Wednesday, March 29

WHEREAS, Texans love the warm embrace of a tortilla

WHEREAS, people in Texas eat more tacos than any other food. AMIRITE? Trust me, we do. WHEREAS, we started a petition and now Texas State Representative Gina Hinojosa filed the bill to make tacos the official food of Texas. And for that, generations of Texans and Mexicans thank you. Thank you for enjoying our food, our culture, our tortillas and eating tacos, hell, way before Texas was Texas!

The resolution has been filed and we'll need lots more support from both sides if ya know what I mean! And y'know it's real cuz this is a pic of Rep. Gina Hinojosa and the taco journalist (me)!

Bill: HCR 110
Legislative Session: 85(R)
Council Document: 85R 14323 KSM-D
Last Action: 03/10/2017 H Filed
Caption Version: Introduced
Caption Text: Designating tacos as the official state food of Texas.
Author: Hinojosa, Gina
Subjects: Resolutions--Official Designations--State Symbols (I0718)

By:  Hinojosa H.C.R. No. 110

WHEREAS, From El Paso to Texarkana, from Texline to Brownsville, from the Rio Grande to the Red River, Texans consume a lot of tacos, and most of the other foods Texans enjoy, including brisket, sausage, eggs, chorizo, beans, and seafood, are that much better when served in the warm embrace of a tortilla; and

WHEREAS, While the exact origins of the taco are uncertain, this staple of Mexican cuisine is thought to have been around at least as long as the Lone Star State, and it has been wholeheartedly adopted as a mainstay of Texas dining; and

WHEREAS, Texans have strong opinions about whether flour or corn tortillas reign supreme, and as far as fillings go, we delight in such traditional choices as pork al pastor, beef barbacoa, and chicken fajita, and we also appreciate the more exotic ingredients that have been pressed into service, including everything from octopus to elk to kimchi fried rice; our state is believed to be the birthplace of the breakfast taco, and although Texans have yet to arrive at a consensus regarding which region deserves recognition for the best breakfast tacos, we are happy to indulge in the spirited debate and taste testing related to this serious issue; and

WHEREAS, One thing Texans can agree on is that, despite the availability of tacos in the other 49 states, the tastiest tacos can be found in the great State of Texas; and

WHEREAS, The Texas Legislature has recognized a variety of state symbols as tangible representations of the proud character and colorful heritage of the Lone Star State; while tortilla chips and salsa make for a satisfying state snack and chili is worthy of its selection as the official state dish, the taco, which needs no dish and can be hearty enough to serve as a meal all by itself, is indeed deserving of a place at the table; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate tacos as the official state food of Texas.

Monday, March 13

Eat tacos like a loco during SXSW!

Eat tacos like a loco and like a local. Listen to my interview on the Texas Standard and check out our updated SXSW taco lista!

The Real Deal Holyfield Brisket Breakfast Taco
Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ 

Hand-made breakfast tacos - Estilo Rio Grande Valley
Vaquero Taquero

Battered bacon, eggs & beans
Breakfast Taco Heaven! 
Joe's Bakery

Bistec all the way! 
Tacos Guerrero

Best Migas Taco in town!
Veracruz All Natural 

Blackened Fish Tacos
Tamale House East 
Also see Chori-Migas taco

Egg and Chorizo Breakfast Taco
Keeping a classic classic.
El Primo Trailer 

Barbacoa Taco
ConMadre Kitchen
South Texas style 

Tacos Al Pastor
Mi Tradicion Panaderia
Tacos Al Pastor Enchilado (Extra spicy!)

Tacos al Pastor from the Trompo!
Rosita’s Al Pastor 

Carnitas Taco
Mi Madre's Restaurant
Also see breakfast taco Number 0

Del Mar Fish Tacos
Mellizoz Tacos
Talapia goodness!

A whole lotta crispy tacos! 
La Cocina de Consuelo
Also see breakfast burritos

Tacos de hongos y rajas **Veggie Alert** 
Papalote Taco House
Also see Taco de Coliflor!

Deep in the heart of Fajitas!
Matt's El Rancho 
Don't forget the Bob Armstrong Queso! 

