El Rey Del Taco (ERDT) is another Buford highway gem that was been cranking out authentic Mexican food for years; a stone’s throw inside I-285, they specialize in taqueria style fare that can please traditionalists and gringos alike.
It probably makes since to start with the tacos, as this is their specialty and what most folks know them for; there are two sizes, normal ($1.60 – $1.85) and mini ($1.00 – $1.20). All tacos except the lamb (borrego) and the Al Pastor (pork and beef) are either a $1 or $1.60 so there’s no reason not to try all of them…or at least 5 or 6! They’re served with either flour or fresh hand-made corn tortillas($0.40 extra); they actually have a lady behind the counter rolling them out using an old school tortilla press…unless you are allergic, you need to order these, as they’re amazing!
ERDT also has other tasty options like burritos, quesadillas and enchiladas on the menu and has an impressive array of seafood dishes and more sizeable plates; they also have lunch specials. On a separate visit I tried a pork burrito that was pretty solid and plenty big enough for a meal; it’s hard to beat at less than $5!
Other items of note were the fajitas, the pork torta (sandwich) and a killer huitlacoche quesadilla; huitlacoche, or “corn smut” (gotta love that name!) is a fungus that grows on the ears of corn and is considered to be Mexico’s version of the truffle. It’s earthy/smoky taste is great by itself, or it can be used to flavor soups, tamales, tacos, etc.
Every meal comes with the ubiquitous chips and salsa, but if you order the tacos they bring out two additional sauces to accompany them along with quartered limes. The first sauce is pale green and is the milder of the two; it’s a tomatillo/guacamole like mixture that has subtle creaminess and heat. The red sauce reminds me of a romesco that had a love child with a chili de arbol; thick and full of texture and flavor, but wickedly hot…you will perspire a little with this baby. Both of the sauces are delicious…and they’re free; even if you don’t order tacos, you would be a fool not to ask for these.
The service at ERDT is also courteous, attentive and knowledgeable about the menu; they never let your water run empty and most, if not all the staff are bi-lingual. In addition to great food, they also have specialty drinks like the horchata and the michelda, which is like a robust Bloody Mary with beer instead of vodka. Oh, they’re also open until 6:00 am for all those times you find yourself getting crazy at a Karaoke bar until 2 (you know who you are) on Buford Highway, and they sure beat the hell out of waffle house any day or night.