Taqueria Las Palmas is an oft-overlooked Mexican eatery tucked into a rather, er, colorful strip near the Greyhound Bus station. Suffice to say it’s not the sort of place you stumble upon, but definitely a spot worth seeking out.
What brings local foodies and more than a few off-duty chefs to this modest family restaurant is simple Mexican fare made by hand. You’ll notice right off that the small open kitchen operates more like a high-end restaurant than a short-order diner. Each dish is prepared to order (so it can take more than 60 seconds to get your tacos) with fresh ingredients and a deft hand.
I was impressed to learn that Juan (the restaurant is co-owned by brothers Juan and Luis) has done stints in the kitchens of Zazu, Zin and Michele Marie’s before opening the taqueria several years ago. And that experience shows.
The dish I return for again and again is chile rellenos , a cheese-stuffed Pablano pepper that’s deep fried and smothered in a zesty tomato sauce. Camarones a la diabla are another specialty, packing some serious heat. When my guys are at the table, Carne asada tacos don’t last long enough for me to pilfer. The super Chimichanga, a deep fried burrito filled with beef, took down a bigger gullet than mine with its hot sauce and sheer size at about six bites. Lengua, chorizo and cabeza are also on the menu, along with traditional plates of alambres, moles and chile verde.
Vegetarians love the Veggie Burrito with beans, rice, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sauteed veggies.
–Food critic, Heather Irwin