If you roll down Archer too fast, you might miss the small house that's been converted into a Southside taqueria. Once inside you'll sidle into red melamine booths, the kind you'd find at an old KFC, and chow down under a glass mural of a sombrero-topped Rhett Butler swooning with a Latina Scarlett. The walls are riddled with a complement of sepia-toned movie stills, and the counters are lined with ornamental ceramic tile; the main dining room wall features a rustic mural depicting a pastoral scene in Mexico.
The complimentary tomato salsa is smoky and the nacho chips are freshly deep-fried with a corn masa perfume. The steak taco, which has tender bits of lightly charred and heartily seasoned carne asada, is served in a grilled corn envelope dotted with herby cilantro. The tabletop escabeche, or Mexican-style giardiniera, heats things up for fire-loving palates. Tacos Al Pastor, or shepherd-style pork tacos, have a vinegary tang and the perfume of oregano.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant