St. Paul >Food & Dining > Taqueria Los Ocompo 11 Inc
895 Arcade St, Saint Paul, MN | Directions 5510644.968326 -93.065979
Neighborhoods: Payne - Phalen
Good food, brush up on your Spanish before you go – This strip mall restaurant is very unassuming from the outside. When you walk in most of the signage is in Spanish, but the entire menu has pictures and numbers and the combo meals have English descriptions as well. The staff is pretty shaky with English, but if you know the questions in advance (meat choice, drink choice, with everything) then it's passable. Make sure you know what you want before you step up to the counter because they won't be able to coach you much. Everything is prepared to order so it's fresh, but you also have to wait for your number to come up. Use that time to figure out what your number is in Spanish and try to remember how to say "I'm over here"
I haven't spent much time in Mexico, so I can't comment on the authenticity of the food, but they did have quite a few dishes that I'd never seen before, and several that look like more believably Mexican versions of the things you see in Tex-Mex chains.
I ordered a "sope combo". I'd never heard of it, but it is kinda like a pan-fried very thick corn tortilla topped with choice of meat (pork, chicken or beef) and assorted veggies and cheeses along with creme fraiche and radish slices on top. It also came with beans and rice and an excellent homemade drink for $8.50. It was all really good- not MN bland, but not so overspiced that you can't taste it, and the frying involved didn't weigh it down.
This was a weekday lunch, and I didn't manage to finish my plate, but somehow I didn't get hungry again until very late in the evening (which is unusual, I'm usually starving by 6 no matter what I eat), so I'd say it was a good deal.
Using my shaky Spanish I think I read on the signs that they are now open until 3am on the weekends to accomodate the late night dance crowd. I'll definitely be checking them out some night for takeout, everything else in Dayton's Bluff seems to close early.
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