16 United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig
Photography by Ina Jacobe
With Kapitolyo shaping up to be a haven for smart young families and entrepreneurs, there’s never any shortage of spirited new food destinations for streetwise eaters. Blazing the barrio’s trail of must-try eats is Taco Vengo, which serves up lively Mexican flavor along United Street’s culinary crawl.
Tucked within a building lined with scrappy watering holes and grills, Taco Vengo feels like a discovery. The industrial simplicity of interiors introduces the idea of the modern Mexican diner. And while a menu of tacos, nachos, and burritos rings true to a cuisine so straightforward, the tiny kitchen leaves room for a little surprise.
Topping each scrunchable soft taco are some welcome twists to your run-of-the-mill beef or chicken options. Zesty orange punches up the char of juicy steak strips, chicken gets an Asian zing from a honey soy glaze, and shrimp gets the heft it deserves from the sinful slaw spooned over it. There’s no question you’ll need to order a side of nachos, the ol’ reliable here (the owners are also behind those ubiquitous Nacho King stands you’ll find at most malls). What you definitely can’t miss? The Chwaffle, a hybrid churro and waffle dessert topped with salted caramel and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, then dusted with cinnamon sugar. The only problem with serving this item is a glaring disservice revealed to Taco Vengo’s customer: that it isn’t open for breakfast.