the spot: Cafe China 13 E. 37th St. NY, NY 10016
the eats: Spicy Chengdu Wonton, Scallion pancake, Double Cooked Pork, Baby Cucumber, Shredded Tripe in chili oil, Ma Po Tofu,
the bucks: plan on spending $25-30 a person to feast comfortably
the full nelson: legit Szechuan that comes with a renowned food producer’s stamp of approval
I have been to New York City many times over the years and yet every time I go I feel like I overlook getting a good dose of Chinese eats. Neighborhoods like Flushing Queens have long been on my radar but save for a trip to Brooklyn for Cheap Eats, I usually find myself in Manhattan where Chinese eats are served to the masses. But that don’t mean it ain’t legit . . .
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!