Two passes through Mount Vernon, WA en route to/from the San Juan Islands left me surprisingly pleased with its Mexican offerings, and looking forward to a return trip.
One the first foray, we stopped at Tacos Gaudalajara, a fairly standard-looking truck with a small indoor dining room adjacent. Run by a very friendly older couple, the fare exceeded expectations. Lengua was a crosswise slice, very tender. A daily special was chorizo and potatoes. The salsas were highly seasoned, with the verde in particular having a very unusual taste of spice blend, almost Indian in flavor.
On the return trip, we hit up Taqueria La Bamba, which seems to be very popular with the local hispanic community. While La Bamba proudly claims “el mas mejor” tacos in the region, I noted the seafood cocktail was expertly made, with a thick band of chile salt on the rim of the shrimp-studded cup. Said band and orange slice also accompanied the frosty glass served with the Negro Modelo I sipped as I waited for a to-go order, indicative of attention to detail and quality. I had a torta of “pierna” (pork leg), which was served on a massive round roll loaded with condiments - the meat was roasted, with a simple flavor that was far different from either carnitas or al pastor/adobada. I would have preferred to dine in as the meal is served then with 4 different salsas, but the roja and verde we were supplied with each packed a very pleasant heat.
A Yelp query for “tacos” pulls up many results in the area, including very well reviewed (if more stylized) joints called Calle and Coa; a Oaxacan joint called La Guelaguetza; and several other taquerias that appear devoid of detrimental gringofication. I encourage the reader to give them a go.