500 Tacos: La Fantabulous
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
74 Rainey St. (map), 512-619-3008
Hours: 5:30pm-12:30am Wed-Thu; 5:30-2:30am Fri-Sat; 5:30-12:30am Sun
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 03.18.15
From a trailer that could fit in a “compact only” parking space, La Fantabulous feeds Rainey Street. I’m guessing they have to hire cooks based on overhead clearance, like a parking garage. Or good looks and tattoos. They were all in place on a pre-SXSW Wednesday night, with Stevie Ray Vaughan playing for anybody who cared to listen. In a trailer park serving a captive pedestrian audience, La Fantabulous could get away with everyday trailer tacos. They choose instead to cook, and we’re all better fed for it.
The taco: Camarones
Mandarin segments, a slaw of radish, cabbage and green onion tossed in fresh tomatillo dressing, a dash of queso fresco and little shrimps seared on the flat-top with seasoned salt. This isn’t just a bar district taco. It’s a respectable late dinner. (2 for $9)
► Fish: You can’t make a good fish taco without good fish, and this mahi-mahi is fresh and firm. Too salty, but well-dressed in that same tomatillo slaw and fresh avocado. (2 for $9)
► Bistek: The only weak link in the chain, this is straightforward bits of chewy flat-top beef tempered with grilled poblanos and onions with queso fresco and cilantro. (2 for $7)
► Carnitas: Pickled carrots as aromatic as a puff on a vape pipe work with gorgonzola (aromatic in its own way) to lay a foundation for pulled pork in chunks and fibers with a mellow fatty glow. A handheld study in layered flavors. (2 for $8)
► The menu: La Fantabulous doesn't have a website. See the trailer menu here.
► Tortillas: Corn and only corn. Storebought, doubled-up and warmed on the flat-top. Fewer choices for the indecisive inebriate, “and they taste better,” the cook chimed in.
► Salsa: Like the tortillas, there can be only one: a cool tomatillo with slow, medium heat.
► Fringe benefits: Little Lucy’s is right next door, with hot cinnamon mini-doughnuts and chocolate sauce for $4.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)