Dining Divas Were On a Mission At Mission Taco Joint

**Lisa Kampeter photo** revisedThe Dining Divas

By Lisa Kampeter

Webster defines a “mission” as a “ministry commissioned by a religious organization to propagate its faith or carry on humanitarian work”.  I don’t think it was an accident that the Dining Divas chose a restaurant for this month’s outing with “mission” in its name.  And I don’t think it was an accident that the date of the Diva outing was the day that I was to get some very important news.

Not good news, but big news.  I also don’t think it was an accident that the day prior I was spending a long weekend in Northern California, a state known for its Spanish missions up and down the coast.

So Mission Taco Joint it was.  When you get bad news, of course you want to be near your support system, and for me, you also want good food to take your mind off everything. The Mission Taco Joint is located in University City off Delmar.

Let me get the bad stuff out of the way.  Parking sucks in University City.  This is nothing new.  If you have patience, or the luck of your friend’s dead uncle, you’ll find a spot.  You may drive around a bit, but you’ll find something.  Also, you have to pay for your chips and salsa.  I know, it’s lame when Mexican restaurants charge you for this, and this is standard in most of them in the city.  We county girls aren’t fans of this.  But their chips and homemade salsas were great.  Plus, we couldn’t pass up the Queso Con Chorizo dip either.

The drinks aren’t cheap, but they were necessary this night to take off the edge.   Although delightful, the specialty Raspberry Hibiscus- infused Margarita was a little expensive at eight bucks a piece. And finally, you won’t pay 99 cents for a taco like you can at Taco Bell.  Mission Taco Joint tacos are $3.50 and so good.  You get what you pay for.

Tonight’s Divas support system included a couple unusual guests, unusual in that typically these people wouldn’t be invited to an all-female adult outing.   First we had the Dude Diva.  He looked like a stud being surrounded by all the ladies!  And we had a Junior Diva as she joined her Mama Diva for dinner.  What fun they were to have around!

We couldn’t pass up the Carne Asada Fries with cheese, steak, avocado, and pico de gallo as an appetizer.  They were like the Mexican version of the incredible Smothered Fries we love from Shaved Duck only on steroids.

Let me go back to the tacos.  The Dude Diva said the Duck Taco was excellent.  He also loved the grilled Fish Tacos.  The fried version was just as good too.  The Carne Asada Taco with wood fired flank steak was another favorite.   The Beef Brisket Birria Taco was made with slow roasted brisket, pork belly carnitas, and avocado along with a fiery sauce.  The tacos were muy popular at our table that night.

For burritos, the Cowboy is tough to pass up.  With shredded beef brisket, black beans, cilantro rice, roasted corn, cheese and salsa, it had the Spitfire Diva saying “giddy up”.  Ready to be beachside, the Traveling Diva ordered the South Beach Diva, and like the Cowboy but with chicken, it’s definitely something you’re not going to find at Taco Bell.

For dessert, we tried some  Churros, a deep-fried Mexican pastry coated with cinnamon-sugar and served with a chocolate sauce.  I’d prefer something from Old Town Donuts.

For this Diva personally, I loved Mission Taco Joint.  Some of the Divas don’t plan to go back as they feel we have just as good options close to home.  For others, they’re ready to return.  For me, the people, the atmosphere, and the food, made a good ending to a bad day.

It’s not all bad when the news isn’t good.  I’m on a new “mission” to good health, and down the road the Dining Divas will be mixing things up.  One thing is for sure, we’ll still be getting together monthly.  We’ll still be talking about inappropriate things and laughing at each other.  And there will still be food involved, just maybe not Mexican, right away.  And when I’ve complete my mission, you can guarantee I’ll mix in some sweets, and alcohol, and some good old fashioned Mexican food.   Sounds like just what the doctor ordered.


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