Finding good tacos at gas stations is common place in the southwest. But that is vary rare in northeastern states such as Maryland. In fact, good Mexican food is hard to find anywhere in the area. But that is exactly what you will find at R & R Taqueria in Elkridge, Maryland.
Actually, it has been a couple years since R & R has been in the gas station. But that is where Chef Rod Albarran started in 2009 and quickly got a reputation for excellence. In a 2013, he opened a second location in Perry Hall Maryland, a community north of Baltimore. A third location in open last May, this time in Baltimore proper. R & R’s original location, in the Shell gas station at the intersection of US Route 1 and MD-175, was occupied through January 2017. At that point they moved to a standalone restaurant just across the parking lot. Chef Rod was born in Mexico. He and his family moved to Maryland when he was 10. The food served at his restaurants are made from recipes taught to him by his mother and grandmother.
R & R Taqueria has the usual array of Mexican appetizers. My personal favorite is plantains, and I ordered a plate of those. They did not disappoint: crisp on the outside, but tender and sweet on the inside. Just perfect!
For my main meal I went with Chef Rod’s speciality: the Huarache. But I also wanted to try their tacos (how could I not?). So I ordered the barbacoa (slow cooked beef). My companion had two: the barbacoa and the al pastor (pork). These tacos were indeed excellent, full of meat and loaded with flavor. The Huarache is an open faced dish with an oblong tortilla, stuffed with pinto beans, and topped the meat of your choice, cheeses, and a sauce. R & R Taqueria has a couple of different variations. I had the original, al pastor and topped with an avocado. My companion had the pasilla version with barbacoa as the meat. Pasilla sauce is a classic Mexican sauce, flavorful and mild, made from the pasilla pepper. We both enjoyed our huraches, but felt that the tacos were better.
R & R Taqueria has many other Mexican favorites, from enchiladas to Chilli Rellenos and carne asada. They also have many traditional Mexican soups and also some less common dishes such as Gordita and Pambazo. If you want a taste of authentic Mexican cooking, or just want some really good tacos, R & R is the place to go.