4517 N Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28213
We checked out Taqueria Guadalajara while we were in Charlotte last week.
As soon as we sat down, our waitress brought tortilla chips, lime wedges and a variety of salsas. One of them was a green tomatilla salsa, which pretty much guaranteed that I'd like this place. I discovered tomatilla salsa at the salsa bar at La Veracruzana in Amherst, MA, and have loved it since then. (This is where I lose all credibility as a food blogger. Seriously, who uses New England as the criteria for good Mexican food?)
The bilingual picture menu offered familiar Mexican-American favorites like tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, as well as more unusual tripe soup and seafood dishes. I couldn't find margaritas, though, instead I noticed a collection of unusual juices and fruit sodas.
Our food arrived quickly... we barely had a chance to apply our half-remembered high-school Spanish to the telenovela playing in the background.
Our meals were great. We had really flavorful enchiladas, with moist chicken and lots of sauce. I also got a chile relleno that was a perfect mixture of spicy pepper, mild melty cheese and that light, omelette-y batter.
The rice was odd, it included the chopped mixed vegetables from the frozen food aisle, so a forkfull of generic Spanish rice might also have a lima bean or carrot cube in it. Not that great, but I didn't really want to fill up on rice with all the other delicious foods.
With the Spanish-language local papers and business cards, Taqueria Guadalajara is definitely catering to Mexican residents, but the informal, friendly atmosphere made us feel welcome. The green-tiled tables, bright paint and framed prints of Mexican scenes created a bright, pretty background, but the main focus was clearly on the delicious, fresh food, not the decor.
The only possible improvement would be offering a margarita, but I was very happy with our visit and we'll definitely be back the next time we're in Charlotte!