When the day job told me I was going to cover the 2011 Austin City Limits Festival, the first thing I did was scour the music and culture happening’s edible options. Smack dab in the middle of the list were the tacos from Garrido’s and Maudie’s Tex-Mex.
(Note: due to professional responsibilities, I wasn’t able to sample more than one taco variety from each stall.)
The Sissy’s Chicken Tender Tacos at Maudie’s, home of killer queso and cuisine served at the White House, came in cold wheat tortillas sheltering dry, pale rhombuses of chicken squashed by an abundance of typical Tex-Mex garnishes (one of these days I’ll get over the zealous application of iceberg lettuce).
The fried oyster tacos from Garrido’s, a nationally acclaimed and much loved modern Mexican restaurant, showed promise. How could they be worse than Velvet Taco’s offering? They were born of the mind of Chef David Garrido, formerly of upscale Jeffery’s. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I was hard pressed to detect the salty bivalve balloons within a fried casing soaked by a habanero honey aioli bearing no sign of spirited piquancy.
Offerings of such base quality at a music festival shouldn’t come as a surprise. Food vendors at a festival are more interested in numbers. However, I had hoped the noshes would mirror the high standard set by the ACL lineup, not to mention be a microcosm of Austin’s excellent taco choices. I was wrong.