119 E Oklahoma Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Finding ourselves on Milwaukee’s South Side, we decided, based on a Yelp review I had seen, to try Taqueria Azteca at about 4:30 this afternoon — a rainy, windy Sunday. I was looking forward to some spicy, satisfying food and a little culinary creativity.
While a dining room father back was done in dark panelling, ours was brighter and definitely suggested Mexico, with walls painted in several strong hues and ornamented by suns and strawberries. The small tables bore a variety of colorful plastic tablecloths. The carpeting was dark, and the specials were listed on large green chalkboards hung high. It’s a cozy atmosphere, and a little dim, with the type of eclectic character that befits everything from jeans to suits and ties. Mild salsa music played continuously, at a level loud enough to enjoy, but not so loud as to interfere with conversation.
Our quiet waiter was very busy in the room, but prompt and attentive whenever we needed anything. Deep-fried tortilla strips on the table were puffed and slightly oily. The guacamole we ordered was nearly pure avocado, mashed yet still chunky enough, but Amy detected a hint of fermentation that she didn’t like.
She really enjoyed her Tacos del Tio Israel ($10.25). The fish was breaded, fried, and tasty, accompanied inside the soft corn tortilla by fresh red onion, cilantro, and red cabbage with a (chipotle?) mayonnaise. The sides of rice and refried beans were the ordinary staples found in Mexican restaurants everywhere, nothing special. Her Margarita Azteca was pink like lemonade, served with small cubes and salt on the rim. She enjoyed it, and even began singing a little afterward.
Overall, while it wasn’t anything amazing, Taqueria Azteca is a restaurant we may return to. We both liked the food better than La Perla’s, and I’m sure it’s more fun when it’s busier.