These tacos may require a knife and fork to eat, but they're worth the effort.

What: The Vulcan taco

Where: Delicias Mexican Cuisine, 66121 Pierson Blvd., Desert Hot Springs

How much: $6.50 each

Contact: 760-894-3400; www.facebook.com/DeliciasMexicanCuisine

Why: It’s a fantastic dish you won’t find on most local Mexican restaurant menus.

Whenever something takes me to a part of the valley I don’t visit often, I take the opportunity to check out a new-to-me restaurant, time permitting.

On a recent Thursday, I gave a friend who lives in Desert Hot Springs a ride home from the airport around lunch time. Mexican sounded good—so we decided to give Delicias Mexican Cuisine a try.

While perusing the menu, we were struck by the fact that there were a lot of unusual-for-here dishes on offer—things like huarache (“masa dough with smashed pinto beans placed in the center before it is given an oblong shape, fried and topped,” per Wikipedia), tecolatas (chilaquiles sandwiches) and something called a “Vulcan taco.”

Vulcan, in this case, is a cute Americanization of volcánes, or volcano, but it wasn’t the name that caught my attention; it was the description: “carne asada or pastor taco with crispy melted cheese, spicy pickled red onion, micro cilantro and avocado sauce.”

Sold! One of each, please.

The tacos that showed up were packed with meat—so much that I didn’t even try to pick them up, and instead used a fork and knife. While the meat was fantastic, and both the avocado sauce and pickled onions were tasty, the tacos were made oh-so-wonderful by that layer of cheese—crispy on the outside, but still a little gooey on the inside. My mouth is watering as I write this.

These tacos weren’t the only great thing about our lunch. From the friendly, helpful service to the comfy vibe to the rest of the food (an endorsement within an endorsement shout-out to the enchiladas Suizas with shrimp), everything about our lunch was a delight.

It looks like we need to find more excuses to get to DHS.

Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...

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