2740 Country Club Rd. • Lake Charles • 337-602-6482
I had been hearing good things about a new taco place called Taco Mel that had opened up in my old Fat Cat location on Country Club Road. Going there was kind of a bittersweet experience for me; it was like going into your old home and seeing how the new owners had remodeled it.
I must say I did like the way they got all the space they could out of it.
You go into Taco Mel and basically choose your meat and whether you want a corn or flour tortilla. Then you are left to your own creativity as to what goes in the tortilla.
Now this can turn out badly, as it had for me at Which Wich sandwiches in Beaumont a few years ago. I built my own sandwich there out of ingredients I was familiar with. But the flavor of a honey mustard I picked ruined the entire thing.
For the visit to Taco Mel, I picked for Chelsea and me the beef fajita, which features Mel’s famous marinated skirt steak. I added sour cream, queso fresco, lettuce and guacamole salsa. This meat was tender and full of flavor. You can tell they make their own tortillas from scratch because they have that soft fluffiness to them.
I must say I picked a nice, simple mix of ingredients that in no way covered up the wonderful flavor of the beef. I also picked the shrimp. I added shredded cheese, salsa, chipotle dressing, cilantro and pico. This taco was badass if I say it myself; it was simple and to the point. The shrimp didn’t taste frozen and weren’t soft, as if they had been.
I got the carnitas, which feature Mel’s slow-cooked pork. I added pico, queso fresco, shredded cabbage, jalapeno and cilantro.
I would rather have just gotten a plate of that pork thrown down; it wouldn’t even matter what I chose to use as a condiment; the flavor and tenderness of that meat would outshine everything else. And coming from me, that means a lot, because I love sauces and cheeses and can justify their use on just about anything.
We got cheese quesadillas, and they were great — the soft flour tortillas and all that queso fresco made for a delish treat.
Taco Mel’s refried beans had a interesting flavor I couldn’t make out. But it had me taking more bites just to try to figure it out; alas, I never did.
This is a place that should really do well. The cooks make fresh food from scratch and that food is amazing.
Mel has been a resident of Lake Charles for more than 20 years, so that makes this a local business that deserves our support. Who can’t get behind a place with bomb.com tacos?