As I walked into the store I noted a tiny cafe next door called Los Paisanos Taqueria and Bar. After getting a price on a chivo, and buying a fat sack of hog neckbones I made my way into the little Mexican restaurant.
It smelled like they’d pulled an all-night rager inside but I needed a taco, and I wasn’t going to let the funk put me off my mission.
Do y’all have buche? No. Do y’all barbacoa? No. Do y’all have carnitas? No. Do y’all have al pastor.
Paydirt.My al pastor taco is petite; served on doubled-up, oiled and cooked on the plancha-corn tortillas (store bought), and garnished with cilantro and onions. In an homage to the rough and tumble neighborhood, the green salsa rests in the corner of a baggie tied up narco-trafficante-style.
This is one of the better tacos I’ve eaten in New Orleans.
Could they open up and make good money in San Antonio? No.
I’ve eaten my way across New Orleans since the 70s, and have almost given up on finding competent Mexican food. When I find a decent taco it’s time to celebrate.Earlier this week I had to run out to Jeanfreau’s Meat Market in Chalmette where Larry The Butcher is grinding the best, house-ground beef in greater New Orleans. He’s also one of the top sausage makers in our region. After chatting with the meatman for a few minutes I was flat starving so I quickly hopped on Judge Perez Drive so I could run by Taqueria La Coyota, a tiny food trailer that posts up near the New Orleans/Arabi city line. There is no queue so I immediately order both barbacoa and carnitas tacos on corn tortillas, ask after ‘salsa mas picante’ and settle in to take in the scenery while the sole worker busies herself with my order. Tacos (or taquitos more accurately) here run $2 a piece, and are substantial though the tortillas are the chico style.
Taqueria La Coyota is a braise-house in the sense that all the meats that are cooked low and slow with plenty liquid are the specialties. Carne off the plancha is fine but the taquera here really excels at ‘back of the stove’ cooking. Both carnitas and barbacoa are luscious, and soft, almost pap-like in consistency. To be perfectly clear, the meats are a bit overcooked but given the New Orleans taco landscape these are some of the best in the city.
3911 Washington Ave
New Orleans, Louisiana
telephone (504) 827-7700
Taqueria La Coyota
6021 N. Claiborne Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana