Muy Macho: Taqueria with strong cuisine

Grasshoppers roasted with lime, salt, herbs and spices. Brian Tockey / The Watchdog

Having spent essentially my entire life in the Pacific Northwest, I never had a sense for what authentic Mexican food was like. Not until after high school did I even eat at a taco truck. Tacos for me were simply crispy premade shells stuffed with ground beef, lettuce and sour cream. When a friend of mine with experience in authentic Mexican food recommended a place in Seattle, I jumped at the opportunity to try out real Mexican food.

Located in the South Park neighborhood of West Seattle just across the South Park Bridge is Muy Macho, a taquiera specializing in Oaxacan cuisine for over 20 years.

Beef tongue, carnitas and cow intestine tacos. Brian Tockey / The Watchdog
Beef tongue, carnitas and cow intestine tacos.
Brian Tockey / The Watchdog

Having done my fair share of restaurant reviews, I feel like I’ve exhausted all the adjectives at my disposal and have only one way to describe Muy Macho – the best. My mind was completely blown by the food and I ate more that day than I ever have in the last several months.

One of my motivations for checking out this place was an interest in eating insects. Always one to try out new and exciting food, insects were my final frontier. With grasshoppers on the menu, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Heavily seasoned with herbs, spices, salt and lime, the grasshoppers tasted incredible. With a texture similar to a thin shrimp shell and a chewy, juicy center, the grasshoppers were morsels of flavor that I couldn’t get enough of. Sure, their segmented bodies lying on a plate was a little off-putting, but as long as one doesn’t think too much about it, it’s simple. After the first bite, my hesitation towards eating insects was completely gone and the plate was demolished in minutes.

My only experience with tacos has been with local taco trucks so I kind of knew what to expect but these tacos were on another level entirely. It’s honestly hard to describe how they were better, but I was floored by how good they were. Cow intestine, tongue, and pork carnitas was enough variety for me to try and all were incredible. Simply made with meat, onions and cilantro, I couldn’t get enough of the little beauties.

Muy Macho is bright and clean with incredibly friendly staff. Our server, a native Oaxacan, kept us entertained and her cheery demeanor just completed the whole experience. For those who can stand spice, I highly recommend asking for the hot salsa trio. From mild and flavorful to incredibly spicy, the sauces were perfect with chips or spooned onto a taco.

I have a new favorite restaurant in Muy Macho, and would easily travel double the distance for the food. With a huge menu full of variety, I foresee many more trips to this unassuming little restaurant in an unassuming little neighborhood. Perfect for the adventurous eater or those wanting truly authentic food firmly in their comfort zone, Muy Macho is absolutely stellar and I will sing its praises for as long as it is in business.