500 Tacos: BOCA | Spanish Fare

A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
BOCA | Spanish Fare
415 Jessie St. in the South Austin Social Food Park (map), 512-571-3779, www.bocaspanishfare.com
Hours: 8am-2pm Mon-Fri, 9am-9pm Sat, 9am-4pm Sun
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 02.19.15
Patrick Armstrong is a Twister game of cultural influences. One foot on the green circle where he grew up in Mexico. One foot on the red circle of Spain, where he walked the 500-mile El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. One hand on the blue circle of his American life. And another on the tie-dye circle of Austin. The spinner ultimately landed on BOCA, the Spanish food truck he opened with his wife, Vanessa Iglesias Casas — whom he met in Spain — and business partner Clayton Young in June 2014. The menu leans on the small-plate Spanish tapas culture, with croquetas and patatas bravas and small plates like rosemary chicken, paprika shrimp and the jamon serrano Spain is famous for. But the Twister mat is broad enough for all-day breakfast tacos, little circles all of us can touch for just $2.50.
The taco, Part 1: Jamon serrano and egg (top)
It’s the little things that separate our cuisines from one another. The taco’s Mexican charms easily translate to Spanish ingredients, in this case the dense, salty cure of jamon serrano, brought in from Spain and sautéed with onions, silky hot bravas sauce and scrambled eggs topped with mellow, creamy shreds of manchego cheese. ($2.50)
The taco, Part 2: Smoked pork special (bottom)
With fingers crossed for it to make the permanent taco menu, I’ll offer this heavyweight special from this week: Pork shoulder with the high smoke and bark of pulled pork from a barbecue rig, integrated with eggs, black beans, corn, tomatoes and pickled onions with a disarming sour-patch twang. A breakfast taco with a savory gravitas that carries into lunch. ($3.50)
 Chorizo and garbanzo: I’m so accustomed to the orange volcano of Mexican ground chorizo that Spanish sausage sliced in nuggets from a dense, smoky link is a welcome reprieve. But a taco with garbanzo and egg won’t replace the good old smashed frijoles from my Tex-Mex playbook. ($2.50 each)
 Tortillas: Commercial flour and thin white corn, doubled up
 Salsa: We don’t come to a Spanish trailer to get pico de gallo, but it’s here, a fresh chop of onion, tomato and herbs. No, we’re here for the smoky paprika red of bravas sauce, with sweetness up front and warm heat on the finish.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)