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An Oral History of the Breakfast Taco
August 12, 2013 2:16 PM   Subscribe

From Texas Monthly, a brief oral history from Austin of The Most Important Taco of the Day (there is a recipe included!) At Slate, L.V. Anderson comments on the article noting, "Valera’s and Vasquez’s memories are proof that the mainstreaming of Mexican cuisine happened because Mexican immigrants worked hard in the face of racism, not in the absence of racism." The authors' website, Taco Journalism, has taco-related interviews and reviews.
posted by Area Man (83 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
as a native Texan, I can say that a tamale wrapped in two corn tortillas w/ egg, potato, bean, chorizo and cheese...is the go-to taco...bar frickin none.
posted by shockingbluamp at 2:35 PM on August 12, 2013


A tamale taco? isn't that like a taco burrito? Are you allowed to do that?
posted by GuyZero at 2:50 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Despite being pretty much universally popular in Central Texas, and despite comprising accessible American ingredients like bacon and eggs (and despite being delicious), they still haven’t found much of a following beyond Texas’ borders.

No, but try breakfast burritos.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:50 PM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


nah I prefer a straight egg cheese bacon with black salsa and a side of beans. goddamnit I miss living in texas
posted by Teakettle at 2:51 PM on August 12, 2013


The Don Juan at Juan in a Million is pretty much like stepping into heaven though you'll mostly spend the morning in the bathroom if you finish the fucking thing.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:56 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, Tamale House. Canned meat. Shredded American cheese. Store-bought tortillas. Flies buzzing around the salsa dispensers. Two crappy tables out front. Hot pavement. Constant drone of Airport Boulevard traffic whizzing by.

Best goddamn hangover tacos in town! Seriously.

(No tamales, however.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:57 PM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


For those interested here is a good vegetarian bean recipe that I learned at a restaurant which will remain nameless:

1 lb bag red beans
1/2 lb black beans

Soak overnight, then add to a pot with:

1 big white onion, chopped in big pieces
1 large cans of tomatoes
1 bunch of cilantro
Chili powder, cinnamon, salt (lots of cinnamon!)
You can add a tin of peppers in adobo or other peppers if you like it spicy

Cook forever. Add water to keep it going, then reduce in the end. Takes about 7 hours of cooking. Beans should be totally soft. Add at the end:

Liquid smoke to taste.

Serve with tofu scrambles draft kombucha and consciousness.
posted by Teakettle at 2:57 PM on August 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


On a trip to the Rio Grande Valley I gave two Mexican students studying at the University of Texas a ride back to Brownsville. Miriam's family was located on both sides of the border between Brownsville and Matamoros. I spent a night at their apartment in Brownsville and was treated the next morning to a feast. Her mother handmade all the tortillas, the pico de gallo, the guacamole, the huevos rancheros and the chorizo. It emerged in waves from the kitchen, punctuated by a hot tortilla being dropped on your plate for the next round. Everyone sat around scooping, building, spooning and eating. It was one of the best breakfasts I've ever had...
posted by jim in austin at 2:59 PM on August 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Atom Eyes: “Ah, Tamale House. Canned meat. Shredded American cheese. Store-bought tortillas. Flies buzzing around the salsa dispensers. Two crappy tables out front. Hot pavement. Constant drone of Airport Boulevard traffic whizzing by.”

It's so weird that Texas-style Mexican food hasn't caught on outside Texas. I wonder why?
posted by koeselitz at 3:00 PM on August 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Valera’s and Vasquez’s memories are proof that the mainstreaming of Mexican cuisine happened because Mexican immigrants worked hard in the face of racism, not in the absence of racism."

And here I am thinking it was because the food tastes so damn good.
posted by IndigoJones at 3:00 PM on August 12, 2013


isn't that like a taco burrito? Are you allowed to do that?

You are obviously not familiar with the Famous Taco Burrito.

It's on Western, just north of Addison, and on Irving Park, just west of California.
posted by eriko at 3:01 PM on August 12, 2013


Hey.

Hey.

Hey. You can make your breakfast tacoburrito any way you like and it will still be authentic Texas-style.

