500 Tacos: Loncheria Taco Rico

A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
Loncheria Taco Rico
5210 Manor Road in the Sam’s Mini Mart lot (map). Hours: 6am-11pm or midnight daily
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 08.11.15
There was a consensus a few years back that El Taco Rico on Vargas Road was the best taco trailer in Austin before it closed last year. So when I see places like Tacos Ricos on Oltorf or this one — Loncheria Taco Rico — there’s a glimmer of hope with lunch. But of course, neither one is a reboot. And I could spend this report fretting over that, or I could spend it finding out if this orange and white trailer can make a name of its own at Manor Road and Westminster.
The taco: Potato and egg
In the blue-collar world of the breakfast taco, potato and egg is the guy hauling cinderblocks all day. The gopher, the cleanup man, the entry-level grunt. All the same, they couldn’t get the job done without him. At the Loncheria, potato and egg is all starch and muscle, with potatoes in soft warm blocks with a light sear outside, folded into eggs scrambled thick and hard. It’s packed so full that if the tortilla were a denim workshirt, you couldn’t get it buttoned. The new guy likes to show off like that. ($2)
 Skilled labor: If potato and egg is the workhorse, these tacos are the supervisors: carnitas full of fat and crispy fiber, pork al pastor with a dry orange glaze and no sense of humor, dry beef guisado with a degree in tomatoes and bell pepper. ($2 each)
 Mid-level management: The campechanos taco is bilingual, speaking chorizo and steak with equal fluency, with a personality like a calzone, packed full and loose and spicy. ($2)
 Tortillas: The corn tortillas are patted out by hand, but they don’t draw attention to themselves by applauding. What’s the sound of one hand patting?
 Salsa: The orange-red chile de arbol tastes like it came to work hung over from the night before. But the creamy jalapeño verde explodes with garlic and cool, dry heat. One of the best taco-stand greens in this series.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)