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Tacos from La Fondita Express
Delia Jo Ramsey

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A Solo Quest Down Nolensville Pike for a Perfect Street Taco

Six tacos, a $10 bill, zero bachelorettes, and one thunderstorm later...

Welcome to Eater Nashville’s inaugural food crawl, a series in which Eater staffers guide you (virtually) on various food crawls in the Nashville area. When we go out, we often find ourselves wanting to try more than one restaurant or bar at a time. On some occasions we seek out a specific dish or drink, while on others we might explore a style of cuisine special to a neighborhood. Email us if there’s a particular theme, specific dish or drink, or neighborhood you’d like to see covered in a future installment.

Flocks of people move to, visit, and dine in Nashville each day, and by gosh do they all want tacos. A quick stroll past a certain Americanized 12 South taco joint at any given moment will reveal a patio filled with gals in matching tank tops and cowboy boots suffering through a 20-minute wait for some guac and a secret taco.

It doesn’t have to be this way, Music City. Nolensville Pike — home to some of the city’s best under-appreciated hole-in-the-walls from all over the globe — provides a treasure trove of authentic Mexican tacos where you don’t have to wait in endless lines for the good stuff. There won’t be murals with angel wings here (not yet, anyway), but there will be tacos.

The day the Eater Nashville editor set out for her solo taco crawl, a storm blew in, tossing angry raindrops sideways and forcing the taco tour to be made by car instead of by foot. With an umbrella and a crisp $10 fresh outta the ATM (most of these places are cash only), the journey begins.

The taco trek includes 3 different stops within a mile along Nolensville Pike: Taqueria Aguilar (a food truck), Carniceria y Taqueria Don Juan (a stand with walk-up and drive-thru options), and food truck La Fondita Express.

Tacos were loosely judged on tortilla quality and freshness, price, flavor, sauce, and meat to tortilla ratio. At each stop, an order of 2 tacos rang in at $2.75. One chicken taco was ordered at each spot for continuity’s sake, alongside one other taco. Onions and cilantro adorned each taco in authentic Mexican taco form (sorry, cilantro haters).

These opinions, of course, are highly subjective — weigh-in in the comments.

Stats for this food crawl:

Streets traveled: 2

Umbrellas required: 1

Breakfast prep food: a healthy kale juice to set the scene

19: number of new taco photos on my iPhone

Napkins needed to sop up chorizo grease from the plate at the third stop: 5

Total of tacos consumed: 6

Number of margaritas craved after dealing with Nashville drivers in the rain: at least 2

Stop 1: Taqueria Aguilar

230 Thompson Ln, Nashville, TN 37211

Cost for Two Tacos: $2.75

Delia Jo Ramsey

The lemon yellow truck parked beside a gas station at the intersection of Thompson and Foster just off Nolensville was the first stop. At Taqueria Aguilar, a pastor taco and a chicken taco were the picks. The tortillas here were very hot and fresh, and the red salsa packed more heat than most around here. The meat to tortilla ratio was appropriate without making too much mess in the car (no tables here) and the meat well seasoned and not too dry. Also yes, this place is a truck, but it doesn’t move, so it’ll always be found at the gas station address above.

Stop 2: Carneceria y Taqueria Don Juan

2910 Nolensville Pike Nashville, TN 37211

Cost for Two Tacos: $2.75

Delia Jo Ramsey

Luckily the rain subsided by the second stop, so a taco iPhone photoshoot outside the car became possible. Disclaimer: Upon returning, green sauce spilled on my hand/steering wheel, and I had to stop myself from drinking this delicious fiery sauce right out of the plastic container. Read: don’t sleep on the green sauce at Don Juan. Balanced tortilla to meat ratio and once again, not too dry. The chorizo taco was filled with easily the most perfect, not-overly-greasy chorizo I’ve had since leaving the Lone Star State.

Stop 3: La Fondita Express taco truck

2442 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211

Cost for Two Tacos: $2.75

Delia Jo Ramsey

Final stops of food crawls are hard. Could it be because four tacos have already been consumed that I found these my least preferred of the three stops? Possibly. La Fondita Express is another permanently parked food truck. There is one picnic table filled with regulars. The chorizo taco was so greasy here it took a handful of napkins before actual eating could commence. Then the chicken felt a tad rubbery to the bite. However, again the green sauce was good, and the tortillas were more than passable.

The verdict? A pleasant surprise in finding that the city actually does have real tacos, so there will be more outside-the-beaten-path taco tours in the future for these former Texans. Bring a friend for the crawl and maybe you’ll have room for more stops, but after these three, the top picks were Don Juan and Taqueria Aguilar. And always ask for extra sauce.

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