/Authentic Texan
posted by planetesimal at 3:01 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


WE HAVE NOW REACHED PEAK ORAL HISTORY
posted by pxe2000 at 3:01 PM on August 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


To clarify: The canned meat is on the enchiladas. Their breakfast tacos are all about that crispy, crispy bacon.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:01 PM on August 12, 2013


Chicago has better Mexican food.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 3:02 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's so weird that Texas-style Mexican food hasn't caught on outside Texas. I wonder why?

Me, too. If I'm feeling generous, I'll usually chalk it up to ignorance.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:05 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tamale House #3 is the most amazing $0.85 you will ever spend.

Torchy's Dirty Sanchez is worth getting laughed at for ordering.

Taco Deli's migas tacos bought at the farmers market, where they've been sitting in a chafing dish for a couple of hours, are even better than when they're fresh. All the gooey cheese and flavors mix together.

Rudy's is a huge disappointment. Always.

I love taking out of towners to early afternoon tacos. It's expected. It's beautiful. There's no wrong way to do it.

Viva Salsa Doña!
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:07 PM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hope I can be forgiven for chiding, as a New Mexican with my own inveterate preferences where spicy food is concerned. I will say, however, that others are right to say that it's okay to combine wonderful things. I've had relleno burritos here, and they're awesome, so I see not much problem with taco burritos. (I do have some objections to "tacos" in flour tortillas - tacos are supposed to be in corn tortillas, God's own medium, not in chalky, sad flour tortillas - but I'll mostly keep those to myself.)
posted by koeselitz at 3:11 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Chicago has better Mexican food.

*eyeroll* I love Chicago, and I love Mexican food in Chicago but statements like this are pretty much meaningless.
posted by kmz at 3:12 PM on August 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


jeff-o-matic: "Chicago has better Mexican food."

SSSh baby, sssh. It's ok. You still have the Cubs.
posted by boo_radley at 3:16 PM on August 12, 2013


Burritos are tacos. Just bigger.
posted by cell divide at 3:23 PM on August 12, 2013


Chicago has great Mexican food. No need to start saying it's better than other places, because that would be difficult to prove.
posted by cell divide at 3:24 PM on August 12, 2013


Taco Journalism also has a recipe for that ubiquitous green salsa, the Salsa Doña.

That being said, with all the great tacos in Austin, I have never had a meal worth repeating from the Tamale House.
posted by Seamus at 3:25 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey.

Hey.

Hey. You can make your breakfast tacoburrito any way you like and it will still be authentic Texas-style.

/Authentic Texan
posted by planetesimal

YES....YES

thank you
posted by shockingbluamp at 3:28 PM on August 12, 2013


I've had relleno burritos here, and they're awesome, so I see not much problem with taco burritos.

Relleno burritos and relleno tacos are suddenly totally a thing. Everywhere. As a result, I'm both perplexed and extremely hungry 100% of the time.
posted by like_a_friend at 3:28 PM on August 12, 2013


Colorado completely pwns the fuck out of Texas on this and nearly all other matters. We do authentic, we do our own style, and we might use cheap commodity ingredients here and there but the pork green chile needs to be from scratch. Thanks New Mexico, your influence is appreciated.

We do breakfast burritos with pork green chile. Santiago's is my favorite for buyin' but mine are the best. Hell Good Times makes them now and they aren't bad.
posted by lordaych at 3:31 PM on August 12, 2013


> Colorado completely pwns the fuck out of Texas on this and nearly all other matters.

Texas is only dimly aware of all the hate it gets from Colorado, but doesn't care enough to even mention them.
posted by planetesimal at 3:33 PM on August 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


lordaych: "Colorado completely pwns the fuck out of Texas on this and nearly all other matters. "

Merry Tortasmas, y'all!

(don't read the comments)
posted by boo_radley at 3:36 PM on August 12, 2013


The problem with breakfast burritos is that they always have egg in them, which is a dangerous gamble for me, but a couple of potato, bean, and cheese tacos? That's breakfast.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:40 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Colorado + weed=texas evny+weed x3= why you get a fucking hot dog in your Mexican food.
posted by shockingbluamp at 3:51 PM on August 12, 2013


Burritos are tacos. Just bigger.

Noooo. This is such a sad outlook on food life. It's like saying a pizza is an open-faced sandwich, just bigger.
posted by muddgirl at 3:53 PM on August 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


We had a truck that sold breakfast tacos at the farmer's market in West Philly. (They sold regular tacos too, during the other parts of the day.)

They no longer have a truck. They have a full on shop now.

