Paco’s Tacos Brings Its Authentic Street Tacos to the Westbank

Photo Courtesy of Marielle Songy

With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, I’ve begun to crave tacos and margaritas. Yes, I know that Cinco de Mayo isn’t a big deal in Mexico, and it’s been completely Americanized so that we all have an excuse to drink and party in the middle of spring. Still, Cinco de Mayo aside, there’s just something about delicious tacos that just puts me in a good mood.

When I saw that the Westbank was getting a locally owned taco restaurant, a mere 5 minutes from my abode, it seemed like destiny that I satisfy my taco craving at the establishment. Owned by Carlos and Daysi Valencia, Paco’s Tacos opened their Harvey location a few weeks ago, after making a name for themselves in Metairie and Mandeville.

Photo Courtesy of Paco’s Tacos

Carlos’ family founded famed local Mexican restaurant Carreta’s Grill, and he spent the last 10 years in charge of that spot. He decided to open his own venture and bring street tacos to the masses- a fairly new concept for the area.

Paco’s Tacos prides themselves on serving up authentic tacos made with meat, served on a soft flour or corn tortilla with cilantro and sautéed onions. These are traditional-style tacos, so they aren’t topped with lettuce and tomato or bright shredded cheese from a bag. 

Paco’s regular tacos are Arrachera- Monterrey-style Angus chargrilled skirt steak, Chorizo- house-made traditional Oaxacan style sausage that comes from a generational recipe, Trompo- thin hand-cut pork in Paco’s signature adobo, Birria- slow braised confit style brisket and Suadero- slow braised confit style brisket.

You can get a basic taco for $2.50 or 5 tacos for $10. They also have a menu of specialty tacos including shrimp tacos made with corn battered shrimp, served with hand-crafted guacamole, and Costras, which is your favorite meat fried in a cheese shell and served with sautéed onions and a dollop of guacamole. That’s right- it’s essentially a burrito with a fried cheese shell!  In other words, whether you’re eating big or small, you’re going to get your fix here.

Photo Courtesy of Paco’s Tacos

I got the 5 mix-and-match tacos for $10 platter and they threw in an extra one because it was Taco Tuesday, or maybe because I looked hungry. Who knows? I didn’t ask and I didn’t argue. I tried the Arrachera, Birria, Suadero and Chorizo tacos. I loved how juicy and flavorful the meats in my tacos were, which were freshly sliced before serving. I was also a fan of the big pile of sautéed onions that came with the tacos, so that I could distribute them at will. Of the tacos I ordered, I would say that the Birria was my favorite, but they were all fantastic.

If you like your tacos with a little kick, Paco’s Tacos features a complimentary salsa bar, with salsas of various flavors, packaged safely in little cups for easy grabbing. The green tomatillo sauce was my favorite because it had a good balance of flavor and heat and worked well with the savory tacos.

Because no taco place would be complete without cocktails, Paco’s Tacos has their own specialty margaritas made with premium Maestro Dobel Tequila. Their most popular is the Prickly Pear- a unique blend of tequila and Prickly Pear juice. They also have more traditional margaritas and beer. Other specialty drinks include Chavela- a cocktail that brings together the flavors of a michelada and a margarita; their answer to the Bloody Mary, and What-a-Chata- house-made horchata mixed with rum and topped with crushed pecans and diced cantaloupe. 

Photo Courtesy of Paco’s Tacos

The moral of this story is, the best taco and margarita spot is a locally owned taco and margarita spot. If you’re having a craving, get over to Paco’s Tacos at 4726 Veterans Memorial Blvd in Metairie or 2434 Manhattan Blvd in Harvey and get your fix!

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