When Taqueria El Torito closed in 2021 after half a decade, residents of Northwest Boise were disappointed.
The restaurant was, as one Yelp reviewer wrote, “legit.”
But another family joint, El Faro Mexican Food, just opened in the same space at 4628 W. State St.
And it sounds familiar, if even more unadorned.
Like its predecessor, El Faro serves tacos, burritos, quesadillas and tortas. You order at the counter and then sit down. In a few minutes, an employee will bring your meal on a red plastic tray. This is a shameless paper kitchen.
Authentic, basic tacos ($2.99 to $3.50) are served street style: a portion of meat piled on two small corn tortillas. You head to a utilitarian condiment bar to jazz things up yourself – with onion, cilantro, lime, and several sauces. Nothing is identified except for the handwritten spice levels. (Warning: the “Very Spicy” red sauce brings real heat.)
El Faro means “the lighthouse” in Spanish. So this restaurant specializes in seafood, right? No, no fish tacos here. But there is camaron (shrimp), one of three tacos I ordered. It was solid, although I dreamed of camarones a la diabla (spicy chili sauce) as an option. The lengua (beef tongue) was tender. My favorite of the trio? Adobada (pork) marinated with its addictive and charred flavor.
Want more than a four-bite taco? Burritos range from $9.75 for pollo (chicken) to $11.50 for lengua or asada (grilled meat). Quesadillas cost between $7.49 and $9.49. Tortas cost between $7.25 and $8.50.
El Faro’s menu also features platters of tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, and salads, served with rice and beans. They range from $8.75 for a platter of chicken salad to $14 for a platter of enchilada steak.
Want some sweetness afterwards? Take arroz con leche (rice pudding, $2), which is sprinkled with cinnamon.
Takeout should be a popular choice in El Faro. The phone number is (208) 336-9106. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It’s closed on Sundays.
As for a website? No. But you can find the restaurant on Facebook by searching “El Faro Mexican Food”.
This story was originally published March 21, 2022 04:00.