What I'm saying is, breakfast tacos are not just a Texas thing, buddy.
posted by SansPoint at 3:56 PM on August 12, 2013


General Equation: the more remote a taco truck = the better the taco.

Although I must say, Taco Truck Roundup Food Fair things, where a bunch of them get together in a parking lot somewhere, are getting popular here in the San Jose area. You can sample a huge variety of stuff there and many are just super intensely good stuff.
posted by CrowGoat at 4:00 PM on August 12, 2013


Really?? 33 comments in and I'm the first person to say "The Most Important Taco of the Day is EVERY taco you eat in a day!?"
posted by nevercalm at 4:10 PM on August 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


They're all like children, yes.
posted by planetesimal at 4:12 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I do have some objections to "tacos" in flour tortillas - tacos are supposed to be in corn tortillas, God's own medium, not in chalky, sad flour tortillas

I live in Monterrey, México. I don't know about your sad flour tortillas, but most tacos mañaneros here are served in flour tortillas. Or a choice of flour or corn, but tacos de barbacoa in the morning are better in flour tortillas. Yum!
posted by CrazyLemonade at 4:15 PM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bacon avocado tacos at the place near my assistant editor's house in Austin. GodDAMN it now I want breakfast tacos for dinner.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:20 PM on August 12, 2013


It's like saying a pizza is an open-faced sandwich, just bigger.

Not at all. The word taco comes from "rolled", and the original tacos were meat rolled up in tortilla. Although it's now changing because of popular culture, extra large rolled tacos in Mexico were never called burritos. My point was that we shouldn't argue about whether tacos or burritos are better, or if a tacoburrito should be a thing, because they are both good, and both from the same source.

The sad food outlook on life is to not understand the inherent connection and oneness of tacos and burritos and to create artificial and hurtful distinctions between brothers.
posted by cell divide at 4:25 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I do have some objections to "tacos" in flour tortillas

Some tacos are made to be in flour tortillas, although it's true that too many cut-rate taco purveyors in the US use flour when they should be using corn. Either way, fresh corn or fresh flour tortillas are sooo much better then even the store-bought ones griddled with grease.
posted by cell divide at 4:26 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just ate 30 tacos.
posted by planetesimal at 4:36 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


During my last couple of years in Austin, there was a guy who sat in a truck selling Porfirio's breakfast tacos out of a styrofoam cooler just outside my apartment complex. I'd get two #1s (that's potato and egg) with cheese on my way in to work, top them with that delicious green sauce, and have a very happy start to my day.

The last few time I've been back to Austin, it was during the holidays and Porfirio's was closed.

Man, I miss those breakfast tacos. California taquerias do breakfast burritos, but for some reason -- some completely unidentifiable reason -- they're nowhere near as good.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:38 PM on August 12, 2013


MAH BOY CAN EAT FIFTY EGG TACOS!
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:39 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cool Hand Lucas
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:40 PM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Speaking as a south Texas resident who lives mere minutes from Reynosa, Mexico, I'm here to tell you that breakfast tacos are a VITAL part of our everyday lives here. Just about every convenience store in the area now has on-site kitchens making breakfast tacos on a daily basis... walk in, hope the line isn't more than 3 or 4 people, and order. You can get one of the basics (potato & egg, ham & egg, bacon & egg, or chorizo & egg) for about $1.00. Add-ons like cheese and beans are extra. Then you get into your variations: bean & egg, chorizo & bean, potato & chorizo, chicharrones (pork rinds) & egg, and migas (eggs scrambled with strips of corn tortillas). Add some freshly made salsa and a cup of coffee or O.J. and you're ready to face the day! In case you're wondering, my personal fave is potato, egg, beans, bacon, and cheese topped with warm breakfast salsa.

Maybe another time we'll chat about why the % of the total population down here with type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease is through the roof.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 5:04 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


CrazyLemonade: “I live in Monterrey, México. I don't know about your sad flour tortillas, but most tacos mañaneros here are served in flour tortillas. Or a choice of flour or corn, but tacos de barbacoa in the morning are better in flour tortillas. Yum!”

I'm pretty sure there were people making tacos in Santa Fe before there were people making tacos in Monterrey. (And on research, it seems as though the dates are too close to tell; Santa Fe and Monterrey were founded at about the same time, give or take a decade, which – given that we're talking half a millennia ago – is negligible.)

