What: Various pollo items
Where: El Taco Asado, 440 S. El Cielo Road, Palm Springs
How much: Varies; $9.75 for the combo No. 1 is a good way to go
Contact: 760-323-7544; eltacoasado.com
Why: This is not your normal Mexi-restaurant chicken.
Chicken. It’s often the least-heralded meat at Mexican joints, and for good reason: Beef does better with grilling; you can do a ton of interesting things with fish; and pork is … well, pork.
That’s not to say chicken is bad. It stews well, after all, and can absorb a ton of surrounding flavors—although it’s often presented in a shredded form, which turns off some people.
This leads us—and it should lead you—to El Taco Asado, located in a strip mall at Ramon and El Cielo roads. (Yes, Time Warner Cable is also in the strip mall. Yes, you’re allowed to boo.) At this popular Mexican restaurant (which is a sister joint of Taqueria Tlaquepaque on Sunny Dunes Road, and La Piñata Restaurante in Indio), in our minds, chicken is the star.
We tried the carne asada. We tried the tampiqueña steak. We even tried the beef tongue. All were fine, but then we tried the chicken—and we were hooked. The chicken you’ll find in the tacos, enchiladas, tostadas (all three pictured above as the combination No. 1), burros and other entrées here is not shredded. Instead, the flavorful and juicy (marinated, perhaps?) chicken comes in little chunks. It wouldn’t be right to call it cubed, as the li’l pieces come in various shapes and sizes, so we’ll call it cubed-adjacent.
It’s oh so good, so flavorful, and not the least bit dry.
Chicken—this splendid, in enchiladas and tacos at a Mexican joint. What’ll they think of next?