500 Tacos: Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
Also at: 7010 Easy Wind Drive (map), 512-651-0343; 401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park (map) 512-259-8226
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 04.11.15
I’m filled with twin currents of exquisite pain writing about Fuzzy’s Taco Shop today. First of all, because just two doors away from this location at Dean Keeton and Guadalupe, the Jack in the Box where I worked for six years putting myself through UT has shut down, taking with it a stress-and-release montage I still see in my dreams. But second, I’m torn about including this Fort Worth-based chain in an Austin taco series. But in a 500 Tacos series, even the regional and national players have work to do. Even if I’d rather be writing about those 2-for-99 taco bombs from my beloved Jack.
The taco: Crispy beef
We might as well make the best of it, and shredded beef in a crispy corn shell is about as close as we’ll get to the best of anything at Fuzzy’s. It’s dressed in familiar trappings: shredded iceberg, chopped tomatoes, cilantro. But its differences make it memorable, even if the memories aren’t all good. The shell stands up to beef that’s shredded rather than ground, distinguished by long, knotty fibers like unsmoked brisket. But it’s besieged by the dissonant funk of feta cheese above and ranchy garlic sauce below. ($1.99)
► Fuzzy logic: Feta’s like magic for Mediterranean food. But it casts an unpleasant spell over tacos built with rubbery fajita beef ($2.99) and salty shredded pork ($1.99). A breakfast taco with egg, chorizo and cheese looks and tastes like it was seasoned with grill scrapings ($1.99).
► Tortillas: Pale, rubbery commercial corn tortillas compound their sins by going single instead of double. The factory flour tortillas are as stiff as antique parchment. Crispy fried corn shells are the only refuge.
► Salsa: I’m philosophically opposed to hot sauces that refer to my backside and the damage done. And so it goes with Fuzzy’s Butt Burnin’ Hot Sauce™, a puckering cayenne emulsion with cider vinegar’s duplicitous sweet-n-sour. It’s slightly more palatable than the habanero version, which tastes like Zippo fluid. You know, for the Burnin™. Better to ask for Fuzzy’s chunky, marinara-besque red salsa or viscous tomatillo verde.
► Say it with soup: Looking for something positive to say, I turned to tortilla soup, but it answered back with a vegetable-studded tomato gel that only looks good in pictures, like a Campbell’s commercial. ($2.99)
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)