R&R Tacqueria, web site, 7894 Washington Blvd. (Rt.1), Elkridge, MD, 13 minutes north of the 495/95 intersection (I-95 Waterloo Road exit 41A), look for the Shell sign. 410-799-0001 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | Don Rockwell | Yelp | Washingtonian | View from the Wing]
Now a second location: 5005 Honeygo Center Drive, #105, Perry Hall, MD 21128
This tacqueria is in a Shell gas station, with two small counters and three chairs to sit on.
It is the best huarache I have eaten, ever, including in Mexico. It is the best chile relleno I’ve had in the United States, ever. They serve among the best Mexican soups I have had, ever, and I have been to Mexico almost twenty times. I recommend the tacos al pastor as well.
At first Yana and Natasha were skeptics (“Sometimes you exaggerate about food”) but now they are converts and the takeaways have vanished. They even sell Mexican Coca-Cola and by the way the place is quite clean and nice, albeit cramped.
The highly intelligent proprietor is a former cargo pilot from Mexico City and speaks excellent English. The restaurant is called R&R after the names of his two sons.
For over twenty years I have sought such a place in the Washington, DC area and now I have one. For over twenty years people have been asking me how can they scratch this itch and now I have an answer.
Via Jodi Ettenberg, The Wall Street Journal reports on gas station tacos.
Thanks to Chris Edwards for the photos:
Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see more comments and suggestions.
R&R is awesome. I’ve been making pilgrimages there for about a year. It’s a 20 mike drive each way and completely wortth it. I love their lengua tacos.
FYI…that’s actually considered Jessup, even if it has an Elkridge address… I was a little confused when you put that up, because there is another Shell station north on Route 1 in Elkridge proper. I haven’t had the opportunity to eat at any of the taco trucks, since my wife never wants to stop.
In less than a mile north on route 1 you could probably run into as man as 4 mexican food trucks. There is an individual on the west side in the old “Paco’s Paint” shop lot. Then two or three more on the East.
I think we should credit the HowChow blog for highlighting it first in 2009. (I am guessing the WSJ found this place originally by googling “gas station tacos” and clicking on the blog–it is the 2nd or 3rd item). Check out http://howchow.blogspot.com/2009/11/r-deli-tacos-at-shell-station.html
Just got back from this place. It’s like the east coast’s own La Super Rica. (But with no line….until Saveur discovers it, I guess.)
How does it compare taco-wise with Tacqueria La Pacita in Hyattsville?
If you go to R&R, walk upstairs and check out the candied fruit at the new Estrellita market. Real fruit, candied to sweetness and a texture that was exotic, yet obviously natural at the same time. Pear becomes creamy and sweet. Orange rind retains a bite and a touch of citrus, but becomes a chewy complex candy.
May 16, 2011, Approx. 2:00 PM, I found a USED BAND-AID in my freshly-prepared taco at R&R Tacqueria. It was my 7th trip to R&R, and it will be MY ABSOLUTE LAST TRIP.
To the manager’s credit, he did refund my purchase and insisted that the people who prepared the food wore gloves. I loved the Taco al Pastor, but I will never be able to eat at R&R again. What a shame.
I will try it this weekend. I am a chilango (grew up in Mexico City) but have been in the US since my mid-20s. That is 20 years, the last 13 in DC. I have not found an authentic taco al pastor in all the Eastern US. (You do not find them in most of Mexico either, they are truly a DeFe phenomena). I have to survive with the 2-3 trips I take every year to visit my family in Mexico.
Pastores are an adaptation of the middle-eastern shawarma. I am sorry to say that what you show in your photos is not a taco al pastor. It might still be very tasty, but it is not the real thing.
Take a look at some photos here to see the difference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doner_kebab#Mexico
A place I have sometimes visited for Mexican food is Taqueria (note the correct spelling) Tres Reyes on Kenilworth Avenue, just south of East-West highway in Riverdale. The quality of ingredients is not great (I would not go to a lace like that in Mexico), but the preparation is authentic. No tacos al pastor though.