500 Tacos: La Casa del Sabor

A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
La Casa del Sabor
8929 N. Lamar Blvd. in the TitleMax parking lot (map), 512-992-5437, Facebook page
Hours: 7am-9pm Tue; 7am-11pm Wed-Sat; 8:30am-2pm Sun
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 05.26.15
There’s no sign alerting you to La Casa del Sabor’s white trailer. For me, it was just a fortunate turn of the head as I drove in silent judgment past the TitleMax lender whose lot the trailer shares. It’s a small, spartan trailer, but the creativity of the Rosas family gives it volume, with a menu of tortas, gorditas, tacos, sopes, even enchiladas and chiles rellenos and, on Saturdays, birria soup and menudo. The enchiladas are fried to order, rolled with mozzarella cheese, then finished with carrots, potatoes, queso fresco, lettuce and sour cream in the style of the Mexican city of Morelia where the family’s from. Open since August 2014, the trailer’s owned by Evelia Rosas and managed by her sister, Kristina Rosas. But it’s their mother, Maria Rosas, who pats out fresh corn tortilla and brings the menu to life. (That’s Kristina and Maria Rosas in the photo below.)
The taco: Campechanos
Chorizo and steak are natural traveling companions, especially when the sausage is lean and aromatic like this, letting the chopped, seared beef take its turn supplying the fat and flavor. ($2)
 Tortillas: The trailer makes its own corn tortillas , light and delicate 4-inch beauties just barely toasted, then doubled up for optimal flavor and holding power. Flour tortillas are storebought.
 Al pastor, bistec and alambre: How many styles can you fit in one little trailer? As many as you need. And you need this alambre, with a grilled trio of yellow, red and green bell peppers with tender ribbons of beef and a thick crown of shredded queso fresco ($2). That same beef, with a more aggressive, spicier sear informs the bistec taco, and I recommend spending 50 cents to add thick slabs of queso fresco (2$, plus 50 cents for cheese). Even as summer approaches, the flavors of fall are a welcome part of La Casa’s nicely grilled al pastor ($2, plus 50 cents for avocado). La Casa’s chicken tinga worked the dry and uninspired end of the spectrum, the one taco I wouldn’t want to revisit here ($2).
 Salsa: The trailer life has prepared me for plastic thimbles of salsa with lids that snap with a CSI splatter. But it hasn’t prepared me for a festive three-bay clay bowl of salsas and key limes.  The orange salsa carries the lightning bolt sting of habanero followed by a clap of sour thunder. The green is a tart, bracing tomatillo as refreshing as a slushie by comparison. And the limes are just limes; use them liberally.
 Speaking of slushies: I enjoyed a sweet, grainy watermelon agua fresca. But $3 with no ice is more than the market rate. If they’re selling watermelon at 50 cents a slice again, get some.
 Programming note: The trailer also makes $2 breakfast tacos until 11 a.m.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)