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Best Bite - Tito's Taqueria


Tacos.


We all have our favorite version of them, and we’ve all been to a taco truck or two to indulge in our collective street food favorite. But have you eaten at Tito’s Taqueria in Russellville? They are one of the few taco trucks in the area that are an experience, rather than just a place to pick up takeout tacos. You walk up to the window at Tito’s and it’s like walking through the front door of your grandma’s house – you know you’re going to eat way too much good food and fill your soul up a little while you’re there.


On the front of their taco truck, right beneath their logo, reads “Psalms 23.” In verse five of that chapter, King David says to the Lord, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies,” portraying his close relationship to God as an honored dinner guest of a generous and capable host. As a gracious host, the Lord attends to David’s every need, showering him with personal care, abundant goodness, protection from his enemies, and eternal blessings. That’s what Tito’s Taqueria is – a generous and capable host, showering customers with personal care and abundance. (Both in service and in portion size.)



I fell in love with Tito’s from the moment I walked up to the window and was greeted with authentic joy, genuine care, and organic conversation. I kept coming back, in part, because of that interaction – but also for their birria and chorizo. A lot of the items on the menu at Tito’s Taqueria are homemade, or maybe I should say heartmade because there is a LOT of soul that goes into their dishes. I’m a sucker for chorizo, even the super greasy, slightly underdone kind. But tasting the chorizo from Tito’s? It was like trying it for the first time. Remember your first bite of a REALLY good steak that made you question every other bite of steak that came before that? That’s exactly what happened to me and Tito’s chorizo. They’ve developed the most insanely amazing homemade pork chorizo you will ever taste. It’s not greasy at ALL and has a vibrant flavor throughout that swirls together ancho chile, cinnamon, garlic, and either lime or something like apple cider vinegar. Tito’s chorizo “pops”, it’s jazzy, it has personality. And if you don’t like chorizo, I still encourage you to try theirs because it is unlike any other I’ve ever had. It’s from the heart, it’s from…home.


Then there’s the birria. In the Russellville taco scene, birria is a weekend special that usually sells out before the weekend is actually over. It’s a hot commodity. Tito’s knows this and serves birria every single day. (I KNOW, RIGHT?!) But what IS birria? Imagine your grandma’s Sunday pot roast revitalized into a Spanish stew. Guajillo and ancho chiles dancing with annatto paste and spices, swirling in a sauce of apple cider vinegar and beef broth. The birria from Tito’s Taqueria is the most tender beef I have ever tasted. It doesn’t just melt in your mouth, it dissolves. You’re left with this unbelievable full-mouth flavor coating every single taste bud with spicy warmth and cozy comfort.



Birria originated in Jalisco, Mexico when Hernan Cortes and the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the area, bringing goats with them. The goats were reproducing at an alarming rate and the Spanish didn’t know what to do with them. Not being too fond of the gamey flavor of goat, they slowly developed a long and slow cooking method that would make the texture and flavor of goat more palpable – the birth of birria. The term “birria” actually comes from an old Spanish word that was used to describe something with no value or of poor quality. Ironic, right? To have something so “less than” that has now become something so desired that it sells out. As birria spread throughout Mexico and the United States, recipes began to adapt to local tastes and ingredients. (Like using beef instead of goat.) In the 1950s, a woman named Guadalupe Zarate set up a birria stand in Tijuana using beef because the price of goat was too high. This Tijuana-style birria is what we’ve come to love today and what taco joints around the globe, Tito’s include, customize to make their own. The great thing about Tito’s is that you can have birria in any form you want – taco, burrito, mulita, sope, quesadilla or loaded fries.


Which is how their entire menu is structured – simple – and I LOVE IT. Tito’s basically has categories: tacos, burritos, mulitas, sopes, quesadillas, or loaded fries. Then you pick the meat you want to have with it: asada (beef), pollo (chicken), al pastor (pork), chorizo (Mexican sausage), or birria. I’m so used to flipping through pages of menus at Mexican restaurants that the simplicity is refreshing and inviting. But you HAVE to follow Tito’s Taqueria on Facebook, too! Outside of their simple, every day menu, Tito’s has a lot of amazing specials that you have to catch on social media to devour: weekend pozole (rojo y verde!), brunch burritos, menudo, birria ramen (*sprints to Tito’s right now*), champurrado, elote, different agua frescas flavors and tons more!



Efrain Herrarte opened Tito’s Taqueria in June 2021 at 2011 E. Parkway Drive in Russellville. They are open Tuesday-Friday for split lunch and dinner hours, and again on Saturdays for lunch. The weekend specials that you’ll see on Facebook are otherworldly, so be sure to check there on Friday nights and Saturday mornings to plan your weekend with friends or family.


Description of Menu Items:

  • Mulita: Think “sandwich taco” or “Mexican grilled cheese.” It’s two tortillas stuffed with meat, cheese, salsa, and other fillings between them.

  • Sope: It’s like an open-faced taco. There’s a thick, fried, masa-base that is crowned with your choice of toppings.

  • Pozole: A savory soup made with hominy and meat. At Tito’s, they offer red and green pozole.

  • Menudo: A stew often made with tripe and a red chile base

  • Champurrado: Mexican hot chocolate! It’s a warm drink that blends milk, Mexican chocolate, piloncillo, and Mexican cinnamon.

  • Agua Frescas: Fresh, fruity, flavored water! Popular flavors at Tito’s include cucumber, tamarind, jamaica, and more!


– Hope Adair is an Arkansas native, an explorer of all foods and the stories behind them. She believes in the power of how food connects everyone and strives to share the heart and soul behind the best bites in the area.

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