Pineda Tacos

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Image for conde.kedar

rating star

This place takes me back to Mexico. It's a grimy, hole-in-the-wall, downscale version of Chipotle with tacos for $1.75 and burritos for not much more.

I had two veggie tacos, made to order: rice; beans; lettuce; tomato; avocado; green salsa. The hard shell was excellent and crisped to perfection. The salsa was tasty, but I would have preferred a fresher pico de gallo, or minced jalapeno salsa (the stuff they serve is gooey and thick).

My main problem with the place is that you can't see them make the food. As such, you need to be extremely specific about what you want in your taco (if you're vegan, the options I listed above are about it); it would be much easier if they had an open view, like at Chipotle, and you could point to things and also get a better sense of what looks fresh or worthwhile.

There's some seating in the back room if you want to dine-in. Be warned that Pineda is kind of depressing and not overly clean, but the food isn't bad at all. At the very least, it's cheaper than Chipotle and tastes just as good. If they had tofu, seitan, tempeh, vegan cheeses and other cool stuff like that, I'd be back daily.

rating star

Their burritos are HUGE! Their food tastes very fresh and wonderful. Normally it is difficult for me to eat at Mexican restaurants, but their refried beans are vegan; I had a burrito with beans, rice, lettuce, and tomato, with salsa on the side. They also offer avocado. Their chips were homemade and hot, and I will definitely be going back again. The place is a bit "hole in the wall" and a cleaner bathroom would be nice, but for food, you can't beat it. Way better than Qdoba or Chipotle.

Image for Cass Danger

rating star

This place is SUPER authentic, which is both good and bad. The bad is you won't find BBQ tempeh burritos w/ tofu sour cream, but the good is that you'll get delicious, authentic Mexican food, which you won't find at Chipotle, Qdoba, or Taco Bell.

I had vegetarian tacos (beans, rice, lettuce, tomato, cilantro, onion) and asked for avocado, which they didn't charge me extra for. They normally put sour cream and cheese on these so you'll have to specify you don't want it. I tried both the red and the green salsas, and while the red was spicier, I thought the green had a better and more unique flavor.

Note that they fry the tortillas on the same grill, and flip using the same spatula, as they do the meat.

rating star

Pineda is a hole-in-the-wall place that looks sort of sketchy, but the food is pretty good and you can get an absolutely enormous burrito for $6 dollars. I cannot emphasize the heft of these burritos. They are huge.

Do not fret, the beans are vegan. And you can get salsa on the side - they have green and red. The red seems to be some sort of smoked/roasted salsa, they're both spicy, but in different ways.

My husband commented that he likes this place better than the conglomerate Chipotle because the food is good, but it doesn't give you that jittery high that Chipotle seems to. There's something about the burritos from the chain that are shamelessly addictive and these burritos are humongous, cheap, and don't seem to induce a kind of obsession like their bus-billboard advertised counterparts.

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