I recently experienced two polar opposite Mexican places that both need to be on your radar screen: El Amigo and Taqueria Del Sol. El Amigo is family owned, offers authentic Mexican food and is a dive — I mean that in the lovliest of ways. Taqueria Del Sol is a franchise serving up fun and tasty Americanized Mexican. While El Amigo doesn’t service alcohol, Taqueria Del Sol serves up a yummy margarita; in fact, they have a full bar. Here are some highlights from both meals. WARNING: you will be hungry and craving tacos by the time you reach the end!
El Amigo: 3901 Nolensville Pike, 37211
El Amigo was recently mentioned in Food & Wine’s “Nashville in 10 Plates.” They recommend the rotisserie chicken tacos, with good reason. By the way, it is located in an old gas station. To get there, coming from downtown on Nolensville, it is just past the Nashville Zoo, on your right. The food is speedy, cheap and delicious.
Next time, we are going to order some of the traditional Mexican beverages served, including Horchata.
I have to tell you that as we were leaving a guy came in and ordered 18 beef tacos to go. Apparently there were some hungry people back at his house.
Taqueria Del Sol: 2317 12th Avenue South, 37204
Only having been open 3 weeks, we have received quite a bit of reader email about this place, begging us to highlight it. Since I had already been to the original one in Atlanta, I knew the concept and recipes (Southern/Mexican fusion), so we had a StyleBlueprint staff meeting here just this past Tuesday. It’s located on 12th Avenue South, sharing the building space with Trim Classic Barber. I think the restaurant jinx may finally be broken with this location’s newest resident! (Previous tenants include Mirror, Blind Pig and Fish & Co.)
There is plenty of seating, but make sure your party is all there as they don’t want you saving tables for your late-arriving meal companions. You must order — it’s counter service — and THEN get your table. They will bring your food to your table and clean up after you, though. It’s very similar to the Local Taco concept, fast-casual, which is a proven concept in Nashville.
This is a place to load up on lots of treats for the table. Order the trio of salsas, the cheese dip and the guac. Enjoy the warm weather on the patio or eat inside. And, their turnip greens are so good that Garden & Gun listed them in their “100 Southern Foods You Absolutely Must Try Before You Die” and snagged the recipe. If you like a sweet corn chowder, be sure to get a side of that as well. Beware: it has a kick, but we like the extra spice!
The tacos and enchiladas are the main choices for meals and two tacos with the appetizers were pretty filling. We were all happy and full declaring we would be back to try the margaritas another time! By the way, they have over 50 tequilas to make your perfect drink.
This is not authentic Mexican food. This is fun, Americanized Mexican in a trendy part of town that sorely was in need of some tacos and margaritas. That void has now been filled. Prediction: this place, come spring, is going to be SLAMMED. Better get in there now!
Total tab? For 6 of us, it was just over $70 for 6 meals, 3 appetizers and 6 iced teas.