Andrea’s View: After our visit a while back to 3 In 1 restaurant (which is now closed), I have been obsessed with tacos. Not the crunchy shell tacos loaded with mystery meat, sour cream, and cheese, but the real ones. The ones with slowed cooked meats, cilantro, onions and a squirt of fresh lime juice, all contained in a freshly made tortilla expertly heated so the tortilla is soft and fluffy. Carnicieria Guanajuarta and The Tamale Place both offer these wonderful delicacies. Unfortunately, both of these restaurants are on the west side and I no longer live on the west side. So after a couple of recommendations from friends of Mexican descent, Dave and I visited Pancho’s on Allisonville Road just north of 96th Street. Yes, there is a mess of construction going on at that intersection, but that is exactly why Dave and I wanted to highlight this restaurant. The aggravation of getting there is well worth it. The first thing I noticed when I entered was the large menu above the counter. (Yes, you order at the counter and pay before you get your food, I’m starting to get used to and accept this procedure.) The menu is in Spanish with English subtitles in fine print. I also noticed that Dave and I were the only caucasian patrons. Another good sign of authentic tacos to come. We started with the homemade guacamole and chips and I ordered the carnitas (pork) tacos. The guacamole was very bright and fresh. When my tacos arrived, my heart sank. I was looking at two pork tacos in soft and fluffy tortillas, but the tacos were naked. The pork was wearing nothing. It was then that I noticed the condiment cart directly behind Dave’s head. It looked like the kind of cart you see at ballparks next to the hotdog vendor, so I walked over for a closer look. AAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhh. This magical cart had everything one would need to build one’s perfect taco. In addition to the before mentioned cilantro, onions, and lime wedges, the cart also had pico de gallo and four different hot sauces. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I happily dressed my naked tacos just like I like them and I was in taco heaven. So now, whenever my taco craving strikes, I just have to go to Pancho’s. I just have to navigate lane restrictions and construction cones to get there.
Dave’s View: I need your help. There are times where restaurants haven’t done anything wrong and they go out of business to no fault of their own. At 96th Street and Allisonville Road, there is a major road construction project going on and if you happen to be a business in that area, it can heavily impact the bottom line. Pancho’s, which is located right in the middle of this mess is one restaurant I don’t want to see go under. That’s why I am asking all of you to go to this restaurant in the next month, eat a lot, and help keep them afloat during this trying period. When you go, you’ll need patience. The construction is not easy to get around it and there is only one way to get to Pancho’s. Going North on Allisonville Road, you need to turn left onto 96th Street, then a quick right into the strip mall where this restaurant is located. Once there, you’ve just entered one of the most original Mexican restaurants in the city.
We ordered the Guacamole appetizer and I ordered a quart of Corona. The best combination on a hot summer day. The Guacamole was so fresh to the point that I thought they had a garden out back. That they took the time to go hand-pick the ingredients, it was that great tasting. Accompanied with the Guacamole, came the best tortilla chips I’ve had at a Mexican restaurant. The chips have two layers to them and are very light and flaky. A must for any tortilla chip connoisseur out there. Also, where in Indianapolis can you get a quart of Corona? 32 ounces of bliss, that’s all I can say. For my main meal, I ordered the Flautas Mexicanas. The meal consists of four rolled tacos deep-fried and served with a side of rice and beans. The tacos were incredibly crunchy , but they needed some added spice. The restaurant has bottles of hot sauce on the table, so I decided to drizzle some on my tacos. That made the tacos sing inside my mouth.
Remember, go here in the next month. And remember this:
All I know is that first you’ve got to get hungry. You’ve got to say: “I’m hungry as hell and I’m not going to take this any more. I’m a human being, goddammit. My life has value.” So I want you to get up now. I want you to get into your car, drive into the future Michigan Left, and get yourselves to Pancho’s. Right now, get into to your car and stick your head out the window and yell, “I’m hungry as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!”
Ambience: 8 Food: 9 Service: 8 Total: 25 out of 30.
$40-$50 with adult beverages.