For some of the best Mexican tacos anywhere in New Jersey, do not miss Taquería La Valentina, a food counter and café tucked into the back of a grocery store on Broadway in Long Branch. Enter through the narrow aisles stacked high with Mexican goods under piñatas hanging from the ceiling, or through the back entrance from the parking lot.
Freshly made tortillas have an unmatched toasted corn flavor and chewy grilled texture, and La Valentina makes their own right there behind the counter. Tacos are available with thirteen different fillings, from lengua (beef tongue) tobarbacoa de chivo (shredded barbecued goat) to tripa (tripe), and everything in between. The taco al pastor (marinated pork) I ordered was served in tasty soft tortillas with chopped onion, pineapple and cilantro, accompanied by radish slices, a roasted scallion and whole hot pepper on the side. Squirt some lime juice over it all and it is the perfect Mexican mouthful–or three. The menu includes breakfast plates, tortas (sandwiches), tamales, quesadillas, and a wide range of entrees, from cesina ranchera (Mexican salted beef) to chiles rellenos.