Taqueria El Antojito
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to midnight Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday
Location: 1714 Atlanta Highway, Gainesville
More info: 770-532-0068 or facebook.com/elantojitotacos
Here’s a few translations you may want to know before ordering your food:
Taqueria: Taco stand
Elotes: Corn on the cob smeared with mayonnaise and sprinkled with cheese and chili powder and squirted with lime
Troles: Similar to elotes but served in a cup
Asada: Grilled beef
Tripa: Cooked cow intestines
Chorizo: Spicy Mexican sausage usually made with pork
Lengua: Beef tongue, cooked and chopped
Pastor: Thinly shaved pork, often cooked on a spit
Editor's note: High school intern Charles Olsen can often be found in The Times conference room telling the other high school interns about the best food on Atlanta Highway. Here, he’s sharing those tips with you as well. Olsen is a Johnson High School student whose mother was born and raised in Mexico and moved to the United States in the 1990s. Check out Olsen’s and the other interns’ work at www.gainesvilletimes.com/youngedge.
The only way to find Taqueria El Antojito in Gainesville is to know where to go.
The 15-year-old business relies on word of mouth.
“We have no announcements, just recommendations,” said Andres Gonzales, owner of Taqueria El Antojito.
What started out as a humble business devoted to grilling elotes and serving troles has now transitioned to serving tacos.
Located on 1714 Atlanta Highway in Gainesville, Taqueria El Antojito sits in front of the La Villita Flea Market. It is open daily Thursdays through Sundays.
The small family business has a staff of nine people, who work from the mid-morning to late nights, serving guests Mexican dishes ranging from elotes and pina locas to cocos and frutas.
Elotes, a common street snack in Mexico, are corn on the cob smeared in mayonnaise and sprinkled with cheese and chili powder. The finishing touch is a squirt of lime.
Troles are the same premise as elotes but served in a cup.
But the most popular items on the menu are the more traditional tacos in soft corn tortillas.
The biggest sellers are “tripa, asada and chorizo,” said Pascuala Quiterio, who is one of the cooks in charge of churning out all the orders in speedy succession. Lengua, pastor and pollo are also offered.
Pastor is not cooked in the traditional way as the city of Gainesville restricts food from being cooked on a spit. Instead, pastor is cooked in a comal, a large frying pan with an indention in the bottom to hold the oil and cook the meats while an elevated middle heats the corn tortilla.
Once the meat is cooked, it is handed to customers who add their choice of toppings.
The common first choice is cilantro. Next in line is green or red salsa.
The red salsa has a spicy kick to it, so it needs to be applied in moderation.
Finally, squeeze on some lime to wrap up the perfect taco.
These simple combinations provides a rich and one-of-a-kind a taste.
With this self-serve style, most Taqueria El Antojito customers trickle into the restaurant throughout the day. But the busiest time is at night.
Saturday nights are the busiest, especially when a quinceañera is being held in the La Villita market. A quinceañera signifies when a girl becomes a woman, which is age 15 in Hispanic culture.
While customers enjoy dishes reminding them of their homeland, Hispanic radio plays in the background. Some customers then have a seat at the four-chair tables outside or grab their orders and head home.
For more information on Taqueria El Antojito, call 770-532-0068 or visit its Facebook page, facebook.com/elantojitotacos.