Not that it matters. Anyway: corn tortillas are brilliantly flavorful and wonderful! There really isn't a losing side to this argument.

Mostly, I agree with cell divide. Flour tortillas can be awesome – provided they aren't filled up with the preservatives that turn tortillas into those whitish, soft, shiny things that are store-bought mass-manufactured tortillas. It's crazy to me how they can be so different! True flour tortillas don't last for even five or six days in the refrigerator without drying up or molding out, even here in New Mexico, but they're much better, and much simpler: just lard (or shortening) and flour and a bit of salt. But they are so wonderful and tasty. (Yes, I appreciate a good flour tortilla, as long as it isn't the mass-produced kind.)
posted by koeselitz at 5:06 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


tacos are pretty great
posted by mkultra at 5:19 PM on August 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


A tamale taco? isn't that like a taco burrito? Are you allowed to do that?

Call the cops, I don't give a fuck.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:20 PM on August 12, 2013 [11 favorites]


True flour tortillas don't last for even five or six days in the refrigerator without drying up or molding out, even here in New Mexico, but they're much better, and much simpler: just lard (or shortening) and flour and a bit of salt. But they are so wonderful and tasty. (Yes, I appreciate a good flour tortilla, as long as it isn't the mass-produced kind.)


You can take that train straight to Fry-Bread Taco Land, which is a whole other realm of deliciousness.


Oh God a fry-bread breakfast taco...
posted by louche mustachio at 5:24 PM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, why can't I just have fry-bread all the time?

But on the other hand Taco Mex is like 2 blocks from my house so I should not complain.
posted by hap_hazard at 5:27 PM on August 12, 2013


A tamale taco? isn't that like a taco burrito? Are you allowed to do that?

I mean, there's already migas tacos, which are perilously close to being recursive. It's like if you could get leftover pizza as a pizza topping.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 5:44 PM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love the title of this article so much. I smile every time my eyes pass it on the front page.
posted by grouse at 5:54 PM on August 12, 2013


(I do have some objections to "tacos" in flour tortillas - tacos are supposed to be in corn tortillas, God's own medium, not in chalky, sad flour tortillas - but I'll mostly keep those to myself.

Can't we put all this petty bickering aside and focus our hatred on the eternal holy war against the true enemy: hard tacos, probably made with hamburger meat and topped with shredded iceberg lettuce?
posted by strangely stunted trees at 5:56 PM on August 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Man, I miss those breakfast tacos. California taquerias do breakfast burritos, but for some reason -- some completely unidentifiable reason -- they're nowhere near as good.

I've been thinking about this since my knee-jerk comment. The biggest difference between a taco and a burrito is the ratio of filling to wrap (so a well-made tortilla, flour OR corn, can shine in a taco). The second biggest difference is that burrito filling gets all mushed together into tight sedimentary layers, while taco fillings remain much more distinct - even if the filling itself is a conglomerate, like migas tacos or chilaquiles tacos (yes, fried tortillas INSIDE a soft tortilla!). I've had some great burritos in my life, but I'd probably avoid a migas burrito.
posted by muddgirl at 5:58 PM on August 12, 2013


Oh man, the so-called Navajo taco, available at various truck stops and cafes bordering the Navajo Nation, that is heaven. Frybread, with either carnitas or chorizo with beans on a plate-sized fry bread. And at one very special place, they had Navajo tacos with chilaquiles piled on top. With another fry bread with honey butter and whipped cream for dessert. Which equaled a three hour nap in their parking lot.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 6:13 PM on August 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


Chicago has better Mexican food

well yeah something has to make up for the pizza right
posted by elizardbits at 6:43 PM on August 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure there were people making tacos in Santa Fe before there were people making tacos in Monterrey.

Oh well then. I guess I just got told.

