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Friday, September 16, 2016

Dining on a Dime: $3 Tacos at La Puerta Negra

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 4:00 PM

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Tuesdays are for salsa, and by that I mean both the Latin dance and the tomato and tomatillo-based sauces Americans think of when they hear the term. 

Each week around 5:30 p.m., I climb a narrow set of stairs from Montpelier's Main Street to the entrance of La Puerta Negra, order some food at the bar, and head up another flight of stairs to sit in the lounge and lace up my dance shoes while I wait for my food to arrive. 

Happily, the salsa lessons — taught by Sarah Snow and Jon Bacon of Dsantos VT — happen to coincide with $3 taco day. This means, depending on my hunger level, I could get one, two, three or even four tacos for just $12 — our "Dining on a Dime" limit. 

Sometimes I mix and match: one haddock taco with slaw and smoked lemon aioli, and one stuffed with steak and topped with chimichurri. More typically, I get a pair of pork al pastor tacos, garnished with a scattering of pineapple and cilantro, and a dollop of guacamole, plus a side of refried beans (an additional $4). Even with tax, that's a mere $10.90 for a pretty substantial meal. 

Don't do beans? A pair of tacos and a cup of chicken tortilla soup, or a side salad with pomegranate dressing, or some yucca fries, or an order of  street corn, would all come in under the limit. If I'm feeling flush, I'll get a margarita, too, or sip one of LPN's nice tequilas.

Just as I finish up my meal, the teachers arrive, and the funky syncopated beat of salsa music begins to play over the speakers. I join the other dancers on the floor and we bounce to the beat, and then learn to move our feet to the rhythm. Soon, we're spinning.  

It just so happens that a beginner salsa class is also $12. So, I guess I'm dancing on a dime, too. 

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  • Salsa Lessons with Dsantos @ La Puerta Negra

    • Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. $12

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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the former Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose,... more

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