Tacos Los Fabian has more than 40 years of experience making delicious tacos, which is apparent in every bite.
Now open in two locations — one on the libramiento in Ajijic and the other at Francisco Madero #240 in Chapala — the specialty here is the pastor tacos, done estilo Puebla (“Puebla style”), which is a city in East-Central Mexico. It was in this region that Lebanese immigrants settled around the turn of the 20th century.
And this is where their descendants eventually opened restaurants that mixed the cuisine of their ancestral homeland with the traditional Mexican approaches to cooking.
The Invention of Tacos al Pastor
One of the delicious outcomes of this is a now-popular Mexican dish invented in the late 50s or early 60s called pastor: thin slices of meat which are marinated in spices, chiles, and pineapple, then skewered onto a metal spit just like shawarma. A pineapple is placed on the spit above the meat.
When it’s time to slice off a few tacos for a customer, the taquero turns on a gas burner that sends flames over the skewered pastor. The meat is cooked directly on the spit, the flames lightly burning the edges.
There are lots of ways to make pastor and not all of them involve skewering the meat on a spit, especially when pastor is made at home or in a small restaurant kitchen.
Tacos Los Fabian Makes Tacos Al Pastor As They Do in Puebla and Mexico City
Tacos Los Fabian make their tacos al pastor like many taquerías in Puebla and Mexico City today: with a special combination of spices and a small piece of pineapple that the taquero cuts off and flicks directly from the pineapple that’s on the spit, which sails through the air, and into each taco.
Watch the video below of how it’s done:
Don’t Be Afraid of the Pineapple. The Pineapple is Your Friend.
At some taco stands at Lake Chapala, you’ll sometimes find pastor with a pineapple on top, but it’s not included in the tacos. Tacos Los Fabian is probably the only taquería that serves it this way.
Ask your waiter to hold the pineapple if you wish, but it’s highly recommended. Even if you’re not a fan of sweet things (like mango salsa) ruining your savory meal, your taste buds might find the pineapple to be the perfect complement to the marinated, bright orange meat.
The color comes from the combination of spices and chiles, which aren’t spicy. As with most taco stands, you add salsa to the tacos after they’re served to you so you can control the amount of spice yourself.
Tacos Los Fabian has three kinds of salsa: a spicy orangish salsa, a mild to medium red chipotle salsa, and a non-spicy green guacamole salsa that contains no chile. If you’re used to spicy food, you’ll find the spicy orange salsa to be no challenge. The smokiness of the chipotle salsa is a heavenly combination with the pastor. Combine all three salsas with a squeeze of lime and you’re set.
Other Plates to Choose From and Make Your Own Tacos
Once you’ve tried out a few plates of tacos al pastor, it’s time to move on to the other items on the menus such as the alambre: chopped beef, bacon, onions, bell peppers and cheese. Or the Zarape: chopped beef, bacon, chorizo, onion, bell pepper and cheese.
All of the plates come with a stack of tortillas so you can make your own tacos. Split one of these platillos between two people for a comfortable meal.
Alambre is a popular dish in some parts of Mexico, but is uncommon in Ajijic and Lake Chapala. Some of the other dishes are not traditional, but inventions of the chef, such as the Fabian Special or the Fortachón.
You’ll also find queso fundido (melted cheese) with mushrooms or chorizo at Tacos Los Fabian, plus lonches (sandwiches), gringas and gabachas.
No, not that kind of gringa or gabacha, though Tacos Los Fabian does have a sizeable clientele of foreigners (gabacho is another word for gringo). We’re talking about gringas: flour quesadillas with pastor or beef. A whole one is a sizeable meal. The gabacha is their name for a plate of pastor with cheese. Kilos and half-hilos of pastor are also available.
Tacos Los Fabian used to be located in Plaza Bugambilias in Ajijic, but they moved in June 2019 to a building on the Libramiento across from the Oxxo in Ajijic. They also have another location in Chapala at Francisco Madero #240.
Last updated August 25, 2019
Libramiento #132 (approx.)• Ajijic