Taco Quest

Pick up some delicious Mexican fare from these local eateries.

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Fish tacos with tropical fruit salsa, ginger-lime sauce, and cabbage slaw at Avocado Grill; Photo by Hallie Rosenthal

Avocado Grill

This “Floribbean” downtown Palm Beach Gardens restaurant is already a go-to for its grilled fish tacos and ginger guacamole, but soon it will take its global vibe to the next level. Beginning May 5 on Cinco de Mayo and lasting through summer, chef Julien Gremaud will launch a Mexican pop-up menu. “We did it for our celebration last year, and everyone loved it,” says Gremaud. In addition to tacos, foodies will be able to savor Mexican classics with an Avocado Grill twist, like enchiladas, queso dip, beef cheeks, empanadas, ceviche, and a Mexican burger. Plus, Gremaud will be running several Mexican-influenced specials available for takeout. 

Carne asada tacos with skirt steak, chimichurri sauce, queso fresco, sweet peppers, cabbage, radish, and scallions at PapiChulo Tacos

PapiChulo Tacos

A bright spot on U.S. Hwy. 1, PapiChulo Tacos brought its casual, playful take on Mexican fare to Jupiter when it opened in late 2018. “Our menu is based on Baja-style street food,” explains chef Carlos Sanchez, who moved to South Florida about 14 years ago from California. This translates to tomatillo salsa with house-made crispy corn chips, yuca fries, and of course, tacos— with the perfect tortilla. “They’re 60 percent corn and 40 percent flour, so they get a little crispy, not mushy,” says Sanchez. Adventurous eaters will appreciate his creative flair with the fillings: The head chef has served everything from duck, short rib, salmon, coconut shrimp, and alligator. However, his take on the staples—like carne asada with chimichurri sauce, queso fresco, sweet peppers, and radish—never grow tired. His recommendation for washing it all down? “A Mexican beer like Pacifico or Dos Equis.” PapiChulo offers both takeout and delivery. 

Fajitas with skirt steak, chicken, and shrimp at Calaveras Cantina.

Calaveras Cantina

Everything at this Harbourside Place mainstay, from its tacos to its margaritas, represents a contemporary update on Mexican staples. “Our tacos are traditional with a modern-day flair,” says General Manager Josh Williams. “Our chef does a great job of bringing in fresh ingredients. The brisket for the barbacoa tacos with avocado ranch and chihuahua cheese, and the pork for the carnitas tacos with pico and cotija cheese, are both smoked in-house.” Other top picks from Calaveras Cantina include the Cali fish taco, which pairs catches like cobia with pineapple slaw and chipotle aioli, and the spicy pork belly taco with a Korean barbeque glaze and kimchi. Diners can also choose from a flour tortilla, a hard-shell or soft-shell corn tortilla, or a lettuce wrap. For drinks, what pairs better with a taco than a margarita? Opt for varieties such as the Sangre De Cristo blood orange and the spicy Salma’s Snake Dance watermelon and habanero margarita. Calaveras Cantina is offering curbside pickup daily from noon to 9 p.m.—and that can include a margarita (for $8).

El Fogoncito

Those seeking truly authentic Mexican cuisine should head to this family-owned-and-operated gem. El Fogoncito, which translates to “the little fire,” was born out of Gabriel and Margarita Montes’ desire to share dishes that have been passed on through generations. “[Gabriel] was the chef at Johnny Longboats on Singer Island for nearly 14 years,” says Omar Montes, the couple’s son and general manager of El Fogoncito. “And the recipes come from [Margarita’s] family. Together, they do everything from scratch on a daily basis.” That includes making the soft-shell corn tortillas for their street-style tacos. Popular

Molcajete Azteca at El Fogoncito

varieties include the tacos al pastor filled with marinated pork, pineapple, cilantro, and onions and the vegetarian tacos filled with seasonal vegetables like sautéed peppers and zucchini. The Montes’ tamales and the molcajete Azteca—chorizo, veggies, grilled cactus, ranchero beans, and green salsa served in a lava rock and topped with queso fresco and onions—are also hits. Says Omar: “The food they cook here is the food I’ve been
eating my whole life.” El Fogoncito is currently offering takeout and delivery.

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