I checked out the new Taqueria in downtown Sofia this weekend!!
It was pretty great. I am super glad that I wasn’t disappointed. It’s been built up in my mind over the last six weeks and I haven’t had a chance to check out until now.
Here’s the thing, the Taqueria is on Shishman Street. I’d heard about the shop. I’d read a blog post in Bulgarian about the post. But for some reason, I thought it was next to (or near to) the sandwich/soup place SupaStar.
Um, it’s not.
Basically, I walked from the Sofia University metro station down Shishman and I spent the whole walk tripping on sidewalk tiles while I was looking for the Taqueria. I kept going because well, I am not about to be beaten by a taco shop. I also believe that I have a nose for tacos.
I kept thinking: I’ll find it. I am American.
In hindsight, I have no idea what is means to have a nose for tacos. I also don’t think that being an American makes me any better at finding a taco joint than anyone else.
I was just determined.
It paid off.
The Taqueria it turns out is at 24 Shishman Street.
That makes it much, much closer to Gurko than to Tsar Osvoboditel. It’s almost next door to the school on the block.
Just so you know.
There are a lot of interesting options and choices to be made at the Taqueria.
Burrito or tacos?
Quesadilla or nachos?
I picked the burrito. But for the record, I was torn. I thought pretty seriously about the tacos. Then the burrito won out.
The burrito was made on a, get this, Mission tortilla. I don’t know who’s importing Mission tortillas but it makes feel that much like my mom’s burritos. Oh but for the record, my MoM is not Mexican. Surprise, surprise, she’s a white middle-class American. This said, Mission tortillas are the tortillas of my childhood. (Insert a dose of nostalgia here.)
Once you pick which mode of conveying Mexican food to your mouth–burrito, taco, chips–then you get to make another series of choices. The fixings. What kind of beans. What kind of meat. What additional toppings you’d like–salsa, cheese, guacamole and the like. Think, Chipotle style in the States.
As I said, I went for the burrito. It came with rice. Then I picked the mashed beans rather than the whole beans. The mashed weren’t exactly refried but they were tasty. Then I selected the chicken. It wasn’t easy though. The ground beef looked great as did the shredded pork.
From here, I basically stopped making choices. I just had a little bit of all of the other toppings. Salsa, guacamole, cheese, lettuce and a spicy corn mix. The only thing I passed on were the jalapeno peppers. Sometimes jalapenos are too much for me. I like spicy but I don’t want to die.
As it turned out there was so much stuff on my burrito that it was difficult to wrap up. If you ask me, that’s the sign of a good burrito.
Now, I haven’t had any Mexican food since I was at home in the States for a month, so this burrito really hit the spot. Good flavors, high quality ingredients and friendly helpful service. This said, my burrito seemed to be a Bulgarian take on an American Tex-Mex.
It wasn’t exactly Mexican food, as I know it, but it was darn good.
I guess that it begs the question: how do I know that the food I like in the States is even real Mexican food? I mean, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans make it but I’d guess that the food and the dishes are tweaked for an American palate. So why not tweak Mexican food for a Bulgarian audience?
All in all, the only tweak I’d make is heating up the tortilla, meat, beans and cheese before adding the other toppings.
Either way, I’ll be back. The food, the ambiance and the staff are all great.