500 Tacos: Hill Country Tacos

A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
Hill Country Tacos
11401 Ranch Road 2222 (map), 512-696-8022. Hours: 7-11:40am Mon-Fri; 7-noon Sat; 8am-noon Sunday
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 07.14.15
It’s a meta-morphic moment, idling in the drive-through line at a food trailer, as if the vehicles themselves were having a laugh at our quaint notions of mobility. But on this dusty gravel lot at the crossroads of 2222 and 620, it saves both time and a shoeshine to stay in your car. The trailer is built for speed, with two preloaded tacos on the menu, and as long you’re not behind the guy who wants to “create your own,” the line moves reasonably fast.
The taco: Super Loco
There’s a powerful school of thought that says Less Is More. There’s an equally well-attended school that says Too Much Is Never Enough. Creative types like to wear the first school’s hoodie. But I’d rather tailgate with the second one. The Super Loco is like that, a loose confederation of eggs, cheese, bacon, three kinds of sausage (Elgin, Jimmy Dean and chorizo), plus ham, potatoes and beans. Take a deep breath, and appreciate the fact that when all of these salty players fight to see who can fill you up first, everybody wins. ($2.50)
 Merely Loco: Not ready to rumble? Well, knock off the ham and the Elgin sausage and call it Loco Lite. It’s good — the skin-on russet potatoes stand out, and you come closer to tasting the DNA-size bits of bacon — but if you’ve invited this many pledges to the party, you might as well invite them all. (Taco Loco, $2)
 Tortillas: A teachable moment for every shop that buys its tortillas from someone else: Do what Hill Country does and grill those bland flour tortillas until they crackle. The spots add toasty flavor, and the crunch adds texture to the homogenous mass within. And buy thicker corn tortillas like these. Then encourage people not to order them, because they don’t stand a chance against Loco.
 Salsa: Just one, but you’ll like it: A chunky, sweet and mild taco-shop red with a brace of oregano.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)