the spot: Cuantos Tacos 2967 Manor Road Austin TX 78722
the eats: Lengua, Buche, Cachete, Suadero, Carnitas, Longaniza, Champioñes – basically all the tacos but in that order
the bucks: $2 a taco – 4 will do you right so plan on $8 a person
the full nelson: the best “street tacos” in Austin TX
Tacos in Austin are different.
When I moved to Austin in the summer of 2015 from LA, my first late night tipsy thought was “where the cheap street tacos at?” Sure you have spots like Las Trancas and if you start looking up north or down south, you start to find the spots where “La Gente” be at. You know, where everyone orders in Spanish. But street tacos are not what Austin is known for, especially for those who dwell outside of Austin’s city limits. For better and for worse, it’s the breakfast tacos of Torchy’s and Taco Deli, the diner style Tex Mex barbacoa at Mi Madres and the loose interpretations of tacos you find at Tyson’s Tacos, like the Pork Belly with Mandarin orange, that define Austin’s taco scene. And as for the oh so celebrated taco truck turned brick and mortar, Veracruz All Natural? While they hit the right notes of an Abuela making tacos for you when come you home after school, they most certainly miss the mark when it comes to getting late night street tacos on the cheap.
Then I discovered Cuantos Tacos and the Austin taco scene changed.
And it was on accident.
ACL Eats is as a big draw as the music is for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. My last post was all about burgers and this one . . . is all about the tacos. Now Austin has a rep for “keeping it weird” and some of the more noteworthy do just that. Torchy’s Tacos rethinks comfort food in a tortilla, East Side King brings you Asian street food in a tortilla and Taco Deli slings it farm to table via a tortilla.
Still, out of 5 taco offerings at ACL Eats, only one is straight up street tacos. A bit surprising, even for unconventional Austin. So which taco took the cake? Read on and find out!
the spot: Rosita’s Al Pastor 1911 E. Riverside Dr. Austin TX 78741
the eats: Al Pastor Tacos
the bucks: $2 a taco
the full nelson: An Austin fav for Al Pastor tacos
Austin has a big rep for being a taco town, especially when it comes to breakfast tacos. As far as other tacos go, that statement needs some sense of bearing. Coming from Los Angeles, I feel confident in saying that Austin is not an Al Pastor town. That being said, there are a few spots to scratch the trompo itch and locals will tell you that Rosita’s Al Pastor is one of them.
the spot: La Casa del Playa Tikinxic South End Bahia, Isla Mujeres Quintana Roo Mexico
the eats: enormous plates of shrimp ceviche, Pescado Veracruzano, Pescado Tikinxic, even my kids pasta was off the chain!
the bucks: $10 a head, the Tikinxic is $15 a plate, that’s also a kilo of fish
the full nelson: this is the kind of place that makes me want to move to Mexico
Maybe it’s the almost two thousand miles that separates me from Cancún, but looking at these mouth watering pics from my meal at La Casa del Playa Tikinxic, well, it makes my mouth water. And probably yours too, if you possess even the slightest appetite for fresh seafood.
the spot: The Goat Mafia 625 N. Alvarado St Los Angeles CA
the eats: Goat tacos(birria and cabrito)
the bucks: $2
the full nelson: goat tacos dressed like they were served at a top tier restaurant. And for $2 a pop.
Tacos can be delicious in so many ways. They can be authentic street renditions that make you feel like Anthony Bourdain traipsing through Mexico City. They can be horribly Americanized, served in a crunchy shell filled with ground beef, shredded lettuce and cheese and still draw deep admiration from a loyal base(gringo and Latino alike). They can be fancy/pricey and still satisfy the soul because meat and tortilla fill the belly at any price point.