Gwinnett County, the census site tells me, is 18.0% Hispanic these days. Along with steady Spanish speaking immigration comes food to feed those people. There has been an increase in mom n’ pop taquerias, and with them, a supply of cheap, tasty eats. Not only are the  meats available in these places more diverse than the taco chains, these restaurants, as a matter of fact, serve the kinds of offal that have food aficionados swarming to places like Abbatoir.

I came to this site a couple days ago to photograph the restaurant in development next door. I took a  shot of this site too and came back at night to try out their food. I ordered 3 tacos, a lengua taco, a carnitas taco, and a chili relleno taco. If I wanted, I could have had head, tripe, or chicharones tacos as well. Most of  the tacos were in the $1.70 range, with the chili relleno running about $2.80. Tortas were mostly about 6 dollars.

The main portion of the menu revolves around tacos, tortas, and fajitas. There was a crowd the day I arrived, the restaurant perhaps half full. It’s not a large place, but staff are friendly and went out of their way to be helpful to me. Food is served quickly. There were a lot of families the night I arrived, and one group of happy men downing food and what looked like a half gallon bottle of beer.

Of the food I tried, I thought the chili relleno taco was the most subtle. Stuffed with white cheese and covered with a thin brown batter, I’d not had a relleno quite like that one. It was a definite contrast to the meaty creamy flavors of the lengua taco, and the perkier, more in your face flavors of pork. Along with  the tacos they provided two kinds of hot sauce, lemons, and radishes if you desired.

Yes, I liked this place. Inexpensive, matter of fact, one of the closest taquerias to my house. I ate well for $8.50, even though I had the most expensive taco in the place. If I wanted to splurge, their fajitas ran perhaps $11. Highly recommended.

Taqueria Restaurant Vallarta
1500 Pleasant Hill
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 925-0877

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