Thursday, June 14, 2012

El Azteca

Where: 46 W 1230 N, Provo, UT (near Provo High School)
Distance: 0.5 Miles
Restaurant Type: Single Location (there's another El Azteca in Orem, but it's not part of this restaurant anymore. They have completely different menus.)
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegetarian, Tacos
My Frequency: First Time
Who: John and Cecil 
Food: Two Coconut Shrimp Tacos, Torta de Carne Asada, Chips, Horchata, and Jarritos Pineapple Soda
Price: $7.81 (2 for $5 Tacos, $1.75 for Jarritos, and $0.50 for tortilla chips)
My thoughts:

El Azteca has been catching my eye for quite some time now. Maybe it's because I pass it fairly often, but I think most recently it's because of the coconut shrimp taco advertisement. There are few things that I love more than shrimp, and when you put coconut on them and fry them, I can't resist.

Even though I had my eyes on the prize with the coconut shrimp, I had to peruse the rest of the menu just to be sure. It's obviously hard to see everything in this picture, but that's half the point. They have a large menu with anything from tacos to salads to breakfast served all day. I'm a huge fan of breakfast, but I was focused on shrimp.

The salsa bar has a variety of different spiced and flavored salsas. The Fresh Pico de Gallo was too overpowered by the onions and had tomatoes that were fresh and flavorful. My favorite was the Salsa Mild, which had a great sweet flavor, but it was a bit runny.

The decor was possibly my favorite part of the trip. The more I looked around, the more fun decorations I found. I really felt like I was somewhere unique because of the non-traditional (for America) colors of the restaurant. I loved the fresh flowers in old soda bottles. I loved this mask thing with a sombrero on top. It was fun just looking around.

The tortilla chips were good, but were just a filler for me. Nothing too exciting, but not bad either. My Jarritos was delicious, but who wouldn't love pineapple soda with 100% pure cane sugar?!

I took a bite of the carrots first and got a swift kick in the face. They were pickled and had a very strong flavor. I only took a bite of the one because it was too strong for me, but if you liked pickled carrots, they have them for you. I really enjoyed the fresh mangoes on my tacos. They complemented the perfectly coated and cooked coconut shrimp. There was also a pineapple mayo sauce that went well the the other flavors. The one thing that didn't fit was well for me was the jicama slaw. A jicama is a Mexican turnip and, just like American turnips, is really bitter. It took away from the other sweet flavors, so I'd order it with less slaw or a sweeter substitute next time.

Cecil overall really enjoyed his Torta de Carne Asada. It was messy, but worth it for the large portion. The tomatoes were really fresh, but the guacamole wasn't very flavorful. Adding salsa is a must since it isn't super flavorful on its own. The fries had a very strong potato flavor, which I liked, but they could have been crispier. Cecil's favorite part of this visit was the Horchata. They even gave him a free refill.

Do differently next time:
Avoid anything pickled because the flavors were too overpowering for me. I'm also a fan of fajitas and wonder how good theirs are.

The Verdict:
Try It. The portions are generous, the prices are reasonable, and the food is good. It is some of the more authentic Mexican food in the area, which is refreshing and tasty.

Other Opinions:
El Azteca Mexican Taco Shop in Provo on Urbanspoon


  1. I lived in the apartment complex just north of El Azteca (Windsor Park), and used to go there every so often. Even when I didn't go to eat, I enjoyed walking by and smelling the food cooking!

  2. Get the chocolate quesadilla off the dessert menu!!! So good. But you have to get it from the owner guy, he gives you a bigger portion than the girl who works there. Believe me, I've got it three times in the last two weeks.