Taquerias can find homes anywhere the local health department will allow them to set up shop. In the case of Twister Tacos in Odessa, Texas, it’s an old Mexican fast-food spot with a new paint job. The ruined concrete on the front patio remains where it fell, perhaps during a previous incarnation. I imagine it as a result of an AT-AT with a driver in need of his eyes examined.
The eyes are deceiving at Twister Tacos. The 11-year-old taqueria, whose current owner took over for her sister in January, advertises tacos al pastor straight from the trompo, but no trompo is visible on the premises. When I asked about the contraption, the owner’s daughter, who was running the cash register, stalled answering and when she did answer, her speech trailed off into mumbling.
The look of the pork filling deepened my doubt of the al pastor’s provenance. It looked more like pork chop resting in house-made chewy, flavor-neutral corn tortillas.
There is a winner here, though.
The capón, a taco of grilled steak and chile con queso, is a treat. But the chile con queso is more than the Lone Star State’s beloved dip. At Twister and across West Texas, chile con queso is literally a long cheese-filled roasted green chile masquerading as the alternate name for a Mexican preparation involving jalapeños. The chile is is mild and salty and served next to a quartet of hefty grilled steak tacos on house-made tortillas finished off with grated white cheddar—the same cheese resting inside the pepper. It’s quite delightful eaten with the chile sliced and served atop the meat.
It was good enough that despite the disappointing al pastor, I’d likely return to Twister Tacos. I have in-laws in Odessa, and with slim pickings when it comes to adequate, non-crunchy taco-slinging taqueria options in the area, the other tacos options are worth a gamble. The Molotov, grilled steak in a cayenne sauce, and the carnitas, are especially tempting.
3601 Andrews Hwy.