500 Tacos: Aguilera’s
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
7210 Cameron Road (map), 512-371-8909. Hours: 7am-9:30pm daily
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 06.20.15
The TV in the echo corner of Aguilera’s strip-mall storefront is bigger than the one in my house, and in five minutes, I’ve seen two Spanish-language commercials for jeggings to reduce cellulite and slim those hips. The CrossFit models don’t need them, of course, but after a few of these pork chop tacos, I might need that toll-free number.
The taco: Pork and beans
My first thought when I laid eyes on this beautifully bronzed, bone-in pork chop lying on a corn tortilla was, “Wow, that’s a whole pork chop on a taco.” My second thought was, “How the hell am I supposed to eat that?” If you’ve ever seen those cardboard-thin chuletas piled in the carniceria case of a Mexican market, the answer is simple: You fold it up and start gnawing, keeping one eye on the bones. The meat is so thin that it’s crisp all the way around, with just enough juice left in the center for a full grilled pork chop experience. The menu calls this “Pork and Beans,” with frijoles and grilled onions. The onions are missing in action, but the beans bring salt and flavor to the package. ($2.75)
► Tortillas: Aguilera’s makes its own thin, gritty and bland corn tortillas, but they’re better than the commercial-grade flour alternative.
► Forget the rules: No matter what’s supposed to go on flour and what goes on corn, get all your tacos on corn tortillas at Aguilera’s. They complement thin grilled bistec with freshly chopped pico and they salvage what few positives there are to say about Aguilera’s al pastor — which is mealy, burned and bitter — and a breakfast taco with chorizo, eggs, cheese and beans. Except that there are no beans, and the chorizo and eggs fight each other for who can be the driest and most overcooked. ($2 each)
► Aquas frescas: In defiance of the skinny chicas on the jeggings commercials, there’s a cold and sweet 32-ounce agua fresca with a just a trace of cantaloupe pulp but all the flavor. ($2)
► Salsa: A simple, moderately hot and watery chop of tomato, jalapeño and onion to go with free grocery store tortilla chips.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)