500 Tacos: Casa Moreno’s

 
 
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
 
Casa Moreno’s
4606 Burleson Road (map), 512-707-2180, www.casamorenosaustin.com
Hours: 6am-2pm Mon-Fri, 7am-2pm Sat. Buffet 11am-2pm Mon-Sat.
 
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 01.23.15
 
The player move at Casa Moreno’s is to order the $6.50 Tex-Mex lunch buffet, grab a 9-inch homemade flour tortilla from it, fill it up with cheese enchiladas and fold it over. Boom! Enchilada taco. Hand to Dios, I saw it happen. With those tortillas as a jumping-off point, a mega-taco built from the buffet might also have room for brown-gravy carne guisada, Mexican rice, refried beans, nachos, charro beans and homefries, with a side of chicken tortilla soup for your good health. It’s a lunch-hour formula that works for the drywallers, road crews and office workers from Burleson Road’s light industrial anthill. Or you could just commit Suicide. Which as it happens, is a taco at Casa Moreno’s.
 
The taco: The Suicide
How a cup full of soda with all the flavors in the fountain came to be called a “suicide” is anybody’s guess. Like light before it flows through a prism, all the colors combined kind of wash each other out into a neutral field of white. So it is with soda. So it is with the Suicide taco at Casa Moreno’s. But Suicide? This taco’s an end-it-all moment only if you take homogenized Mexican food personally. Boring? Yes. Terminal? No. Can’t help comparing this one-pound hashbomb to the famous Don Juan taco at Juan in a Million. The same eggs, potatoes, cheese and bacon, for a dollar less ($3.50 versus $4.60). But the Suicide beats the Don with more pronounced salt and pepper, crispier bacon and with Casa Moreno’s secret weapon: A handmade flour tortilla big and strong enough to handle the load.
 
 Tortilla: The plates I carry for this report are 9 inches wide. These tortillas cover them from edge to edge. In a market where few restaurants make their own corn tortillas and even fewer bother with flour, Casa Moreno’s oversize flour tortillas are made in-house, then speckle-toasted on the griddle. They’re as soft as a down comforter and will put you to sleep just as fast.
 Salsa: A mild, mainstream whirl of tomato, onion, vinegar and jalapeño. A spoonful of color for the Suicide’s monochromatic rainbow.
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The 500 Tacos Project
 
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)