The outward appearance of Taqueria La Tapatia can at first be confusing, situated in what appears to be the back of a large white house transformed into apartments. Most likely many have driven past, never noticing its existence on the corner of Pleasant and Lincoln Streets.
Taqueria La Tapatia is the definition of "a dive," which translates to hole-in-the-wall establishment. Experience has proven eateries falling under the "dive" category are either a delightful gem or a frightening foray into the darker side of culinary exploration. Luckily, this Mexican eatery is the former -- a well-kept secret within the Marlborough community.
The place isn't much to look at as it feels almost like stepping into a cave upon entering. However, the back room does have several hand-painted murals stretching across its walls. Taqueria La Tapatia is simple, yet clean. The cuisine has not been warped by the Tex-Mex style of cooking. One glance at the menu will confirm that these are authentic Mexican dishes. And the prices are dirt-cheap.
Expect quality meat in freshly made corn tortillas. Although the shredded chicken was slightly dry, it was good quality. Each dish sampled was not bogged down in grease, but tasted light and fresh.
For those spice-holics out there, however, you might be slightly disappointed because the tamales and enchiladas did not bring tears to the eyes. Only a faint hint of spiciness was present. But the red chili and green chili sauces are on standby to add until the desired level of spiciness has been achieved.
Of the tacos sampled ($1.50 per taco), the barbeque taco (called barbacoa) was the favorite. But if feeling more adventurous, try the tripe or beef tongue tacos. The menu also provides a range of seafood platter options and sandwiches not found at the average deli (Ahogado -- roast pork, refried beans and avocado slices on a hard bread roll that is then dipped in a hot red sauce for $6).
Wash down the meal with one of the Mexican brand sodas. Taqueria La Tapatia is open for lunch and dinner, but is closed on Mondays. The restaurant is located at 460 Lincoln Street, Marlborough.