Ten Best Tacos in Broward and Palm Beach Counties
4. El Jefe Lunchador
Nicole Danna Pork belly tacos at El Jefe in Deerfield.
The creation of chef Mike Saperstein and partner Evan David -- the pair behind Charm City Burgers -- El Jefe Luchador offers "hard-core Mexican street food" in a fun environment. Tables and chairs wear primary colors, while brightly-hued lucha libre wrestling masks are mounted on one wall. Plates are equally colorful, and have names like "Vampiro" and "Dos Locos Gringos." Here, the menu pays homage to traditional street food style with tacos that sport simple topping of sweet onion, cilantro and tomato. Just choose your own meat, preparation style, and toppings -- and enjoy. The biggest seller is the steak and chicken, traditional and simple. But the most popular? The barbacoa takes the taco, a whole beef brisket dry rubbed and left to marinate overnight, then charred on the grill and braised in a tomato-flavored beef broth with roasted chili, onion and garlic. For that alone El Jefe will go through 400 pounds a week. For the more adventurous, however, there's the chef-driven side, where executive chef and co-owner Mike Saperstein has his fun. "It's definitely a fusion of Mexican preparation, with global ingredients for people looking for something different," he told Clean Plate Charlie. Looking for the most outrageous? Try the hamburguesa taco, taking the best of Charm City burger -- their sister establishment -- and fashioning it into one hell of a specialty quesadilla-hard-shell combo. And almost as important as the meat? The tortillas, made fresh by a local purveyor, stored in a humidity controlled environment for no more than a day, and routinely blind taste-tested to ensure freshness and quality.
3. JoJo's Tacos
Nicole Danna The Blue Cow taco from JoJo's Tacos in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
JoJo's Tacos creates flavors you'd never think to find pocketed into a fresh corn tortilla. It's a prime example of Mexican dish extorted into blasphemy that's sinfully right in every way. Owner Joseph Parsons opened JoJo's Tacos in the touristy Lauderdale-by-the-Sea district, just steps from the beach, in a small corner spot off Commercial Boulevard. Despite its quaint exterior and slender interior space, you'll find bold flavors at this taco joint, and no surprise -- Parson's food has a famous foundation, no doubt learned from time spent with renowned Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, or perhaps Mark Miller of Santa Fe's Coyote Cafe. The menu offers standard picks and specialty tacos, chef-driven ingredients and pairings rebellious enough that they bear absolutely no resemblance to a true Mexican taco. Picks like the Shrooms and Asparagus and Peachy Pollo replace meat with vegetables, and chopped onion and tomato with sweet, succulent fruit. We can't help but order up the Blue Cow, sweet chunks of marinated beef buried under a pile of thin, crispy-fried onions. flavored enough to feel a bit transgressive. Need more flavor? Here, condiments are just as stellar as the tacos, changing frequently and optional for $1 extra each.
Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.
3801 N. Andrews Ave., Oakland Park, FL
4420 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, FL
15 NE 2nd Ave., Delray Beach, FL
27 S. Federal Highway, Deerfield Beach, FL
4115 N. Dixie Highway, Oakland Park, FL
1313 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL
10610 West Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington, FL
180 S. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL
4801 S. University Drive, Davie, FL
216 E. Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL