Known originally as a well-established Mexico City authentic taqueria, Wapo Taco has found it’s way into South Florida with two locations. The first one, located in Hallandale Beach, has been open for a bit over a year and has been a massive success. So much so that earlier in July, this famous taqueria dating back to 1962 opened a location on Ponce de Leon in Coral Gables. Walking into the restaurant, tiled walls colored in differing pastel hues make for a lively atmosphere that is only accentuated by the massive bar area that surrounds an open kitchen. At this kitchen, you can see everything being made from scratch, from the al pastor steak, to the tortillas, to the micheladas, and so on. This sort of transparency leads to a sort of education that a diner does not regularly get, getting to learn while watching skilled professionals prepare food that is as authentic as you can find in Miami.
The Michelada Cubana is the best way to start your meal at Wapo Taco. You get a choice on which beer you want for your Michelada, and trying to keep it local, I went for a Wakefield El Jefe. This Cubana is served in a glassed with in salt, maggi (chicken bouillon), Worcestershire, and Cholula, making it the most savory beer I have ever encountered. It paired well with all the succulent and tantalizing flavors present throughout the dishes.
When it comes to the tacos, you can’t go wrong when ordering the ever-present al pastor or baja fish. Served on homemade corn tortillas in orders of two, these tacos were hefty, filling, balanced in flavor, and pleasant to the eye. The al pastor tacos, which include a slow-roasted marinated beef, are topped with pineapple, cilantro, and onion. As much of a first world problem as this sounds, there was so much beef on the taco that it made it hard to pick up to eat. Besides that, the meat was expertly seasoned and balanced through the use of the herby cilantro and the citrusy pineapple. Overall, the al pastor taco is something that I highly recommend.
Although the al pastor taco was extremely satisfying, I will find myself coming back to Wapo Taco for the Baja Fish tacos. On top of being a beautiful taco to look at, it was the most satisfying dish I had all night. This taco was an exercise in balance, knowing how to use different textures and temperatures in order to hit every part of your tongue. The taco is made up of beer-battered mahi mahi with jalapeno salsa, cabbage, chipotle cream, and avocado. The light batter on the extremely fresh mahi was crunchy and flavorful, serving as a perfect vehicle for the spicy salsa and rich chipotle cream. The avocado added a refreshing and buttery taste that was complimented by the crunchiness of the cabbage.
Make sure you end the night with “La Michoacana” popsicles, especially the Arroz con Leche and Cajeta. This luxurious popsicles completely nail the flavors that they claim, making for a hand held vehicle of desserts that are all too common in Mexico. There is no better way to end an extremely authentic meal than with an extremely authentic dessert.
2526 Ponce De Leon Blvd
Coral Gables, FL 33134