Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Villa Mexico - A Review of Gas Station Tacos

Seven months ago, I found myself newly single and moving into a 350 square foot studio apartment in Boston's Beacon Hill.  I was a traumatized soul, wondering what the hell I was doing.  Confident in the move, but terrified of this new life and this new adjustment.  Where there had been safety in two, there was now only me.  Unfortunately, I needed to move over 4th of July weekend, so it was basically just me and my friend's Altima.  Beacon Hill parking is terrible and I stressed about how I would park, unpack and not get 1,000 tickets over the course of the weekend. 

I thought I had my answer in a little gas station across the street called Grampy's.  I assessed their little parking lot and figured I could definitely sweet talk my way into me parking off to the side, out of the way, while I moved and unpacked.  I approached the guy behind the counter, put on my nicest, sweetest voice and asked if he wouldn't mind helping a sista out.  Could I pretty please park right there?  I promise I won't be there long and I won't be in the way.

His reaction was so firm and rude that I left Grampy's with tears stinging my eyes.  I had not felt so lonely in such a long time.  I vowed that I would never, ever, again step foot in Grampy's with a dime of my business.  Ever.

And, with the exception of two very rare instances (I needed toilet paper), I have not.  When I heard rave reviews about a little Mexican restaurant called Villa Mexico that was actually located inside of Grampy's, I vowed never to go there either.  Mexican restaurant?  In a gas station?  Sounds like a recipe for an increase in toilet paper sales.

Except last night.  I worked late.  I was hungry and I'd only had a piece of cheesecake for lunch.  My fridge is awaiting my suburban grocery shopping trip tonight.  I thought about heading to the taco place in the West End, but it was so frigid, I didn't want to veer off course.  I decided I would try my best to make use of the spinach I have in the fridge. 

Then something came over me and I suddenly decided that I would try the gas station taco joint, Villa Mexico.  I walked in at 9:10 and the lady informed me that they closed at 9 pm.  However, she was very friendly and offered to make me whatever I wanted.  I decided on two chicken tacos for $5.25.  I'm not going to lie.  She microwaved part of it, threw it on a tortilla press and sprinkled on some shredded cheese.  I upgraded with sour cream and guac.  The price came to $5.75 and I went home with my gas station tacos. 

Unimpressive was my first impression.  Two measly tacos.  Microwaved.  At a gas station.  The side of salsa was black and scary looking.  For nearly $6.  I was beginning to regret this decision.  I took a bite, sans salsa.  Pretty unimpressive and bland.  Then I decided to give the salsa a go and I was taken aback.

Whatever is in the black salsa is amazing.  Truly, truly delicious.  I housed the salsa covered tacos in a matter of minutes.  But I couldn't bear to waste the remaining black salsa, so I heated up some brown rice and mixed it all together with a bit of lime juice and cilantro.  So good.

So while I'm not going to rave about this mexican restaurant located in a reject gas station, I will give credit where credit is due.  They make a mean ass salsa.  You can buy it directly from them for $24.00.  However, I think I'll have to start looking for a recipe to recreate it. 


  1. I am SOOOO glad that you tried it! Villa Mexico is one one of my all time favorites, but I know it isn't for everyone. I believe that the secret to the black salsa is that they char the ingredients first...yum...

  2. I am so curious about this black salsa!

  3. I am so curious about this black salsa!

  4. I have got to solve the recipe for the salsa! So mouthwatering!

  5. That black salsa sounds sooo interesting and delicious!

  6. I think I might try this recipe: http://jaybones.com/recipes/roasted_salsa/index.htm

    Except that whole, No Grill thing, could stand in my way. I'll have to research if I could do this in a broiler.