Everett’s Tampico still hits the spot after 25 years

As new restaurants continue to open in Snohomish County, let’s take this moment to pay tribute to one of our venerable establishments that continues to provide solid, hearty meals at a good price.

Tampico Mexican Restaurant has been serving authentic cuisine since 1987. It’s the kind of place you pick because you know you’ll be guaranteed a meal that fills your plate, your appetite and the take-out containers when you’re done.

I’ve been to Tampico several times and never left disappointed or hungry.

The carne asada, as mentioned on Tampico’s website, is a favorite among patrons and it’s a well-deserved ranking: The slices of skirt steak are well seasoned and cooked tender, not chewy, over charcoal and served with guacamole ($16.25).

When my husband, Peter, our 8-year old son, Dashiell, and I had dinner there the other night, Pete ordered the Tampico burrito filled with carne asada ($15.50). I ordered the special: three fish tacos ($7.25). Dash had house chips, a lemonade and an order of churros, or Mexican-style doughnuts ($4.25).

Pete ordered a tequila and I had a Corona from their full bar.

Tampico’s ambiance is warm and comfortable with big cozy booths, background music and hand-painted murals on the walls that some might find charming or campy.

In fact, the outside of Tampico’s somewhat squat building is covered in murals, which helps draw attention for customers who might zoom by on Broadway and miss it. (It’s right next to Alfy’s Pizza).

We started our meal with guacamole dip ($4.50) which was creamy and fresh, much like Tampico’s salsas, which they make fresh every day. The dip was served in a toasted tortilla and it disappeared completely

When Pete’s Tampico burrito arrived, it filled the plate and was just as advertised: garnished with sour cream, guacamole, lettuce and tomatoes, topped with Mexican sauce and melted cheese, and served with rice and beans.

Peter dug right it and found the meat to be especially tasty and tender.

My fish tacos arrived on a plate bursting with rice, beans and a small salad. Talking about authentic, these were the real deal, Peter told me.

He remembered times on his father’s peach farm in Eastern Washington when there were parties and the Mexican contingent cooked their fish in a huge copper pan in lard over a roaring fire so that the fish would get good and crisp.

This is what I had on my plate: authentically cooked fish pieces wrapped in a warm taco, plentiful and deep-fried, the way my husband remembered them from his youth.

Neither Peter nor I could finish our meal. The take-home portion reheated well and made tasty snacks.

So we left the venerable Tampico satisfied, with a high-quality, well priced meal in our bellies, some leftovers and a little nostalgia.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.

Tampico Mexican Restaurant

2303 Broadway, Everett; 425-339-2427; -->

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