“We like tacos!”
That’s the motto — one that we can all get behind — of Wallingford’s TNT Taqueria, an 800-square-foot glimpse into warmer climes and spicier food. While the cuisine hails from south of the border, ingredients are local and packaging is compostable, in a deferential nod to Seattle culture.
Order outside under the cheerful yellow awning and then head indoors if you can snag one of the three tables or a bar perch. The interior’s Hispanic accents, like the giant papier-mâché lizard on the ceiling, are charmingly unkitschy, and a sunnily tiled bar lets you peer into the kitchen, where marinated pork and pineapple rotate on a vertical spit and quesadillas sizzle on the grill.
The menu: Despite the dizzying array of options, you can’t go wrong. Whether in tacos ($7.75-9.25), burritos ($7.25-8.75) or tortas ($6.50-7.50), the meat or vegetarian fillings are mostly the same: al pastor (marinated pork), green chili chicken, chorizo verde (ground pork with green chilies and cilantro), ancho chile-braised beef brisket, carne asada (sirloin steak), sweet potato and kale. Take your pick of the house salsas: avocado crema, pico de gallo, salsa verde, chipotle tomato and habanero radish.
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Morning options include breakfast taquitos ($3.25-3.75), breakfast burritos ($6.50-8) and huevos rancheros — corn tortillas smeared with a tangy sauce and topped with eggs to order ($7.50). A horchata latte — made with Stumptown espresso — will soothe a weekend bruncher’s caffeine twitch.
What to write home about: Anything al pastor. The achiote-and-pineapple-marinated pork shoulder is slow-roasted on a spit before it’s carved and bundled into a tortilla.
The setting: A walk-up taqueria with heat lamps above to ward away the winter chill. Patrons can grab a seat indoors or order to go.
Summing up: A plate of al pastor tacos ($7.75), carne asada burrito ($8.25), tortilla chips with salsa ($2.50) and one churro ($1) came to $19.50 before tax and tip, and fed two.