Feb 17, 2018

Mas Tacos, Por Favor (and pozole, too)!

Depending on how you interpret it, the title of this blog post could be a request, an order, a plea or even a rallying cry.  But for anyone in the Nashville, Tenn., area who craves a taste of authentic Mexican food, it's a destination.  That’s because Mas Tacos Por Favor (minus the pozole part) is also the name of one of the most in-demand taquerias in town for several years running. It’s also one more reason why it’s hard to beat the East Nashville food scene. 

As with so many great food dives, Mas Tacos Por Favor started as a food truck before establishing a permanent location at 732 McFerrin Avenue in the East Nashville neighborhood. You could say it was trendy even before East Nashville was.  As you can tell by its exterior, they seem to embrace their dive restaurant vibe, although I hear they recently expanded, so business continues to boom.   

I visited on a cold winter’s weeknight, so the outdoor seating, while charming, was off the table, so to speak. 

I had also decided beforehand that I would not be drinking that night, so that eliminated the bar area.  It was just as well … the bar was packed.  I regretted my decision slightly, figuring this must be a good sign of good libations.  Nonetheless, I settled for sitting in the front of the establishment. 

A spillover crowd from the bar was already settling in, so I grabbed a seat and waited for the crowd to disperse, which gave me plenty of time to study the chalkboard menus surrounding the counter where orders were taken and a glimpse into the kitchen was afforded. 

All tacos were $3, which figured to be a bargain even before I tasted them.  Heck, they were already out of the pulled pork tacos, so a lot of people must have agreed with me.  I decided to go “surf and turf” with a spicy carne molida taco and a fried tilapia taco. 

And here they are … as usual, blame any fuzziness on the cameraman, not the restaurant. Both were relatively simplistic, but the fresh flavors of all the ingredients ensured both were fantastic in their own way. Of the two, I was slightly more impressed with the carne molida – Cuban-style ground beef decorated with onions, salsa and a drizzling of sour cream.  The tilapia taco was a very good representation of a fried fish taco, though.  Topped with cabbage slaw, onion and what they called a spicy dill yogurt, everything complemented the fish quite well.  

I might have sampled more from the taco menu that night if I hadn’t noticed they were serving pozole verde.  From the description on the board, I couldn’t resist.

Check out the chunks of puffy hominy and shredded chicken soaking in a spicy yet light green chile-based broth.  It came with a slice of avocado and fresh radish floating near the top, all sprinkled with fresh cilantro and homemade tortilla chips.  Optional jalapenos served on the side (I dumped mine in, of course).  The tacos were an excellent appetizer, but this was a killer meal. 

The pozole was also a personal favorite of Guy Fieri when he featured Mas Tacos Por Favor on “Diners Drive Ins and Dives.”  That guy Guy sure seems to frequent a lot of the same places I do.  Hmmm …

I washed it all down with a Jarritos grapefruit soda … if you’re going to pass on the margarita or Mexican beer, this may just be the next best thing. 

One last note about Mas Tacos Por Favor, as with most restaurants with character, this one expressed its personality through the décor.  I was particularly impressed with the family photo wall in the restroom.  It seems like an odd choice of placement for such a thing, but who am I to judge?  By the way, the sign is right.  Keep the photos there for all to enjoy. 

The only minor buzzkill about Mas Tacos Por Favor is that it’s a cash only place, or at least it was a while back when I visited.  Still, it’s very affordable and worth saving your change for if you want a taste of true Mexican cuisine when you’re visiting Nashville.  Just remember to ask for it by name …   

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