It’s here, it’s here! Spring, May Day, the Kentucky Derby and, most importantly, Cinco de Mayo. Olé!
Coincidentally, May 5 is also National Chocolate Custard Day and National Hoagie Day. But who needs those when you can celebrate tacos? Here are my five local picks:
1. Herby’s El Mexicano, 720 Main St., Bressler
While I’m not sure if it is truly “the only authentic Mexican cuisine in the Harrisburg area,” as its website claims, Herby’s has been around for as long as I can remember, and it seems to have stayed consistently good. Try the shrimp tacos for a break from the traditional chicken, beef or pork. As a side note, Herby’s has lots of lunch specials and it also offers a lunch buffet every Thursday and Friday.
2. Rancho Grande, 5101 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg
Don’t be fooled by the less-than-appealing exterior, as you’ll get some tasty tacos and other Mexican fare inside that will make you forget all about appearances. Bonus: They have outstanding salsa! This place is BYOB.
3. MAD Sandwiches, Harrisburg (food truck)
I’ve only recently realized that this sandwich food truck serving downtown Harrisburg also serves tacos on select days. Check its Facebook page and you just might find an announcement and location for Taco Tuesday, Friday or any other day.
4. El Sol Mexican Restaurant, 18 S. Third St., Harrisburg
For a slightly more upscale twist on Mexican, El Sol fits the bill. Beautifully decorated, its dining room also serves up a wide selection of tacos. My personal favorites are the grilled tilapia or mahi mahi fish tacos, but the fried fish, filet mignon and carnitas varieties cater to every palate. Note: The red sangria is seriously good, so be sure to order a glass (or pitcher!).
5. Tres Hermanos, 712 S. Cameron St., Harrisburg
There’s only one place in Central Pennsylvania that steals my taco-craving heart: Tres Hermanos. As authentic as they come, this taqueria tends to be very relaxed (and BYOB) for Cinco de Mayo — just some locals enjoying food and a soccer game with the friendly staff. The spicy chorizo tacos are probably the best I’ve ever had, followed by the al pastor (marinated pork), pollo (chicken) and carne asada (steak) tacos. Personally, I can’t get enough of the self-serve fixings bar of pico de gallo, salsas and lime wedges. Don’t forget to peruse the Mexican market toward the back of the restaurant — there’s an entire aisle of just hot sauces and you’ll find enough dried chilis to last a lifetime!
What’s on your plate this Cinco de Mayo?