Fajitas Ranchera Tacos - Muy Espicy!
Habanero Mexican Restaurant 

Friday, February 17

Make Tacos the National Food of Texas!

Calling all taco lovers! Let's make tacos the official food of Texas! Whether you grew up here in Texas or you got here as soon as you could, you’re eating tacos. In Texas, people eat tacos on a weekly basis. Hell, tacos were here before Texas was Texas!

If you love tacos, please check out my petition, sign it and share it with your friends and network via email, Facebook, Twitter y más!

Once we get momentum, I'm going to share the petition to a taco friendly Texas State Senator.

Click here to sign the petition!

Tuesday, February 14

Gas Station Tacos: Taqueria Huentitan

Like most people, I'm a little weary of tacos with a side gasolina fumes. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about gas station tacos as long as they're legit, y'know with real taqueras behind the counter. When I went into the Highland Market aka Exxon gas station, I had a hunch the taqueria in there was the real deal. Not only from the smells, but from the taco ladies serving it up and a nice-er menu that most gas stations. I took my friend Adam was like "I don't know Mando, I haven't had good luck eating at gas stations." I reassured him and reminded him who was taking him out for tacos. And then he said, "Oh Palabra."

Mira, El Menu!

So here's the deal. Taqueria Huentitan is inside the Highland Market/Exxon gas station next to the In and Out Burger. Yeah, skip the cheap burgers and go to Whataburger (obviously) or go inside the market to get some goody tacos. Once inside the market, go through the beef jerky aisle and take a quick left at the Doritos. You'll find 2, I repeat only 2 seats. Sit down and order the barbacoa and carnitas tacos. I kid you not, these are some of the sweetest barbacoa tacos in town. The salsas are spicy, green and red and the nachos with fajitas are tasty as well. Finish it off with a fountain drink and you're set for the rest of the day.
Barbacoa and Carnitas

You're Welcome.
Mando, The TacoJournalist

Thursday, January 5

The Best Tacos I ate in 2016 (full list)

I know, it's a hard job but this Taco Journalist had to do it! In our "research" for el book - The Tacos of Texas book - we ate over 500 tacos across 10 cities in Tejas and yes, we grew 3 taco sizes larger. We ate taco stands, trailers and trucks, mom & pop shops and fast food joints, with chefes & familias, in backyards and ranchos. All in the name of tacos! So when the Texas Standard asked us for the top list, we were happy to oblige. Listen to the story and check out the full lista below. Ladies and gentlemen, cowboys y vaqueros, these are the best tacos I ate in 2016. Enjoy!

Tacos included are based on taco book calendar year. ;) Photos by El Mero Mero Fotografero, Marco Torres.

Taco: The Real Deal Holyfield (Breakfast taco)
Place: Valentina's Tex-Mex BBQ
City: Austin
Why it's the best: The Real Deal Holyfield is the best of the best. This taco is the one that separates the men from the boys, las chingonas from the niñas. It's the Mex and Tex wrapped up in a fresh flour tortilla with slow and low smoked brisket, beans, potatoes, thick cut bacon topped with a huevo estrellado (fried egg) and a mean tomato serrano salsa.

Taco: Trompo
Place: Trompo
City: Dallas
Why it's the best: This trompo from Trompo in Dallas had me at "do you want eat tacos in the back of my garage?" This pork masterpiece is sazonado con paprika, hails from Monterrey and is winning the hearts and bellies of the taco world.

Taco: Discada
Place: Tacoholics
City: El Paso
Why it's the best: The discada is one of the reasons men cook and drink together. And it was no different with Tacoholics' own, Jessie Peña - Disco Master. One of the ways we do this is with a disco, a pan developed somewhere between the farmlands of Mexico and Texas. Large tractor tills are welded together to form a concave pan used for outdoor cooking. El disco is more than a pan; it’s a way for Mexican men (mostly) to share the experience of cooking and bringing families together with food and culture. It's the process of cooking up the red meats, pork, sausages, weenies, bacon, chorizo, jalapeños, and cebollitas as the corn tortillas warm up on the edges of the pan and we converse about life, politics, food, family, beers, tequila, y más.

