Cinco de Mayo found my girls and I hankering for some Mexicano authenico. While we couldn’t afford a flight south for the day, Taqueria La Michoacana was absolutamente the next best thing to being there.
Tucked away between a package store and a used car lot on Main Street in Bridgeport, Taqueria La Michoacana touts itself as “The Only 100% Mexican Taqueria.” We walk into the spotless, 30-seat storefront and are immediately greeted by the sweet smell of garlic and the owner, Sergio. While he refers to his wife, Rosa, in the kitchen, we don’t get to meet her until we insist on complimenting the chef on our way out. Roles are clearly defined here, Sergio is front of the house, Rosa is the chef.
While I wait for a few more of my chicas before settling in, Sergio has me on my feet negotiating a huge map of Mexico that hangs on one wall of the taqueria. He is from a small town in the Michoacan state, hence the name of the restaurant. He and his wife have run this true Mom and Pop operation for the last seven years. As the rest of our group rolls in, I return to the table to find a plate of warm frijoles with cotija, chips, lime wedges and a variety of sauces ranging from dark red to bright green.
Let the fiesta begin.
The chips are fine, but mostly they just serve as a anchor for the exceedingly tasty dips. The avocado cilantro sauce wows us all. Our Texas native spicy gal falls hard for the hottest of red chili. The salsa verde slowly disappears as well. As we devour the apps, Sergio gives us the low down on the menu.
We opt for three tacos: asada, shrimp and chicken; three sopes: pork, chicken and sin carne (for our vegetarian); and Spicy Mexican Style Shrimp served with rice, lime and avocado. There are more exotic finds on the menu, lengua (tongue), cabeza (cow head) and Cesos (brains) but my crew isn’t feeling quite that adventurous. Maybe next time?
The tacos are covered in fresh chopped cilantro, which immediately gives them a thumb’s up. The chicken and shrimp are standouts. The chicken is moist and really well seasoned as are the shrimp. A few whole grilled spring onions and peppers dress up the plate serving as a seasonal accompaniment.
Next up, the sopes. These house-made masa patties are topped with generous amounts of chicken, pork or refried beans, shredded lettuce, tomato, onion and avocado and sprinkled with cotija. They look too pretty to eat, but alas, we must. Though the sopes cakes are fried, they are not too greasy. And they are sturdy enough to slice through and still hold their toppings for the journey from plate to mouth. All three of these little treats are big winners.
Our final platillo, the shrimp, is spicy, sweet and satisfying. It looks like it might be too hot, but the chili heat is balanced by tomatoes and garlic. The shrimp is so well seasoned, in fact, that the rice, which we usually use to absorb some of the heat, sits uneaten.
Right about this time, Texas spicy girl pulls out a flask with tequila and plastic cups. “It is cinco de mayo”, she reminds us. The abundance of lime slices suddenly becomes very handy. A round of the salt shaker, a quick toast and it’s onto dessert.
We can’t leave with out a quick bite of Rosa’s flan. To our delight, it’s not cloyingly sweet and has a distinct carmel taste. It is also very dense, so a bit or two is all we need.
Our check arrives and we are all smiles. Not only is Tacqueria La Michoacana well-priced, but the check is accompanied by two-pack chiclets for each of us. We leave Bridgeport swamped in memories of childhood vacations to Mexico and the call of children selling “chic-o-lets, chih-o-lets!”
Taqueria La Michoacana is open daily.
Tacqueria La Michoacana 1914 Main Street, Bridgeport. 203. 572.0004