500 Tacos: Casa Linda Taqueria

A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
Casa Linda Taqueria
623 W. Dittmar Road inside La Familia Market (map), 512-382-9906
Taqueria hours: 6:30am-8pm Mon-Sat; 8am-2pm Sun
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 09.15.15
When the taco trailer across the street is closed because of the heat, Casa Linda offers indoor refuge with a street-taco aesthetic. And street-taco pricing. I watched every taco being made to order on a grill just a few feet from the counter. And because Casa Linda lies in the heart of a meat market and convenience store, you can crack open a bottle of Jarritos for $1.29, a truly grapefruity version of Mexican Fresca, an electric red Icee or a six-pack of Founders All-Day IPA to take with you.
The taco: Lengua
The big iron taste of tongue starts with careful butchering and roasted tenderness here, and it’s sealed with a strong, seared finish on the grill. It’s dense, subtle and beefy, dressed with fresh onions and cilantro for sharp counterpoint flavors. ($1.85)
 Pastor and carne asada: Grilled onions provide a small measure of the sweetness pastor cries out for, and there’s big achiote flavor on the tender chopped pork, complemented by fruit-juice flavors in the marinade and caramelization from the grill. The thin, chopped beef of the carne asada looks and tastes more like it was steamed, but it takes well to lettuce, tomato and a shot of Casa Linda’s tangy green salsa. ($1.85 each)
 Breakfast tacos: The good news is that breakfast is served all day. Some more good news? A simple breakfast taco of ham and eggs is warm, fluffy, salty and filling for just $1.69.
 Tortillas: Waxy flour tortillas come from a bag but get some character on the grill. Save your carbs for handmade corn tortillas. They take a tough, dry line, but they get the job done with just one layer.
 Salsa: Casa Linda’s chile de arbol red is as high and hot as its tomatillo verde is cool and tangy.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)