When Glenn and I moved from Chicago to Greensboro, we embarked on a quest to find the best tacos in town. That quest came to an abrupt halt after we tried El Carreton and Mexico — and not because we found what we were looking for. After eating at two restaurants where almost everything on the menu was deep fried, we didn’t hold out a lot of hope for finding a real taco. We were skeptical when our friends started recommending Taco Tuesday at Taqueria El Azteca.
It took us about six months to drag ourselves all the way out Market Street to Spring Garden, but it was well worth the trip. We were relieved to see that these tacos were neither deep fried nor covered in cheddar cheese. They were your choice of carne asada, chicken, chorizo, or pastor served with onion, cilantro, avacado, and radish on a homemade tortilla. These tacos were not just not bad, they were downright good. Not to mention, they were only a dollar!
We were heartbroken when Taqueria El Azteca closed their Spring Garden location. We tried the Quaker Village location, but it was even further away and more crowded. Eventually we found San Luis and Kiosco, so we weren’t so desperate for our old Taco Tuesday.
Recently, El Camino Real opened in the old Spring Garden El Azteca location. The restaurant looks exactly the same — including the banner announcing dollar tacos on Tuesdays — but somehow it didn’t feel the same. Maybe it was because we didn’t have to hover awkwardly in the doorway for twenty minutes before getting a seat. Maybe it was because we didn’t know the staff. Maybe the food wasn’t as fresh without so many people to eat it. Maybe we just weren’t so desperate for a good taco.