Beef and barbacoa tacos.
Caldo de Res
This is a little place off of Front street just west of downtown Tyler. It isn't much to look at from the street. There are some colorful murals/drawing painted on the windows and a small parking lot out front. On the inside, there isn't much more. There are a 10-15 tables with a few Mexican themed decorations. My first reaction when rolling up on the place was that it was a little "sketchy". I was heading over to BBQ Hernandez/Taco Y Mas, but they were closed (this is the second time I have been over there and it was closed, please don't tell me they have shut down).
The spread: The menu reminds of the little hole in the wall places back in Houston that I love. They have several different types of soups (caldos) - beef, pork, menudo (on weekends). They offer tortas, enchiladas, tostadas, etc. They also offer tacos with your choice of beef, chicken, al pastor and barbacoa. There were a few more items that I hadn't heard of before and I am looking forward to coming back and trying.
The verdict: Ah....finally a place that knows how to cook good Mexican food on the cheap. The flour and corn tortillas were made fresh to order. The chips were dense and crispy with two types of sauce - red (hot) and green (not so hot) - both excellent. I knew when the chips came out that I was in for a treat. I had the caldo de res (beef soup) which comes with tortillas, rice, cilantro and limes. The broth was rich and well seasoned, the beef tender and delicious. I also tried the beef, barbacoa and al pastor tacos, and all three were excellent. Interestingly, most places have a salty, not so great beef/fajita taco meat, but that was not the case here. The meat was tender and had a great balanced season to it. The barbacoa was juicy and tender. The al pastor was also great. Overall, this is one of the best first food impressions I have had of a place in Tyler.
Edible Tyler Roses: 5 out of 5; First impressions matter, and I love this place.