10 signs that you have chose the right taquería for dinner on Cinco de Mayo
- The kitchen staff yells at each other in Spanish. And will take orders in Tejano Spanglish.
- They serve tacos made with things like spiced, stewed cow tongue or pork intestine...
- ...which go by their Spanish names on the menu, so as not to scare the gringos who are there for grilled chicken.
- There is no cheddar cheese anywhere in the restaurant. Nor does shredded iceberg lettuce come standard on anything.
- The pico de gallo is made fresh in the kitchen.
- The tortillas are made with real shortening.
- You have to ask for vegetarian beans if you don't want them cooked in lard, and vegetarian rice if you don't want it cooked in chicken stock.
- They have horchata, for the same price as soda.
- They will deep fry any food on the menu if you ask nicely.
- The tortilla chips are so greasy they soak through the paper bag.
I have been generally wary of trying "Mexican" food here in Boston, where everyone seems to think the word 'habanero' has an H sound in it. I finally ventured into Anna's Taquería, which has a location in Davis Square. It's pretty much like the genuine cheap taco joints in Arizona, where most of the staff hides in the kitchen and they send the one English-speaking legal citizen out front to take the orders when La Migra comes in for lunch. There's a bit less variety on the menu -- some of the ones nearer Mexico will also do things like shrimp ceviche tacos, tamales, and fresh empanadas, which require more and more complicated prep than tacos and burritos -- but it's more or less real Mexican street cart food.