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Taqueria la Fondita

Lynnwood WA

20629 washington 99, lynnwood WA 98036
winter hours mon-thurs 11am-9pm, fri-sat 8am-10pm, sun 8am-9pm

Taqueria la Fondita

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Rating: 91
Price: $$

On a trip home for the holidays, I was happily carrying out the Sam Zipper tradition of eating lots of my parents' food, generally things I never purchase for myself but almost always have a craving for while in Edmonds (most commonly Peanut Butter Puffins and Trader Joe's Spanakopita). About a half hour after finishing a bowl of Peanut Butter Puffins on morning, however, my business associate Emma reached me via cell phone and reminded me of my duties as the world's most praised taco reviewer: we had to consume lots of tacos, and fast.

We piled into her Tacomobile and headed up to Taqueria la Fondita. Sometime since I moved away from home, this old Taco Bell site was converted into a great-looking taqueria (also great-smelling - I first noticed the transfer of ownership when I stopped at an intersection nearby and smelled something unbelievably delicious). It still maintains that rustic yet charming Taco Bell exterior, conveniently featuring a drive-thru window, but the inside has been totally revamped.

My business associate Emma and I decided to split the 4 taco plate for $5.99. I was pleased by the price, as I am accustomed to the standard $2.50 per taco New York rates. Needless to say, I was blown away when our friendly cashier gave us not only a large basket of chips and cup for a drink, but also two bowls of soup!! As an added bonus, immediately to the left of the register was a paper sign declaring "Free Coffee!" for all.

Enamored already, we headed over to some nice seats by an awesome Christmas tree, watched some History Channel en Espanol, and took advantage of the salsa bar. There were 4 options, 3 red and 1 green. The green had a medium level of spice and low level of flavor. The reds consisted of a mildly-smoky red with low spice, a very fresh tomato-y salsa, and a slightly tart salsa with medium spice. None of these were really 'sock-knockers', but overall the variety was welcome and worthy of a taste.

Really, though, it was hard to even consider the salsa flavors because of the high quality of soup. It was a chicken soup featuring veggies (corn, green beans, I forget what else) and was just delicious. Wonderfully salty and warm! It went great with our cup of horchata, which also happened to be the best cup of horchata I've ever had. It was very sweet, but my tastes have been getting progressively sweeter over the past 6 months or so, and I was smitten.

The tacos came out pretty rapidly. We had ordered 4, one each of asada, adobada, birria, and carnitas. The asada, birria, and carnitas were all pretty comparable - nice meat without much gristly or fat, perhaps a little overcooked but still tender, and ably seasoned. The adobada, however, was a nice juicy pork with a great combination of tang and spice.

On the whole, Taqueria la Fondita is in contention for the best value I've ever had for any thing, anywhere on Earth (and that includes some free cheeseheads). The food was enjoyable and plentiful, and I look forward to returning my next trip home.

Finally, we shared the pickled pepper that accompanied the taco. While on first chew it was spicy but tolerable, it had an x-treme afterburn and proceeded to burn our mouths for the entire trip to our next destination. With these impossibly high standards, my business associate Emma and I decided to 'let the good times roll' and cruised south down Aurora to check out El Camion, a truck that had been getting pretty good reviews…

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