were on the dry side, IMO. Again, adding some Pico de Gallo and Salsas fixes this as the flavors are great. Judging from the 10 orders placed while eating next to the register, their Tortas are also very popular and certainly smelled good.

If you want fast, inexpensive and fairly authentic Taqueria food, this is a great place to go. I still like El Tapatio II near Shady Grove for other foods, but the pozole here is better and certainly cheaper.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Managed to swing in here the other day when running errands.

Not spectacular, but quite good. All I had was tacos - Pastor, Chorizo, and Lengua. All flavorful and juicy, and a generous serving of meat on each one. Salsa bar to the side with pico, salsas, and other pickled veggies to fix up your tacos.

Beans and rice looked industrial.

Not equivalent to the best of the places in Riverdale/Bladensburg, but a welcome stop in Gaithersburg if you're out that way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that I'm working in Gaithersburg, I need to step out from time to time and find non-cafeteria and non-chain options. I grabbed lunch here today - really pretty good, and not expensive, a good combination for me. I had one chorizo and one pork taco in a platter with refried beans and rice. Ordered a horchata too - don't get it, it tasted powdery and I tossed it. But the taco filling was generous and quite tasty. They use soft corn tortillas for the tacos. And I thought the rice and beans were good - I think the beans were freshly made and had nice flavoring (aka lard).

I can't eat this stuff every day but I will be back - and my Mexican-American co-worker endorses their salsa heartily.

One more thing - the whole gas station vibe is a little odd but they have some chairs and tables outside on the non-pump side of the shop.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If it is the gas station experience that you crave, you might want to try the Taco Bar near the Rio Center in Gaithersburg. It is surprisingly good, quick, clean, and yes, it is in a gas station.

Thanks for the tip. It was humming along at 1:30 this afternoon, clearly having found a local audience. Good lengua, good al pastor, both flavorful and moist. Maybe still not quite as perky as the Mexican truck that parks by the Gaithersburg MVA (NOT the Honduran one). Nice assortment of fixings. The corn tortillas got a little dry around the edges, though. Surprisingly enjoyable sides, often a throwaway on Mexican platters: fantastically rich and oniony refritos. Rice was overcooked, but whatever it was dressed up with was delicious.

"Quick" might need to be qualified. They were making each order in sequence, so we did have a wait of about 10 minutes for ours to come up.

The menu is scattered all over the place; make sure you look around at the wall and not just at the overhead board. I missed the sign that barbacoa tacos only available on weekends. And there's horchata hiding in the fridge.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don, these guys have the solution to your perpetual problem about what to do with the second tortilla that comes wrapped in each taco.

Simply, they pile so much meat on each taco, that you can easily split it between the two corn tortillas, and still have well stuffed tacos. That means that you can get the two taco platter with rice, beans, and a soda, and land up with FOUR tacos and change from your $10.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don, these guys have the solution to your perpetual problem about what to do with the second tortilla that comes wrapped in each taco.

Simply, they pile so much meat on each taco, that you can easily split it between the two corn tortillas, and still have well stuffed tacos. That means that you can get the two taco platter with rice, beans, and a soda, and land up with FOUR tacos and change from your $10.

You do realize that I love you for this post, right? :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Got lunch here again today (and last week too) - the burrito desayuno. Yes, it's breakfast but I don't care. Subbed guacamole for the sour cream.  The place was mad busy but moving people through quickly.  And I love their salsa bar.  Everything is so fresh.  And they've got Mexican Coke in glass bottles. Great place.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/28/2012 at 3:27 PM, DanielK said:

Don, these guys have the solution to your perpetual problem about what to do with the second tortilla that comes wrapped in each taco.

Simply, they pile so much meat on each taco, that you can easily split it between the two corn tortillas, and still have well stuffed tacos. That means that you can get the two taco platter with rice, beans, and a soda, and land up with FOUR tacos and change from your $10.

I am years too late on this but anywhere that uses two torts, I just eat one while leaning over the other, and eat the other with the scraps, or plunk it back down if the first one crumbles.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to post a reminder that this small, oddly-placed spot, although nothing earth-shattering, remains incredibly consistent and probably has the best food to be found in all of Gaithersburg, with the possible exception of Tortacos.  (Am I overlooking anything?)

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Marty L. said:

Just wanted to post a reminder that this small, oddly-placed spot, although nothing earth-shattering, remains incredibly consistent and probably has the best food to be found in all of Gaithersburg, with the possible exception of Tortacos.  (Am I overlooking anything?)

Updates like this are hugely important. Everyone should note that this Taco Bar is unrelated to the Taco Bar on 3 Russell Avenue.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/20/2018 at 2:40 PM, Marty L. said:

Just wanted to post a reminder that this small, oddly-placed spot, although nothing earth-shattering, remains incredibly consistent and probably has the best food to be found in all of Gaithersburg, with the possible exception of Tortacos.  (Am I overlooking anything?)

They have a second location on Frederick Road (also Gaithersburg) called Ixtapalapa.  The menu is very similar when it comes to tacos, although they are smaller (and less expensive).  Aside from that there are some items at Ixtap that aren't on the menu at Taco Bar.  Either way, both are really good and highly recommended. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/20/2018 at 2:40 PM, Marty L. said:

Just wanted to post a reminder that this small, oddly-placed spot, although nothing earth-shattering, remains incredibly consistent and probably has the best food to be found in all of Gaithersburg, with the possible exception of Tortacos.  (Am I overlooking anything?)

The only other real contender in Gaithersburg is Athens Grill.  Tortacos is still good but not what it was when it opened. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...