GOOD TO GO

Street tacos slow-cooked, made fresh at Cancun Fiesta

Tender, long-simmered meats fill Westport eatery’s authentic street tacos.

Updated: 2014-03-19T19:27:34Z

By CINDY HOEDEL

The Kansas City Star

Street tacos have become easy to find in Kansas City’s casual, family-owned Mexican restaurants and groceries.

Cancun Fiesta Fresh, a little dive across the street from the Westport CoffeeHouse, was one of the first to offer the palm-size soft corn tortillas filled with slow-simmered fillings, and nobody does them better.

Rafael Pinedo opened Cancun in 1997, using his grandmother’s recipes from Zacatecas in central Mexico. Pinedo cooks his asada (marinated beef), adobada (barbecued beef), carnitas (roasted pork), pollo (chicken), carne molida (ground beef), lengua (tongue) and cabeza (beef cheek) for two days. The long cooking time ensures depth of flavor and melting tenderness.

Each taco is prepared fresh to order. Hunks of the slow-cooked meats are lifted from cooking pots in the kitchen and chopped one at a time before being stuffed into the tacos and topped with chopped onion and cilantro. A wedge of lime is offered on the side, as are a choice of three heat levels of house-made salsa. The medium salsa verde made from tomatillos and jalapeno is my favorite.

Cancun also makes a terrific fish taco served with cabbage and a special pepper sauce. It costs $2.75 but is larger than the street tacos, which sell for $1.75.

Unlike many street taco joints, Cancun has a liquor license, so you can wash down your tacos with a cold Corona or margarita.

Lunchtime is packed, so call your order in if you are in a hurry, and don’t count on being able to sit — the tiny dining area seats only about a dozen, although outdoor seating doubles that capacity on nice days.

Daily food and drink specials are offered, and Cancun delivers to nearby neighborhoods.


Cancun Fiesta Fresh

4019 Pennsylvania Ave.

816-756-2120

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, Saturday

Parking: Free in lot

Don’t miss: Street tacos with authentic slow-cooked meat fillings and traditional garnishes ($1.75)

Vegetarian : Cheese quesadilla; veggie burrito

Ethics policy: The Star purchases all food sampled.

Good to Go spotlights takeout options that are fast (10 minutes or less), fresh and cheap ($5 or less). Send suggestions to choedel@kcstar.com. Find more cheap takeout recommendations at http://twitter.com/#!/cindyhoedel.

Deal Saver Subscribe today!

Comments

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here