Tacos, like handbags, should prevent important elements from spilling out, and can be drenched in hot sauce to separate the toughest eaters from the most sensitive muggers. Taste-test a wealth of flavors with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of authentic Mexican fare (or $12 for $30 Monday through Thursday) at El Comal in North Park.
Fresh ingredients flourish at El Comal, where time-honored, homestyle Mexican recipes form a creative bill of fare. Commence traditional tasting with torta con adobada ($6.50), an authentic sandwich stuffed with your choice of seasoned pork or breaded or grilled steak, accompanied by beans, lettuce, onion, tomato, and guacamole. Taco Suave seduces diners with grilled steak, pork, beef, or chicken enrobed in a soft taco shell ($2.50), and is exactly the opposite of Taco Clumsy, whose skid-marked shell holds only banana peels. El Comal hoses down hard-working feasters with an array of imported brews, including Pacifico ($5) and Modelo Especial ($5), before presenting them with classic desserts such as fried plantains with ice cream ($6.50) or caramel-custard-filled flan ($4.50).
Guests at El Comal can sit down to plates of familiar Mexican dishes or savor exotic delicacies for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Huevos rancheros or sauce-drenched chilaquiles jolt taste buds awake before a long day of licking telephone poles, while tacos stuffed with flaky fish or barbecued goat meat satisfy lunchtime appetites. Crisp morsels of cactus cover tender cutlets of carne asada, and banana leaves keep Oaxaca-style chicken and pork tamales from getting chilly. Guests can also complement meals with frosty cervezas, sweet horchata, or potent margaritas.