The La Divina Facts
2896 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14217
Cuisine: Tacos, Mexican
Style: Eat-in or Take-out, No table service
Pay: Credit cards or cash
La Divina is first and foremost (at least for now) a Mexican Grocery Store, servicing the wholsesale industry, but also open to plebeians like us. They have plenty of Goya products, unlike your neighborhood Tops – or is it just my neighborhood Tops? It’s also worth mentioning that the store/taco stand is owned by the same owner of Don Tequila and Agave in Allentown and Elmwood Village respectively.
A bit about the setup – they make their own corn tortillas (right there in the shop), have a very small menu (which seems like it varies depending on the day), a do-it-yourself toppings bar, and a mostly Spanish speaking staff. All things that make me smile. Things that don’t make me smile – the smell as you walk in. But, don’t worry you get used to it. At least we did. There’s an open kitchen, about 10 seats available and the option to take-out. Don’t expect any unnecessary fancy service or silverware here.
If you’re looking for a lunch that will hit the spot, a taco that will put most others around here to shame, a Mexican purveyor that knows the importance of hot sauce, lime and cilantro, or a no frills, quick bite to eat, go to La Divina. Also, if you’re in need of a ton of Goya products.
La Divina’s menu the day we visited consisted of tacos (Ground Beef, Pastor – pork with pineapple, Asada – beef steak, Chicken, and Carnitas – shredded pork) at $2 each, Tortas (any kind of meat, options same as tacos) for $7 and a small or big Quesadilla ($3-$7). Small, but heavenly. They have water, pop and Mexican Sodas available in bottles too.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Any day we can report truly tasty, authentic style Mexican food is a happy, happy day. And today is one of those days.
When the day finally came, the fresh, house made corn tortillas we read about were not in play, which was okay because they were replaced by tortillas the cook described as “close” to what they make. He would be back at tortilla production tomorrow. These would have to do for now. And they did.
When you walk in to La Divina, it’s possible to get a little confused about where to start. Go to the counter with the register to the right and place your order. Then sit down and wait for your food. Get napkins and some water if you plan on testing out their delicious hot sauces (keyword: hot).
If you get tacos, you’ll just get the bare bones – tortillas and meat. Take them over to the toppings and go crazy. In my opinion, lime and cilantro are a must. The combination on a taco tastes like sunshine. The day we visited they had 4 different salsas, two red and two green. The one that looked most like Salsa Verde was a favorite, mostly because I was actually able to consume it without crying. The others were delicious but the red ones were hot, hot, hot. I’d recommend asking someone which is mild vs. picante.
We ordered one of each taco available (Ground Beef, Pastor – pork with pineapple, Asada – steak, Chicken, and Carnitas – shredded pork). They were all very different and pretty outstanding. Our favorites were the Pastor, Asada and Carnitas, but I’d order any of them again. Instagram comments from our followers suggest that if they have Barbacoa to steer clear or eat at your own risk. Kind of odd, but worth mentioning. Pro tip: eat your tacos fast because the longer they sit, the more the tortillas start to fall apart. Remember, these guys are brand new in July 2015 so cut them some slack.
We also tried a Carne Asada Torta which was melt-in-your-mouth, I’m drooling as I write this good. The sandwich is perfectly portioned on an oddly-shaped, toasted bun, smeared with mayo, and topped with lettuce, tomato, white onion and jalapeños. The steak was even cooked on the medium rare side. Each bite had an element of tenderness, crisp freshness, creaminess, and crunch from the bun. Perfection I tell you. Also, our whole bill came to $18, so that was excellent.
My only regret – I should have tried the Quesadilla (big of course).