- The Baja tacos at Piper Down.
former neighbor made the best vegan tacos: a carrot-potato mash in a
deep-fried corn tortilla. Simple, starchy and something fried—the taco
trifecta. I’ve been searching through vegan cafes, posh restaurants and
taco trucks all over this city for another one like it.
used to be addicted to Squatters tofu tacos. But, alas, I grew
tofu-tired and longed to explore tastier options. The mushroom tacos at
Taqueria 27 excited me for a while—beauties indeed—but they just didn’t
leave a lasting impression. And I’ve consumed plenty of what the best
taco trucks in the city have to offer, filled with rice and (hopefully
lard-free) beans—quite good, but beans are meant to be tucked safely
inside a tightly-folded flour tortilla (you know, a burrito) for a
Frisch Compassionate Eatery has a Taco Tuesday creation of lentils, pumpkin
seeds and cherry tomatoes. Good, but not Mexican. Cafe Solstice offers
similar green goodness in a taco shell. But I’m not really looking for
nutrients in my taco. Miso and sunflower seeds do not a Mexican taco
But after an arduous search, I’ve finally found my soul mate on
a plate—improbably, in an Irish-style pub. Right now, my favorite vegan
tacos are at Piper Down, a place after my Irish-Mexican heart. I can
get a shot of whiskey and a taco. It’s been a long time coming.
Down’s Baja potato tacos—off the generous vegan Green Page menu—are a
winning trio of smokin’ hot grilled potatoes drenched in ranchero sauce,
cold, crispy shredded cabbage and salsa fresca in a soft corn
tortilla. No tofu, but plenty of sliced avocado. The real show-stopper
is on the side: tempura-battered red and green jalapeños cover half the
plate, escorted by raspberry jelly for dipping. It’s a duo so
spicy-sweet even omnivores will swoon. Grab an ice-cold beer to help you
handle the heat.
1492 S. State