On the advice of some of my commenters I took CJ to Taqueria Guadalajara tonight. Moral: believe everything you read in the comments! This homey place served me the first really satisfying torta I’ve eaten in Madison — with properly soft bread and a good balance of fillings. The meat has to assert itself without dominating, as in a successful patty burger. Guadalajara brings it off. The gordita and horchata looked and smelled very good, too, but CJ didn’t let me have any.
The dining room is pretty small, service at rush time is slow, and the atmosphere not particularly charming, unless you’ve been looking for a chance to catch up on El Gordo y La Flaca. They’re clearly doing a brisk takeout business; that might be the way to go.
Have you been back lately? I know nopales can be disappointing, but their pickled and grilled ones are tasty.