The Iguana Cafe, that nondescript gray storefront across the street from the Ronstadt Transit Center, has gone strong for almost 12 years as other bars on Congress fell by the wayside. Jesus and Rosie Padilla's bar is a subtle reminder of the old downtown, before redevelopment brought in all the gourmet and the glamour.
During the day it's got a working class kinda vibe, with people sipping beers along the square bartop that takes up most of the room. An old jukebox seemed to be playing Carlos Santana's entire discography ... A fitting soundtrack for these tacos dorados, some of the tastiest I've had downtown or anywhere.
My chicken was shredded real soft, with little bits of tomatoes and onions giving it some extra juice. Then it was rolled up in a corn tortilla and fried to a perfect crisp. Nothin' fancy, just good old fried tacos with an unassaulting "guacamolito" sauce of finely blended avocado. Good stuff!
Weird fact: If you eat here you gotta roll with the punches, 'cause weird stuff might happen: One guy was caught trying to walk in smoking a cigarette, and I got in a conversation with another dude about how eating iguanas is good for you and gives you "mucho mucho power." No iguanas on the menu though, just chicken.
Location: 210 E. Congress St.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays
Payment: accepts debit and credit cards