Krome, Sweet Krome

Mexican food is plentiful in Homestead

This original branch of El Toro Taco debuted in Homestead in 1982. Owned and run by the Hernandez family, who hails from San Luis Boticín, the 96-seater has terrazzo floors, wooden tables and chairs, and walls festooned with sombreros, bull horns, and, well, you can picture the rest. Success has brought about a few other Toros in South Florida, but I can't imagine any making as magnificent a menudo as the one done here. The traditional stewlike soup from northern Mexico is a spicy blend of beef tripe, green chilies, and hominy. El Toro's rendition is hale, hearty, and hot, brought to the table with tortillas, diced onions, and a slice of lime.

About halfway through the menudo I became certain of my wife's rapidly diminishing appetite. I knew I'd be pretty much on my own from this point, so the only sensible thing to do was have the rest of the stew packed to go, and concentrate on zopes — thick, fried corn tortillas, slightly larger than a silver dollar and topped with shreds of chicken breast (or refried beans) and queso blanco. I tried to reinvigorate my wife's interest by noting that if there were pink, pickled onions on top, these zopes would be just like panuchos, but she wasn't biting. I was beginning to feel a little swelled myself, but could I possibly come here without ordering the best barbacoa (shredded beef) tamales in town? I took some to go and we hustled out, both of us eager to escape before being subjected to one of El Toro Taco's spontaneous outbreaks of mariachi music.

La Quebradita Taquería is the last stop, so designated because it reminds me most of actually being south of the border — a pleasant final impression. The homespun space has an especially authentic feel in the daytime, when sunlight streams through wooden blinds onto vividly colored tablecloths; there's also a little outdoor dining patio in front. Quebradita is owned by Ecuadorian native Luis Aguirre, but his cooks are from Mexico, and they fling out fearless taco fillings such as tongue, which I can't say I've tried, and chicharrones (pork rinds) in hot sauce, which I never miss. Not to suggest the chefs are becoming a bit more timid, but I noticed the sesos (cow brains) taco had been removed from the menu since our last visit.

A lingering sense of Mexico isn't all we take with us from La Quebradita: I always make sure to get a gordito to go. The sandwich, composed of pork, refried pinto beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream in a thick, fried tortilla bun, would ostensibly hit the spot should hunger strike during the drive home, but I generally end up eating it for lunch the following day. Everyone has his limit.


Casita Tejas 27 N Krome Ave, Homestead; 305-248-8224. Open Sunday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

El Nicamex Restaurant 32 NW 1st St, Homestead; 305-246-8300. Open daily 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

La Quebradita Taquería 702 N Krome Ave, Homestead; 305-245-4586. Open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Taquería La Tapatía 1226 N Krome Ave, Homestead; 305-242-5459. Open Monday and Wednesday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed Tuesday and Saturday.

El Toro Taco 1 S Krome Ave, Homestead: 305-245-8182. Open Tuesday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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