Tacos! Burritos! Brain!
By Ashley Bennett
Eastvale is now considered to be a city but it’s commercially run with big business eateries like McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza and Panda Express. Is that what we want to eat? Hell no. I want to see some variety, to discover a new, up-and-coming spot that I can brag about to anyone in the IE and make them jealous. Literally on the border of where the river divides Norco and Eastvale is a small shopping center that stands out. Among a handful unique businesses like Nora Pizza, Marsala House grocery store and Yogurt-licious is the amazing Tacos Del Rio.
TDR is up front and honest. Orders are cooked up right behind the counter they push themselves to complete orders quickly. Normally manned by only three people, the employees at TDR are quick to decorate tacos or roll a beast of a burrito. One guy puts together the essentials of meat, rice and beans, another adds the extra toppings of lettuce and sauces and the last guy rings up the order. Even when the line is out the door (which happens regularly), you receive everything you ordered, exactly as you ordered it, with money to spare. Yet somehow, Eastvale’s Chamber of Commerce website does not list TDR in its restaurant directory. That’s okay TDR, you’re better off being welcomed into the Norco community where personal businesses are valued.
I’ve visited this place on multiple occasions leaving my enthusiasm to know no bounds when devouring the tender chicken or flavorful steak tacos doused with a delicious hot sauce. TDR offers good quality meats that are constantly cooked fresh (chicken, carne asada, carnitas and al pastor) but what makes the menu truly extensive is the offering of that “other meat” which includes lengua (tongue), cabeza (head), tripas (tripe) and sesos (brain). I think most casual Mexican food fans are content not knowing what part of a cow they’re eating. Nevertheless there’s demand for the elaboration of pieces of beef. It turns out Lengua Tacos contain the flavor that is certainly beef, a little salty, that is deliciously attributed to the high fat content. Top it off with all of the crunchy cabbage goods and a pleasing amount of hot sauce. You’re in luck if you mosey into this taco shop on a Tuesday, which decreases the delicious tacos to a holy $1. That’s a lot of fat, but resistance is futile.
Only second to TDR’s tacos is the burrito. My Carne Asada Burrito simply burst open with ingredients, half meat and half crunchy fresh cabbage mixed with rice. It’s a steamy, savory mix that unfortunately cannot be held together by the thin tortillas used. I’d say that’s the only thing I would change about the place. Then again, even if it did come with a thick tortilla, I doubt I would be able to keep that burrito in one piece.
TDR also has a few basic burgers on the menu. I’ve never seen anyone order any of the burgers if you want a change of pace. I for one will stick to the Mexican side of TDR’s menu. Despite what you decide to order, another positive trait of this little shop is the quelling of late-night weekend (Friday and Saturday) munchies; TDR is open until 2am. TDR makes sure it’s there for your every craving and it’s well worth a visit.
Tacos Del Rio, 6987 Hamner Ave., Eastvale, (951) 898-9256. Sun-Thurs, 8am-11pm. Fri-Sat 8am-2am. AE, D, MC, V.