Just got told that the Mexican food I eat in my city.in.Mexico isn't as Mexican as the Mexican food in Santa Fe, USA. I'm off to get some carne asada tacos. I'll eat them in tortillas de harina, cause I'm sacrilegious like that, I guess.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 6:48 PM on August 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


For those who like to speak good [hamburger], the plural is tamales, for just one, it's tamal. [food pet peeve]
posted by CrazyLemonade at 6:51 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speaking of breakfast tacos: Taco Bell is introducing the Waffle Taco. They are also enhancing FirstMeal™ (ugh) with Mountain Dew AM, a mixture of Orange Juice and Mountain Dew.
posted by JDHarper at 7:02 PM on August 12, 2013


the plural is tamales, for just one, it's tamal

Betcha can't eat just one.
posted by donajo at 7:21 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


The best breakfast tacos are my breakfast quesadillas. They don't start out as quesadillas, they start out as chorizo; vegetables (onion, bell pepper, and jalepenos) doused with ancho chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika and grilled up with hash browns; and a mixture of pepper jack and sharp cheddar. I try to make tacos with them, but there's just too much filling. Load them up with hot sauce and my homemade guac and use two hands to carry the plate. Plan on skipping lunch. Damn, now I'm hungry.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:43 PM on August 12, 2013


Austin is such a creative place, and yes there are actual starving artists here. Breakfast tacos help sustain them, and in return, they feed our hearts and souls.


I don't know what it's like now, but Tamale House kept us alive in the early to mid 90s. Some people ate there for every single meal.


the plural is tamales, for just one, it's tamal

Nobody says that, because a single tamal isn't even a thing that makes sense. You make them in batches, and you eat at least two or three at a time. More if you are lucky.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:08 PM on August 12, 2013


Chicago has better Mexican food

well yeah something has to make up for the pizza right


OOOOOOOOO


BURN UNIT... INCOMING...


(Also I have lived in both Chicago and Austin and no.)
posted by louche mustachio at 8:10 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can't we put all this petty bickering aside and focus our hatred on the eternal holy war against the true enemy: hard tacos, probably made with hamburger meat and topped with shredded iceberg lettuce?

For my whole entire childhood, I "hated tacos" because of this bullshit. I feel like years were stolen from me. Those things are disgusting. They have that weird orange ... grease sauce. If it slithered out of your hard-shelled "taco" abomination onto your clothes you pretty much had to burn them.


Of course, if you get chorizo grease on your clothes, the same thing happens, but chorizo surpasses the tastiness threshold that makes such a thing an acceptable risk.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:18 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Of course, the nastiness that is a "hard taco" has nothing to do with the deliciousness that is a crispy taco, where they fold the soft tortilla around the filling and then submerge the whole shebang in the deep fryer. Oh so good, done right. (Bother. I already ate dinner but now I have a hankering for some Cactus Taqueria crispy veggie tacos. Mmm.)
posted by Lexica at 8:25 PM on August 12, 2013


strangely stunted trees: "Can't we put all this petty bickering aside and focus our hatred on the eternal holy war against the true enemy: hard tacos, probably made with hamburger meat and topped with shredded iceberg lettuce?"

Well, now. It's not quite as simple as that. I've had incredibly good crispy Sonoran tacos wrapped in a corn tortilla that had been lightly fried. They are an utterly different breed of taco from the hideous things of a curved, cardboardy shell that one purchases at Taco Bell. You can try making these yourself: put maybe a centimeter of corn oil in a pan, heat it, drop in a corn tortilla, and manipulate it as it's frying to make a shell. Very good. (You can also make superior corn chips this way.)

me: "I'm pretty sure there were people making tacos in Santa Fe before there were people making tacos in Monterrey."

CrazyLemonade: "Oh well then. I guess I just got told. Just got told that the Mexican food I eat in my city.in.Mexico isn't as Mexican as the Mexican food in Santa Fe, USA. I'm off to get some carne asada tacos. I'll eat them in tortillas de harina, cause I'm sacrilegious like that, I guess."

It's just good natured ribbing, my friend. People always sneer at Santa Fe as "not really Mexico," but it was part of Mexico a century or more before most Mexican towns today - and we have our own food here, which is good even if it is not always "authentic Mexican." The histories say that, half a century before Albuquerque was even founded, Cortez remarked on the high quality of flatbreads available at the pueblos north of where the city would someday be built. We have a long and proud history here, too.

(And here, we do carne adovada more often than carne asada. It's our thing, but everyone has their own thing. It matters less to me that food is "really Mexican" and more that it's good.)
posted by koeselitz at 8:50 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


To clarify, of course if you fry a decent taco to make it crispy, it's a very good thing.

But that magic was unknown to Central Wisconsin in the 70s and 80s, so that godforsaken artificially yellow colored plywood shelled taco sauced gritty dry pet-food-grade meat thing that should never have existed is what I associate with the "hard shell taco."

