May will mark a year that I’ve been working in the northeast area of Columbia. This side of town used to be as remote to me as Augusta or Myrtle Beach. But now I’m here five days a week for the grind, and am still finding tasty new places to lunch. Tacos Nayarit is one of those places I’d passed over and over and just never was in the mood to stop and try. But today I was definitely in the mood for Mexican and made plans to check it out.
Nestled on Percival Road between I-77 and Decker Boulevard, Tacos Nayarit, started out as a truck, and then it became a brick and mortar location. Walking in, I wasn’t sure how it worked, but the layout is similar to a Moe’s-like restaurant. You go up to the counter and order from a selection of styles: tacos, quesadillas, and most notably, tortas, which is a Mexican sandwich.
I went for a torta, which begins as a flattened sub-shaped piece of bread that gets a quick hit on the grill before being filled with rice, beans, meats or veggies, and tons of toppings. Again, it’s Moe’s-style so you can add or leave off as many things as you like. The finished sandwich gets wrapped up tightly in foil and sliced in half for easy eating.
In addition to the torta, I got a side of chips and salsa, and a guava agua fresca. The whole meal came up to less than ten dollars. I carried everything to one of their outside tables to enjoy this beautiful weather and made a tear in the foil, unwinding it as I ate to keep the sandwich fillings from raining down all over the table and myself. It worked out very well, so when you get a torta from here, make sure to keep the foil on. Let’s talk about this bread though. I’m not a very bread-y person, the kind who doesn’t eat the sandwich ends when the filling is gone, and leaving the pizza crust bones to the side, but THIS bread, this bread was worth eating to the last bite. It was soft and pillowy, without being hard to chew, but sturdy enough to hold the bounty of fillings within.
The agua fresca was the perfect complement to the meal, though it was hard to resist a horchata. For the future at least, I’ll know where the nearest place to grab one is — they’ve got to be less caloric than a Frosty, I’d hope.
So next time you find yourself in the Northeastern part of Columbia, should you venture this way, it’s worth the while to find the way to Tacos Nayarit and experience a different flavor in the local Latino food scene.