Boca Chica Taco House vs. El Burrito Mercado enchiladas: Street-food smackdown

Enchilada from Boca Chica Taco House

Enchilada from Boca Chica Taco House

Enchiladas may well be a street food in Mexico, but here in Minnesota, in January, we're glad they're served indoors. We tested the enchiladas at two of West St. Paul's long-established Mexican eateries, Boca Chica Taco House and El Burrito Mercado.


Boca Chica Taco House We followed a cop car through downtown St. Paul and over the river to Boca Chica Taco House, where we found a sea of single lunch customers munching their meals and sipping soft drinks. Boca Chica sells enchiladas, beef or cheese, à la carte for $2.09 apiece. The beef enchilada is filled with ground beef, smothered in a brown sauce and topped with melted cheddar cheese. It's rich, filling, and cheap, but not memorable.

El Burrito Mercado Just down Cesar Chavez Street, El Burrito Mercado sells enchiladas for $2.25 apiece in its cafeteria-style restaurant. The beef enchiladas were filled with shredded beef and topped with red sauce and cotija cheese. We added lettuce, diced tomatoes and guacamole on the side for no extra charge. The beef was moist and flavorful, the sauce smoky and a little spicy.

The winner: Add the enchiladas to the list of reasons we chose El Burrito Mercado as our favorite Mexican restaurant this year. The enchiladas are cheap but classy, thanks to the sauce and the sides. Plus, ordering them off the cafeteria line means you can get them dressed up--or down--however you'd like.

Boca Chica Taco House 407 Wabasha St. S. Saint Paul, MN 651.222.8226

El Burrito Mercado 175 Cesar Chavez St. St. Paul, MN 651.227.2192