500 Tacos: Antojitos Gladis
An Austin taco a day for 2015 — and then some
408 E Rundberg Lane in the Texaco lot, Austin (map), 512-803-2609
Hours: Every day from 5pm to “1 or 2 or 3am; it depends”
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 08.26.15
At this little blue and white Honduran trailer — because what other fiercely patriotic colors would it be? — tacos are rolled and fried like flautas. And while the definition of taco is expansive enough to include them, I’m here for baleadas, the big, fluffy flour tortillas favored by Hondureños, spread with beans, cheese, butter and whatever looks good that day. And it all looks good today.
The taco: Baleada especial
If the ripe smell of melted butter doesn’t hit you first, the granulated cotija cheese surely will, a one-two punch of dairy funk for a taco that by all other measures is a modest creation: mashed refried beans, avocado, scrambled eggs and a fat curl of smoked sausage, all on a fresh and gloriously exaggerated flour tortilla. ($3)
► Baleada sencilla: It’s just the cheese, butter and beans of the baleada especial on the same fresh tortilla, but this Honduran answer to the Mexican bean and cheese taco is far more complex, nevermind that “sencilla” means “simple.” ($2)
► Pastelitos: While we’re toying with the definition of taco, let’s expand it just enough to fold in the pastelito, a half-moon pastry of deep-fried corn masa crimped around spiced ground beef and potatoes that puts most crispy tacos to shame. ($2)
► Tortillas: Both the fluffy, dusty flour tortillas of the baleadas and the masa pocket of the pastelito are patted by hand when you order. Both will make you want to fly a little of the blue and white Honduran flag yourself.
► Salsa: Honduran Olanchano sauce from a bottle is all there is, but it’s sweet, vinegary and hot.
► A confession: I didn’t include this Honduran trailer just for the baleadas, but also for the sliced and fried plantains of a proper Central American dinner. The hulking maduro-colored fruit is sliced and pan-fried to a sweet glaze — with pork cracklings for flavor — and served with a hillock of sweet butter and crumbled cotija cheese. ($7)
► More baleadas in this series: Antojitos Hondureños
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)