A Pair of State Fair Tacos

I had no intention of eating tacos when my family and I took in the State of Fair of Texas this year. Most certainly not the walking taco golden calf. Last year’s experience put me off, and this time around I was looking for a day where my three-year-old son could have his way with Midway rides and livestock attractions. Damn the fried food.

After all, last year didn’t go all that well (read: warm and crunchy fried beer).

Then, within spitting distance of the Esplanade, Mrs. R spoke, “Look, honey, pastor.” There was much hemming and hawing while the missus ordered fried brownie (not that great).

However, when the acidic embrace of fresh pineapple follows the bright punch of smooth pork framed by a subtle char, there is every sign things are looking up. That’s exactly what happened when I took my wife’s suggestion and ponied up from some tacos.

Sliced from a trompo topped with a block of pineapple came twin tacos slippery and at first glance off-putting. One went to the boy while the missus and I shared the second. And it was surprisingly stuffed with flavor, albeit the tortillas were greasy. The tacos were swimming in an archipelago of grease. Yet, once past that fact, the tacos ranked right up there with Tacos El Guero. I only wish I could give you better directions as to the location of the vendor.

In 2010, I desperately sought a taco from the Desperados stall at the State Fair. I failed. Last weekend, I stumbled upon the puffy fare across from the dog show. And it was as fantastic as the namesake taco at the Greenville restaurant. The flash-fried flour tortilla wasn’t oily, soggy or brittle as it enveloped the piping hot fajita beef sprinkled with pico de gallo. I made quick work of it.

You should as well before the fair wraps up Sunday, Oct. 23.

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