ginger and salt

where the cool kids eat lunch: mas tacos por favor.

A few hours after our arrival and breakfast in Nashville, we were being fancy and trying on beautifully made jeans at the renowned Imogene and Willie store in the 12 South neighborhood when our stomachs started rumbling again. (I blame the high-waisted pairs.)  Caitlin had informed us that morning of her plans to take us to Mas Tacos Por Favor, or ‘Mas Tacos’ as it’s referred to by locals, but as our hunger set in, we were whiny about having to drive all the way back across town before we’d be able to eat.  Plus, we found out they don’t serve alcohol which meant no margaritas for us and this was a concern.

While we were reenacting our own hipster-version of Pretty Woman in the dressing room, we asked the very kind employee, Alex, where we should have lunch.  Without hesitation he responded, ‘Mas Tacos.’  Geez, people.  Was this place really that good?  We were about to find out.

photo 1 {Definitely worth venturing off the beaten path for this gem}

We dropped Cait off at her office on the way so she could get some work done while we lunched in the sunshine.  With dwindling phone batteries and no sense of direction, Cammie and I set off to find this much talked about hole in the wall.

From an outsider, the location seems somewhat random; it’s tucked off of a relatively busy arterial street in what feels like a very residential neighborhood, away from any other shops or restaurants.  However, this clearly is not an issue for Mas Tacos.  People who know food come flock to them.

photo 2{Chalkboard menu}

We caught the tail-end of the lunch rush and the line had shortened by the time we were ready to make moves.  This is a no-nonsense, cash-only kind of place which fits the casual vibe and almost beachy atmosphere.  The centerpieces on the tables consist of a sole paper towel roll and a Costco-sized bottle of hot sauce.

We received our drinks while we waited for the rest of our lunch, the horchata for me, the coffee with horchata for Cam. I’m not a fan of overly sweet drinks (aside from my beloved Mexican Coke), but horchata is special. It’s refreshing and comforting and indulgent all at the same time.  We are not good at pacing ourselves with iced drinks…they were gone before we knew it.  And magically, we had forgotten about our margarita dreams (for the time being, at least).

photo 4

{Indoor seating area}

photo 3{Creamy Horchata}

photo 5 {Grilled Corn on the Cob with Queso, Spices, and Lime}

It was an incredible lunch on its own, but the fact that it cost twenty dollars for our two lunches combined made it even better.  I started with the grilled corn and it was a flavor explosion with the cheese, spices, and lime.  A little bit of heat, but not too spicy.  I ate this corn typewriter-style until there wasn’t a kernel left on that cob.

Our tacos were equally fresh and delicious.  We each ordered one of the cast iron chicken tacos with cilantro, roasted tomatillo salsa, and sour cream.  I’m usually pretty averse to chicken tacos because they generally scream boring and dry to me, but the meat was moist and tender and it was bathed in the smoky salsa (as well as the hot sauce I added on mine).

Similarly, my fish taco was crispy on the outside, and tender and hot on the inside with lots of extra crunch from the shaved cabbage and red onion. The dill sauce was subtle, but really creamy and wonderful. I’ve never once associated fish tacos with Nashville (especially being from the West Coast), but man, was I wrong.   I think this taco was my favorite part of the meal.

Cait had told us about their signature fried avocado taco, but since it wasn’t on the menu, Cammie went with the quinoa and sweet potato variety.  The flavors were really good, but for me personally the general texture was a little bit too soft, even with the cabbage.  However, this is me getting really nitpicky.

photo 1 {Quinoa and Sweet Potato Taco and Fried Tilapia Taco}

photo 2

{Cast Iron Chicken Tacos}

It should also be noted that we ordered a chicken tortilla soup and chicken tacos to go for Cait, which obviously meant getting to sample the soup when we got home.  It was a bright green color, which I was certainly not expecting, but delicious all the same.  Apparently this place can do no wrong.

So yes, it really is that good. While it may be off the beaten path, all of the cool kids know that a trip to Mas Tacos is well worth the drive.  Just make sure you swing by the ATM on the way.

Mas Tacos Por Favor, 732 McFerrin Avenue, Nashville, TN, (615) 543.6271, Monday – Thursday from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, Friday from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Saturday from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Closed on Sundays. Cash only.

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3 comments

  1. porser@comcast.net

    Love both your posts from Nashville – give Caitlin my best love. You girls may be on “peach jam” “peach smear” “interesting new thing!” duty at Christmas

  2. Debbie Ehrig

    T, just catching up on some blog reading. Love your stories doll….especially Mas Tacos! My kinda funky restaurant. I am getting such an insight into the heads, hearts (and stomachs) of our PL girls! So fun! D

  3. Pingback: pre-concert dinner: rolf and daughters. | ginger and salt

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