Tacos Mariana's

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by Suzanne

Fantastic authentic Mexican food! Two MUST tries are the pollo gorditas and guacamole and chips! YUM YUM YUM!

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by Heather

I've been eating at Tacos de Mariana for a long time. Way before she moved to the new location. Favorite place to eat. The cooking their reminds me of my mother in law's and the only way I get to eat her cooking is to go to Mexico or wait for her bi-yearly trip to the US - even then I have to drive to Ohio.

I usually eat the picadillo (hamburger and potatoes), gorditas, or pazoli. It's hard to choose between them. I love the rice! No where in Des Moines have I found rice that is made like they make it in Mexico.

My husband flips back and forth between everything on the menu.

I love the new set up now. Bright and colorful and MUCH more seating then they had at the old spot. (For those of you complaining about seating, you really should have visited them before they moved.)

We've never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table, but we never go during their rushes either.

I have to say they are wonderful with kids there also. They will always take orders however we want them for our kids.

Spanish and English is always spoken there. The waitress speaks to me in English and my husband in Spanish though we both speak the other one also.

Best Mexican food in Des Moines. REAL Mexican food. Not authentic Mexican food tailored to Americans.

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by karena!


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by Inthewater

WOW! How have I lived here my whole life and NOT been to this place? Following the advice and reviews of several people on several different sites, I tried this outstanding restaurant.

I had: (3) Steak Gorditas (heaven on Earth? Just maybe.), side of rice and beans, (1) glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.

I am still in a state of bliss from the flavors and textures that I experienced here. Really, I don't know that I could eat a taco or gordita anywhere else now. Lovely Mariana has ruined me for all the others in town. There just really is no comparison. The difference between handmade and fresh cooked vs. fast food or mass produced is just amazing.

The restaurant itself is a very clean, brightly decorated little place. Lots of little details were put in to this space.

Service was very friendly and helpful. It seems like the type of place that would make whatever you wanted for you, if you asked and they had the ingredients.

Service was speedy for the quality of food, but slow compared to what most are used to. At least at lunch. Expect to be waiting a bit. The food is made to order and it shows, but you have to expect it to take a bit longer than Taco Bell. If you go there from work, don't try on a 30 minute lunch. Or if you do, you have fair warning.

On to the food. :)

The gorditas are small masa rounds that are pinched together and fried slightly crispy. The smell of them making the shells was nearly too much to bear. Picture two 1/8" round disks about the size of a biscuit cutter. The filling was small cubed beef with spices, crema, lettuce, onions, a tomato and a cheese that looked like parmesan. Wow. The flavors explode as you eat these tiny treats.

The rice and beans were just that. Rice and beans. Nothing amazing about them, but they were definitely tasty. Really, now that I know better, I would replace them with another taco or gordita.

The fresh orange juice was very good. It actually went well with the fresh flavors of the gorditas.

The hot sauce they bring along with the tacos is fairly hot for the timid. If you are into hot foods, go for it. It has a very good flavor. (Standard bottled hot sauces are also available.)

Clarifications on the address:

It is at 13th St and University. Go West from Mercy on University until you get to 13th St. It is on the NW corner of the intersection and pretty hard to miss if you know where you are headed.

Bring cash or spend $10. They will not do debit / credit cards for amounts less than $10. The menu had many choices, but not too many. A nice balance, but as mentioned, it seems as if you could get any combination of the offerings if you asked for it.

Go now and eat.

Have you left yet?

What are you waiting for?

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by A and D

We tried Tacos Mariana's for the first time on a Saturday at noon. It was packed and with people who know great Mexican food -- Mexican families.

Here is the authentic food of Jalisco. It doesn't get any better even in Mexico. The tortillas are loaded with pure corn flavor; the chicken, beef and pork tacos are incredibly good and prepared from scratch. It may take a bit of time to get the dishes, but the wait is worth it for this quality of authentic Mexican food.

Service was very friendly; the owner is chef, server, cashier and giver of smiles. There is even a gentleman who plays guitar on request.

The restaurant is spotless and bright; the tables and chairs are hand-carved from Jalisco and colorful and fascinating. This is not a tablecloth kind of place, but it is a wonderful place to eat great Mexican dishes.

The menu has lots of choices, a la carte and combinations. Most of the lunch crowd was eating one of the 5 soup specials. These are huge bowls of spicy soup with loads of shrimp, fish and other choices. At $6 it is a complete meal. Tacos are $1.25 and fantastic. The prices are very reasonable.

Great authentic food. The best we have ever found in Des Moines or anywhere. Good service and friendly people who are happy to see you. Fun atmosphere.

This is located on East University at the corner of East 13th, on the North West corner.

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by chris07gtcs

I've been wanting to try this place for quite some time, But had always been 'put off' by the stories of their irregular hours and location. My bad. All the riviews here on dead on. You want muy authentico? Here's your place.
I knew they recently moved, But I wasn't real sure as to where. A couple of Saturdays ago I called them to find out, only to be greeted in spanish. A Mexican restaurant? This has to be a good sign. Bad thing is it took me another week to find them!
Not only were the tacos fantastic, the atmosphere was neat too. We went around noon on Saturday and there was an old guy in the corner playing classical guitar. Way cool! Service was slow but gracious. My wife was saw the gorditos and said that is what she will get next time. Yes, there will be a next time, And soon! Please note their new location is on the NW corner of 13th and University.

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by hojo

Best authentic Mexican tacos in town. Extremely fresh, although sometimes slow. Plus the hours are anyone's guess. The burrito platter here is also a steal with rice, beans and a giant burrito smothered in cheese for less than 6 bucks.

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by rhonda picha

Very authenic food. The stars alotted here for this rating is solely based on their flavorful food and nothing else. Service is poor, environment is poor, even seating is limited.
If you can endure the disarray and apparently unkempt decor then you can enjoy some mexican food the way the mexicans like it.
Of course you should always call before making the trip, their hours are unpredictable and be sure to take your Entertainment coupon with you (it will get you a free entre when you purchase an entree).

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by Shane

Stopped by on a Tuesday for lunch and they weren't open. I couldn't find any signs as to their hours or if they were out of business. I would suggest calling ahead.

I had eaten there once before. "A hole in the wall" is putting it mildly. The food is good, and must be authentic. There is very little seating room.

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by Deb B.

I feel like I'm back in Mexico when I eat here. She makes kick a** tacos. Carne asada is my favorite, with everything. (cilantro, onions, & hot sauce) Only $1.25 each is a great deal too. MUY DELICIOUSO!

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by Bobby Villasenor

I liked the tacos there. Coming from Mexico i finnally found a place to eat good mexican tacos. The Real deal if you like tacos. Try al pastor!

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