Wherever you are in Shreveport-Bossier, you’re never very far from a good taqueria. And, these days, if you happen to be traveling along Mansfield Road, you’re in an especially good spot. Located at 9009 Jewella Avenue, just one mile from the outstanding El Bazar Mexicano #2, El Jinete Taqueria is a very good new taqueria. Housed in a space that was formerly a Taco Bell, this no-frills eatery lacks any atmosphere whatsoever, but makes up for what it lacks with delicious, interesting food and warm hospitality.
The menu at El Jinete is different from any other local taqueria, as far as I know. There are tacos and tortas, but there are also Salvadoran-style pupusas (griddled corn patties stuffed with Oaxaca cheese and other savory ingredients and served with a cabbage slaw), picadas (like smaller sopes), po’ boys, burgers, and a massive, delicious thing called a tlayuda.
Take the things that you love about the best taquerias – the house-made corn tortilla, the fresh Oaxacan cheese, the abundance of avocado, and delicious carne asada – and assemble them into a taco that measures 12 inches from one end to the other. Wikipedia refers to tlayudas as a traditional Oaxacan “snack food,” but you’d have to be Andre the Giant to consider this thing a snack. There are two house-made salsas for your consideration at El Jinete; the red chile de arbol salsa is mouth-numbingly hot, use it with caution.
One thing about El Jinete: On my visit, Patricia – the clerk, server, host, etc. – was exceedingly warm and welcoming. If you have questions about the tacos, salsas, or anything else, she seems more than happy to chat. Other than Patricia, El Jinete seems like it could be a one-woman show, with a staff of one or two in the kitchen. It’s a very small operation, and the decor is threadbare, but El Jinete is definitely a must-visit for taqueria fans. If you love taqueria-style tacos made with fresh tortillas, but just wish that tacos could weigh three pounds apiece, the Tlayuda Oaxaqueña should be your next taco Tuesday destination.
The hours of El Jinete are currently Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., but you may want to call (318) 701-8234 just to be certain before visiting.
Love this kind of info? Check out the third edition of Eat Here: A Food Lover’s Guide to Shreveport-Bossier.