Taco: Puffy Taco
Place: Ray's Puffy Tacos
City: San Antonio
Why it's the best: There's nothing better than eating a light and fluffy masa that's fried & shaped to perfection. This taco filled with ground beef, lettuce and yellow cheese and even better, from an old school drive-inn!

Taco: Barbacoa
Place: Estilo Tierra Caliente
City: Houston
Why it's the best: Maria Samano has been holding it down in Montrose and doubles down on why her barbacoa tacos are so good, "Because I make them myself and they.are.good!" I agree.

Taco: Pirata
Place: Taco Palenque
City: Laredo
Why it's the best: Ask anyone in Laredo and Jarod (it's one of his favorites) the taco they love to eat and they will happily respond with a Pirata from Taco Palenque. Take Mexican Mayonnaise (thin spread of refried beans), grilled fajitas and add yellow cheese and you've got something born out of the border. It's great in the morning, 2am or 9am.

Chicharron con huevos (breakfast taco)
Hi-Ho Restaurant
Corpus Christi
Why it's the best: Fluffy handmade tortillas, just like abuelita used to make or like the ones that still work at Hi-Ho. I had the crunchiest, creamiest and pico-est taco I've ever had and I think Selena would agree.

Taco: Guisado de Puerco
Place: Manuel's Tortilla and Tamale Factory
City: Odessa
Why it's the best: West Texas sabores are spicier and the chile sauces are earthier, all thanks to the influence of Mexico and New Mexico. We had the best undercover guisado de puerco tacos that side of Pecos. If you stop by, ask them by name cuz the only thing on the menu are tortillas and tamales.

Taco: Taco Callejeros/Street Tacos
Place: Ultimo Taco
City: Brownsville
Why it's the best: Your first stop in the Rio Grande Valley should be Ultimo Taco. The street tacos come in 6-packs and 8-packs with all kinds of meaty varieties: Bistec, Al Pastor, Barbacoa, Mollejas & Tripas. The place is so good they don't need any decorations on the walls. Yeah, that good.

Taco: Barbacoa
Place: Vera's Backyard Bar-B-Que
City: Brownsville
Why it's the best: Armando Vera, pit master and barbacoa boss has been cooking cabezas since he was 11 years old. Not only is it one of the best in Texas, they still cook the beef heads in pozos (underground ovens). Get there at 4am to beat the crowds.

Tuesday, October 4

Tacos of Texas: El Book Tour!

That's right. We coming to your ciudad in Texas! We kicked off Austin with one hellavah taco party and now we're going back to celebrate the tacos - 8 cities in total. Invite your friends, bring yo kids & let's eat tacos!

RSVP on the Tacos of Texas event page.

Wednesday, August 17

Taco World Premiere: The Tacos of Texas Trailer

Last year we started the "taco research," yeah we went to 10 cities in Texas to uncover the best tacos in the Lonestar State which is basically like half of America. We traveled over 7,000 miles, covered 10 cities, interviewed over 100 people and ate around 500 tacos (give or take a few tortillas). Oh yeah and we filmed it too thanks to Dennis Burnett aka El Flaco Rojo. Check out the Tacos of Texas book trailer and look for the upcoming video series featuring the taco vibe and culture in 10 cities in Texas.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Cowboys & Vaqueros, these are The Tacos of Texas.
Film by Dennis Burnett

Get the Tacos of Texas book at

Tuesday, July 19

Granny's Tacos: Taco Truck formerly known as Ambulance Truck.

Run, do not walk to Granny's Tacos. They just posted up the first of July (2016) right next to the Vintage coffee shop. Armando Vasquez and his wife run the ambulance truck turnt taco truck so even after your try their hot salsas you can get treated too. ;) Waaah!

It's not just the truck that makes it a winner. The tacos are yummy, the al pastor and the chile spices come through with strong tones and hints of chile. So good. The migas are spot on, just what you would expect from an ambulance truck. :o

Granny's Taco's is still off the grid. ;) It's in the super small trailer park next to Vintage coffee on East 7th and Navasota. I know some people like to keep these "finds" a secret but I'm all about supporting taqueros, so run, don't walk to Granny's Tacos!