Friday on the trail means Taco Ticker, a selection of light, taco-related reading from around the web. This week’s pickings include hipsters, Canadian television and lighting a fire under the rear of an Austin-import in Houston. Closer to home, it’s been great for tacos. Tacos La Banqueta and Tortilleria La Nueva Fresh & Hot, my top two taquerías in town, were given Best Of nods by the Dallas Observer. Cafe Maya, my go-to restaurant for tacos de cochinita pibil was listed as having the best queso. Also, the weekly’s food critic, Scott Reitz, added a barbacoa de cachete taco to his 100 Favorite Dishes of the year. Goghee re-opened in a larger space and will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow. Farther afield, in Roanoke, Chef Jason Boso unveiled his new concept, Tacos & Avocados, giving the suburbs a taste of the specialty taco craze that is running its course in cities. Taco Bell’s popularity, however, is unwavering.
Passion Pit Address Taco Bell ‘Take A Walk’ Controversy: “It’s An Amazing Opportunity” — Fresh 102.7 FM
Tepid Torchy’s: A beloved Austin food truck goes corporate, and while much of the charm is lost, the breakfast tacos still deliver — Houston Press
‘Taco Wars’ Is Coming to Tuscon — Tuscon Weekly
What to Eat in Austin: Breakfast Tacos — The Daily Meal
I lump specialty and traditional tacos in my Best Of lists because the pesky issue of taco authenticity is something I overcame long ago. The breakfast taco (a Tex-Mex classic) is no less legitimate than a taco al pastor (an iconic Mexico City snack appropriated from the roasting preparation Lebanese immigrants brought with them in the 20th century). The same goes for Velvet Taco’s fare or the Taco Bell-Frito Lay chimera, the Doritos Locos Tacos.
Today, I temporarily separate the categories. The specialty/gourmet/gringo/upmarket/whatever you want to call the tacos that do not adhere strictly to a misplaced perception of the uber-traditional deserve as much praise and scrutiny as the liquid fire of the guisado verde from La Nueva Fresh & Hot or the crackerjack carnitas from El Pueblo Restaurant on Jefferson Avenue. This list, then, gives greater attention to tacos and restaurants who have earned it. And now—with old favorites and double-takes—in no particular order: Continue reading