This new location has all your Taco Vengo favorites and then some
Tacos, burritos, nachos, and more.
16 Williams Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City
Contact: 878-1328; 0917-327-8989
Open from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Monday to Thursday), 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Friday and Saturday), and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) The difficult thing here is to try and put these guys in a box—but they're not subscribing to anything. So calm down, Donald, there's nothing really Mexican here. No need to build a wall.
The place takes some finding, but that's probably half the appeal for a lot of you. Taco Vengo pretty much only shares the street with Unilab across the way.
Full disclosure: This isn't necessarily where you go for a bargain. (Market forces, and all that.) Depending on your sense of adventure, this is where you go to treat yourself. "The core items will be the same in every branch," says Gerard Cancio, when asked how the upcoming Megamall branch's menu will differ, "but we understand that different parts of the Metro are occupied by different demographics who have different spending power from one another. So we've thought about that."
"We were flexible with the menu, so being as inclusive as possible was important to us, too," says their chef, Mickee Mendoza. "When I say flexible, we just kind of did whatever we wanted. We like tacos and burritos and nachos, but we also like Asian flavors. But it's also not fusion."
"Con-Fusion" and "Mex-Mash" were terms a certain author thought of suggesting, but said author didn't want to get kicked out of the restaurant.
"We just know what we like," says Gerard with a laugh. "It seems to work."
Braised Pork Belly
Tempura Shrimp and Slow-Cooked Lamb
A wide selection of tacos await you, and they're not apportioned in a way that's meant to scare you off—there's room to try at least three or four, if you're so inclined. The Braised Pork Belly (P165) borders on To Die For, while the Slow-Cooked Lamb (P145) and Tempura Shrimp (P130) pair off wonderfully.
Pork Cheek Confit Burrito
If you're looking for something more substantial but just as hands-on, the Pork Cheek Confit Burrito (P265) with scrambled egg and salsa is the kind of thing you think about at 2 a.m. and you hate yourself a little bit for thinking about it because you can't have it right now.
Braised Pork Belly
Chwaffle a la Mode
Not in the mood for tortillas? Their rice platos are equally good—the Braised Pork Belly (P285) is a bowl of savory porcine dreams. Do or do not, there is no try. (Hint: the Steak bowl isn't on the menu yet, but be on the lookout...) Their lone dessert for now must be consumed immediately on pain of Missing Out. The churro-waffle—or Chwaffle a la Mode (P180)—comes with a healthy dollop of dulce de leche that nobody can find it in themselves to regret.
Taco Vengo is also a great place for you day-drinkers, AKA the author's kindred spirits. Get your Mojito in a glass (P95) or a pitcher (P450) and pretend you don't have to go back to work in an hour. But please do go back to work in an hour.
Photos by Kai Huang