Pollo Loko was a welcome surprise. My mother had just finished up some local business, so we were looking for something local that seemed unique, and Pollo Loko fit the bill. It's a little off the beaten path and is definitely a hole in the wall (frankly, those are my favorite kind of places), but the food was satisfying and well worth the asking price.
My mother had the Lomo Saltado, thin slices of steak, cooked with tomatoes, red onions, spices and served over french fries with a side of rice. The amount of food was plentiful and it tasted delicious (the steak itself tasted very similar to a similar steak preparation my Cuban grandmother used to make, minus the fries).
For me, the lengua (cow tongue) taco has kind of become my baseline indicator of any restaurant that has them on the menu. The best I've had are at Real Mexico in Lexington, SC, but these may well be the best I've ever had. The only downside is that the minimum taco order is 5, which means you need a hearty appetite if you're going solo. The lengua was cooked very, very well, soft, juicy and tender, but with a bit of char to the edges of the meat. Each taco was absolutely packed with it. Served with cilantro, diced onion, lime wedges and sliced cucumber, these were the tacos I was looking for. Throw in a cerveza Victoria, and I was a happy camper. The red sauce that was served with the tacos was delicious as well...not as spicy as I was hoping, but very flavorful and a good addition to the lengua, onions and cilantro in the tacos.
If you're in the Charleston area and looking for some Latin American food, this is a great place. I kind of wished I had tried their chargrilled chicken, which looks amazing, but the tacos won't disappoint. You'll need to keep your eyes peeled to see it, because it's easy to miss (I drove right by it, and I was looking for it) as it's in an older, very unassuming strip mall. It won't win many awards for the setting, but the food more than makes up for that.
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