500 Tacos: Kesos Taco House

 
 
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
 
Kesos Taco House
4720 S. Congress Ave. (map), 512-358-4555, www.kesostacohouse.com
Hours: 6am-4pm Mon-Fri, 7am-4pm Sat, 8am-2pm Sun
 
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 03.08.15
 
What to do when the queso for which your place is phonetically named — and for which you’ve designed an accidental 3D body part sculpture of a sign — is also your weakest link? You concentrate on the “Taco House” part of the name, because this runny bowl of white cheese looks and tastes like cheese sauce you’d get with store-brand frozen vegetables, with a Cuyahoga River skein across the top with specks of red and green for show, because they’re sure not there for taste. ($4.75/half order) 
 
 
The taco: Sixth Street Plate
Sometimes the best taco is six of them on the same plate. This $7.99 sampler is a curated Kesos lunch gallery built on 3-inch corn tortillas. It’s not just the meat — beef and chicken fajita, barbacoa, carnitas, fried chicken — but six miniature versions of $3.25-$3.75 tacos bearing Austin-centric names.
 The Rot Rallie and Pecan Street tacos throw together decent beef and chicken fajitas, respectively, with onions, peppers and potatoes.
 Dense fatty, bland barbacoa lies at the heart of the COTAco, with grilled onions and potatoes.
 The Keep it Weird is wholly unweird salty pork carnitas with pico and potatoes.
 And because this is Austin, the Botanical Garden gets all counterculture with zucchini, corn, bell peppers and guacamole.
 The best of them is a Torchy’s-style fried chicken number called the ACeLtaco with coleslaw.
And let’s pause to admire the synchronicity of the guys who laid down all six hot and fresh and at the same time.
 
 
 What’s for breakfast? With lunch covered six ways, there’s room for one breakfast taco in this report: the Red River (above right). This stoner’s hybrid combines refried beans, tortilla chips and ranchero sauce with two eggs folded omelet-style, topped with lettuce, cheese and sour cream. Half chilaquiles, half nachos, half breakfast taco. The math doesn’t work, but it’s a lot of food for $2.99.
 Tortillas: Storebought corn and flour tortillas
 Salsa: In ascending order of heat: Cool and tangy avocado, creamy jalapeño, roasted tomato red, sambal-style chili sauce and blistering orange habanero.
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The 500 Tacos Project
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)