Located in the La Mesa area of Tijuana, Tacos Salceados – often called La Ermita by locals in recognition that merely citing the street that its on will guide you to the place — has been crowned by many as the best tacos in Tijuana, maybe in all of Mexico. Tacos Salceados is located on of Avenida Ermita off of Blvd Diaz Ordaz. The main street that goes east/west in the La Mesa District is Blvd Ordaz which is a continuation of Blvd. Aguacalientes. Ermita is about a mile east of the Xolos Stadium.
I have been here several times before but brought along my assistant to determine whether the tacos are as great as the hype. They do not serve alcohol here but have the traditional Mexican Coke in a glass bottle or Coca Light if you prefer. One nice touch at Tacos Salceados is what amounts to an amuse bouche. On previous trips, they automatically brought out a plate of jicama with chile sprinkled on top.
Jicama is one of the most refreshing vegetables to eat in the summer heat but this time they decided to bring out a plate of sliced cucumbers with chile. A bit of squeezed lime balances out the cucumbers. You can ask for them without chile if you prefer. But why would you?
My first two tacos ordered were the smoked salmon taco and the New York steak and shrimp taco. One thing you have to make clear is whether you want it with avocado and with the house sauce that they put on many of their tacos. I think it’s better to order the tacos dry as there is a huge salsa bar with various types of fruit and chile based salsas. I forgot to specify and the cream sauce is a bit thick and overwhelms the flavors of the taco. The tacos are fairly small but the tortillas are soft corn tortillas and the quality of ingredients is superb. The smoked salmon taco is my favorite and I order every time I go there. The New York steak and shrimp tacos are excellent as well. I would also recommend the arrachera marinated steak taco, the trout taco and the nopal (cactus).
I asked if they could bring out some cebollitas (grilled spring onions) and grilled chiles. They grill them and likely use Maggi sauce with salt. They are free with the meal. I also recommend the pickled carrots in oil and herbs that they have on offer at the salsa bar. It is a significant improvement over the acidic pickled carrots you see at taco shops in the USA.
I then made sure to order two more tacos dry. I ordered the famous quesataco with lengua (beef tongue) inside. Basically you can order a quesataco with any type of taco you want for a little extra. For those unfamiliar with a quesataco, it is a taco shell made of cheese that is grilled and folded with the ingredients of your taco inside the quesataco. It is something you will likely not see anywhere else. The tongue was cooked to perfection and moist. The contrast of the crisp cheese casing and the lengua makes one of the better combinations.
I also ordered the “pina”(pineapple) taco with chicken. The chicken in question was actual chicken breast diced up with big chunks of pineapple. The sauce on the outside was comprised of strawberry and pineapple and had some toasted, crushed pecans on the outside. It is a savory/sweet combination that can’t be missed and you can mix and match the pina with any type of meat.
The tacos are excellent and average around 25 pesos. The prices and menu are up on a chalkboard to the left or right as you walk in. Service is always top notch as the waiters will ask you exactly how you want your taco prepared and are quick to answer any questions you may have. My only beef is that the prices are in pesos on the chalkboard and increase based on the dollar’s strength against the peso which many border business’ decide to do although not fair or, in my opinion, ethical. The dollars strength or weakness should not change the pricing in pesos.
- Tacos Salceados
- Avenida Ermita Norte 30
- La Mesa
- Tijuana, B.C., Mexico
— El Fabio