Taco Lab in Windsor Thinks Outside the Shell

Global flavors in a taco? Open your imagination.

Everyone has an opinion about tacos. Especially in California.

Carnitas versus carne asada, soft-shelled versus crispy, dribbled with sour cream and guacamole or simply dressed with a couple of radish slices, onions, and cilantro? Whatever you choose, one wrong order can land you in a minefield of food credibility. Family members have been known to come to blows–or at least throw out a few derogatory statements about someone’s mother — over how to eat this simple street food. Trust me, friends, I’ve even been on the receiving end of nastiness about my affection for overusing pico de gallo on tacos.

Frankly, we’re ready for a taco truce. Let’s stop our bickering over queso fresco and raise a cerveza to taco inclusion.

The recent opening of Taco Lab in Windsor is just the place to do that. It’s sort of a taqueria, but also an experiment in thinking outside the shell.

Owned by Superburger’s Bill Cordell, the casual spot just off the square features an ever-changing lineup of proteins that range from super-tasty carne asada and carnitas to globally-inspired flavors like Brazilian beef with chimichurri, Indian-spiced chicken, the meatless Imposter ground “beef” (it’s really good, promise), jerk chicken and other daily Protein Specials.

“Think of a menu without cultural borders, where the biggest rule is that it has to fit in a taco, burrito or bowl,” said Cordell. Inspiration comes from Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, China, India and beyond, he added.

Instead of tortillas, choose from a burrito, burrito bowl, quesadilla, loaded baked potato or yam, or salad bowl. Each is $10 and include chips and salsa.

You can add various toppings to your “experiment”, from corn to queso. We also really liked the esquite, a street corn salad ($3.75) and are craving Taco Lab’s freshly made agua fresca, margaritas, and sangria.

The Lab opened May 1, and there are still a few R+D issues being ironed out, but the large outdoor patio and lineup of flavors is one experiment we’re willing to keep testing.

9238 Old Redwood Hwy, #128, Windsor, tacolabrestaurant.com. Open daily from 11a.m. to 8:30p.m