It's been a while since we've visited Tumbras, which can be viewed as both good and bad. Good, because it means we have more quality Mexican restaurants to choose from; bad, because Tumbras still is one of Spokane's best Mexican restaurant, and we should not forget that.
The spot is always nigh empty during our visits -- it's hard to get past the awkwarness of the location -- and there's always a possibility some might be scared away by the locale's dark, hole in the wall atmosphere. That's too bad, if that's indeed the case, as Tumbras is always friendly.
The food, more importantly, is stellar.
We sampled the quesadilla Mexciana during our last visit. Really, try this if you think a quesadilla is merely a quesadilla. This more "authentic" take on it involves a fried tortilla, plenty of Quaxaca cheese, and a quite tasty mushroom filling. It's big, and it's very, very filling. And even more tasty.
The carnitas plate is equally big, equally filling, and equally tasty. The pork is well prepared, tender and flavorful, and served with what might be the best refried beans in town. The plate is probably enough to feed two people, so plan accordingly.
Tumbra's menu is big, and there are plenty of highlights to choose from. A simple taco, for example, comes at a cheap price, and is always good.
Really, you probably already know all of this. You did name Tumbras Best Cheap/Casual Eats of 2011. Consider this a reminder in case you've been busy elsewhere. Tumbras is great. It's time to relive their glory.
Original October 26th, 2009 review
If you can get past the less than desirable location on 2nd and Cedar, it is, if nothing else, good to have an awesome sit-down Mexican restaurant downtown. Sure, De Leon is probably better, but it closes early. But other than that?
You’d have to be allergic to flavor if you consider Atilano’s good, and that’s pretty much where the buck stops downtown.
Tacos Tumbras is, of course, the Tacos Tumbras you have come to know and love in its truck and Valley forms. They serve up classic tacos ($1.50) and tortas alongside some off the beaten path Mexican dishes, like the huarache, which really all should be devoured with what might be the best horchata in town.
The problem, of course, is that Tumbras is located at the worst possible spot for foot traffic downtown. I mean, 2nd? The majority of the foot traffic to Browne’s seems to be on Riverside. And this location used to belong to Cruiser’s, a bar which had, shall we say, a certain reputation.
In other words, while downtown Spokane might not be the largest place on earth, you might have to move slightly out of your ordinary pattern to find and enjoy Tumbras. And it is well worth it, as this is one of the best Mexican establishments in town.