Tacos Chukis has a simple concept: It’s a hole-in-the-wall taqueria at hole-in-the-wall prices — and food that keeps ’em coming back. If you can only find it. Tucked upstairs at the back of the Broadway Alley complex on Capitol Hill’s main drag, the taqueria is certainly hidden away. But if the brisk business of a recent week night is any indication, they don’t have to scream for attention.
The menu: A selection of seven street-style Mexican dishes at prices to match. Basic tacos on soft, corn tortillas ($1.75-$2), baby burritos ($3.25-$3.75), quesadillas ($3.25-$4.20), mulitas ($2.35-$2.70) — a dish of two corn tortillas with cheese and other toppings pressed in between — are small, but at those prices, it’s easy to make a cheap meal out of two or three. The toasted Mexican sandwiches known as tortas ($6.50-$7.25) and the nopal asado ($5.50) — a grilled, prickly-pear cactus leaf smothered with a choice of meat or pinto beans, salsa, onions, guacamole and cilantro — are more substantial.
What to write home about: The nopal asado ($5.50) stands out on an otherwise typical menu of tortilla-based dishes. The cactus leaf, well-grilled but still firm, added a juicy freshness to the carne asada, guacamole and green salsa piled on top of it. Coming in a close second is the house taco ($2.25), stuffed with succulent pork from the vertical rotisserie “adobada” grill, along with a chunk of pineapple.
What to skip: The quesadilla costs $1.40 more than the mulita, but offers little to distinguish it from its cheaper, equally cheesy and scrumptious cousin, aside from a flour tortilla versus the corn tortillas that sandwich the fillings of the latter.
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The setting: Don’t expect much in the way of ambience. The small, no-frills dining room has eight tables and five stools along a wall. Order at the counter, take a seat and wait for your meal to be brought to you.
Summing up: A house taco ($2.25), mulita ($2.35), baby burrito ($3.25), quesadilla ($3.75), nopal asado ($5.50) and a bottled soda ($1.75) came to $21.19 with tax, feeding two people.
Tyrone Beason: firstname.lastname@example.org