Not the fried deliciousness taco.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:15 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


People always sneer at Santa Fe as "not really Mexico,"

Might just be because it's not?

I agree though, good food is good food, anywhere.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:24 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I ate five tacos in a row this past Saturday at Super Taqueria in Durham, North Carolina. One al pastor, four carnitas. Represent!
posted by oceanjesse at 10:39 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


that godforsaken artificially yellow colored plywood shelled taco sauced gritty dry pet-food-grade meat thing that should never have existed is what I associate with the "hard shell taco."

they make them with dorite shells now!
posted by elizardbits at 7:26 AM on August 13, 2013


But that magic was unknown to Central Wisconsin in the 70s and 80s, so that godforsaken artificially yellow colored plywood shelled taco sauced gritty dry pet-food-grade meat thing that should never have existed is what I associate with the "hard shell taco."

I serve my children these sorts of hard-shell tacos on an almost weekly basis. They love Taco Night.
posted by Area Man at 7:59 AM on August 13, 2013


The enormous difference between freshly made flour tortillas and store-bought, preservative-laden crap really cannot be overstated. It's like they're different FOODS. It's a shame to call them by the same name.

There's a Texas-based fast food chain called Taco Cabana that is, shockingly, actually quite tasty (as long as you grade on a curve and aren't comparing it to a proper sit-down taqueria). A huge part of their success is probably that each store makes their own tortillas in house.
posted by uberchet at 8:14 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Might just be because it's not?

Dude, it was in New Spain or Mexico for much longer than it's been in the U.S. (we didn't steal it until 1848 and didn't give it statehood until 1912), and still has the highest percentage Hispanic population in the U.S. I think the people there still have a thing or two of note to say about Mexican food, at least as much as their Texan campesinos.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:59 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a Texas-based fast food chain called Taco Cabana that is, shockingly, actually quite tasty

I gotta admit-- when your choice is Taco Cabana or no tacos at all, it is surprisingly adequate.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:02 PM on August 13, 2013


I think the people there still have a thing or two of note to say about Mexican food, at least as much as their Texan campesinos.

I think the word you want is paisanos?

I gotta say that some of the best tacos mañaneros I've had recently were not here in México, but at a Stripes store in Texas, of all places. The Stripes that have this Taco Company logo outside have their own made-to-order taco bar and the ones I've been to (one in South Padre Island and one in Mission just before the border crossing) seem to make their own flour tortillas. The tacos de barbacoa are HEAVENLY but gone early in the morning. Egg-and-anything tacos are super yummy too.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:50 AM on August 14, 2013


I think the word you want is paisanos?

My español is muy terrible, yes.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:25 AM on August 14, 2013


Is Taco Cabana different in Texas than it is in New Mexico? Here, the Taco Cabanas actually use nacho cheese on their tacos.
posted by koeselitz at 10:28 AM on August 14, 2013


Maybe I will have to make an, ah, exhaustive investigation into the presence of nacho cheese in any of the TC menu items. I've never seen it on tacos, only as a side (chips and queso) or on some nacho items.
posted by muddgirl at 2:15 PM on August 14, 2013


Is Taco Cabana different in Texas than it is in New Mexico? Here, the Taco Cabanas actually use nacho cheese on their tacos

It must be. I've never seen such a thing here. I had some potato, egg & cheese tacos there just last week & they definitely had regular shredded cheddar on them. I, for one, dig the copious quantities of fresh cilantro at the salsa bar, too.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:45 PM on August 14, 2013


I had a pretty hard time getting past this sentence up front:
That’s where the first Mexicans lived—right in downtown Austin.

I see what you mean, there, but what you said seems very different than what I learned in history class.
posted by nickgb at 9:13 AM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Random Taco Cabana update - I happened to eat at one today and I noticed that the nachos could be ordered with either shredded cheese or queso (aka nacho cheese) but it looked like the default was shredded.
posted by muddgirl at 1:12 PM on September 4, 2013


But tacos, cabana bowls, etc. all had shredded cheese
posted by muddgirl at 1:15 PM on September 4, 2013


TACO CLEANSE
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:51 AM on September 5, 2013


3 of Dario's egg & Chorizo on a Saturday morning is enough to induce the "Taco cleanse" in me.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:21 AM on September 5, 2013


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