Friday I ventured to Taqueria El Vecino, a small, casual Mexican restaurant in the Oak Grove section of Decatur. There was a short wait, with many families and groups dining here early evening. Apparently the restaurant is putting in a deck in the parking lot so there should be more seating soon. A neat feature is the salsa bar (several selections featured below) where customers can sample 5+ kinds of salsa as well as load up on extras like roasted jalepenos, marinated jicama and preserved onions; lime and sour cream as well as some other dressings and sauces. The chips were unremarkable and while it was fun collecting and mixing salsas (and some were really hot), the flavors didn't stand out as exceptional. For entrees we tried the bistec a la Mexicana, steak sauteed with onions, tomatoes and jalepenos, served with corn tortillas. The tortillas here are different, with a really earthy flavor. A second entree we tried was a combination plate with a chicken mole tamale, a fish taco and a pork taco. The tacos were unremarkable, the fish lacking much seasoning and the pork tasted as if it had been sitting for awhile. The addition of salsas (especially the pico de gallo) helped, but the meat itself didn't have a lot of flavor. The tamale was tasty and unique, freshly baked in a husk. Prices here are reasonable, but this isn't a place I plan to return. Still on the hunt for Atlanta's best Mexican. What's your favorite?
Selection from the salsa bar.
Bistec a la Mexicana.
Combination plate with fish taco, pastor taco and chicken mole tamale.
After dinner, we noticed Jake's Ice Cream Cafe conveniently located just a few feet from Taqueria El Vecino. Jake's ice cream is unique and I enjoy their interesting falvors - red velvet cake, carrot cake and (my current personal favorite) Delta's Delight - crafted for Delta airlines, it contains Biscoff cookie bits, caramel swirls and Bailey's Irish Cream. Let me tell you, it's worth a try. The ice cream here has a different consistency to me, and I like it! The vanilla based flavors are very creamy if you like actually tasting that pure cream flavor. The chocolate raspberry truffle was also tasty, although it overwhelmed the vanilla based flavors when you eat them together.