Along Southmore Avenue in Pasadena sits a little ray of sunshine: Taqueria El Sol de Jalisco. We have visited this taqueria for a few years and have observed the subtle changes in both the number of diners and the quality of the food served.
On a recent visit I decided to change up my order as I can be a creature of habit when it comes to ordering a reliable quesadilla grande. This time I felt like ordering some lighter fare (ha!) so I chose dos sopes de chicharron and was not disappointed. Sopes are a signature dish of the Mexican state of Jalisco. The base, a thick corn cake, is made from frying corn dough shaped into small disks with short edges (ideal for holding a pile of toppings). I've had sopes of various sizes in the past, but I was pleasantly surprised by the height of the toppings on these sopes and the delicious flavor of the chicharrones.
Atop the warm and freshly made thick corn cake was not only chicharron (pork cracklings
for my southern friends) but also hefty chunks of carnitas (pan-fried pork shoulder), along with beans, sour cream, shredded queso fresco and quesillo, and lettuce and tomato. The height on these sopes was almost comical because there was no way I was going to look cute eating these. If you're a fan of spicy chicharrones you might be slightly disappointed by these as they did lack spice, but really the overall flavor was enough to make up for it.
A taqueria visit wouldn't be complete without a taco assessment. If you're curious as to whether I recommend tacos from El Sol de Jalisco, the answer is YES. They make their tortillas in house and their corn tortillas are easily the best I've had. I usually prefer flour tortillas (because, duh), but here I always order corn. They are always served hot whether they're holding fajita, lettuce and tomato, or come alongside your fajita ranchera plate.
Another detail I want to highlight about this taqueria is the amount served. Look at the size of those tacos (above, left) and the amount of beef fajita atop the nachos (right). The portions at this taqueria rival that of an actual large-scale restaurant but without the high prices. They never act like the price per pound of beef skirt is enough for them to chop your meat up into tiny little pieces and pile it high for the illusion of heft. No, they legit FILL YOUR TACOS WITH MEAT and cook it perfectly. There is no rubber-band style fajita here.
The menu offered at El Sol de Jalisco is large and you're sure to find something you'll enjoy. They also have daily plate specials ($5.99) if you're looking to save even more while eating out.
Pro-tip: If they don't bring it when they serve your food, ask for the salsa verde.
Price of our most recent visit:
2 iced teas
3 tacos de carne asada
Nachos de fajita de res
Taqueria El Sol De Jalisco
501 W. Southmore Ave.
Pasadena, TX 77502