Pancake House Best Taco in Town

Pancake House doesn't have the Best Taco in Town. You do!
6–12 servings
Prep Time
15 Mins
Active Time
30 Mins

Who makes the best tacos in Manila? If your answer is Pancake House, this recipe is for you. In our opinion, the secret lies in the mystery sauce. This recipe gets you very close to the real thing—enough for you to take on the mantle of Best Taco in Town.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • ½ kg ground beef
  • 1 pack taco seasoning
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste


  • 2 tbsp regular (not extra virgin) olive oil
  • 3 ½ tbsp white vinegar
  • ¾ tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt


  • lettuce, shredded
  • cheddar cheese, grated
  • tomatoes, sliced
  • onions, chopped
  • taco shells

Cook beef: Add oil to a pan over medium heat. Cook garlic and onions in oil until the onions are translucent. Add beef and cook until browned. Drain as much liquid as you can from the beef with a large spoon or by gently tipping your pan over the sink.


Season beef: In a separate bowl, dissolve the taco seasoning in half a cup of water, per the instructions in the packet. Pour the liquid into the pan and add tomato paste. Cook until beef has absorbed most of the seasoning liquid. Transfer to a bowl to cool.


Make dressing: To make the dressing, mix the oil, vinegar and sugar together in small bowl with a fork. Add extra salt and sugar to taste.


Assemble: Pile on ingredients into taco shells as preferred—we suggest starting with the beef, then adding the rest of the assembly ingredients on top.