500 Tacos: Mi Madre’s

 

A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
 
Mi Madre’s
2201 Manor Road (map), 512-322-9721, www.mimadresrestaurant.com
Hours: 6am-2pm Mon-Tue, 6am-10pm Wed-Sat, 8am-4pm Sun
 
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 03.09.15
 
Machacado isn’t the most spectacular taco at Mi Madre’s (at right). But breakfast doesn’t need spectacle. It needs hot scrambled eggs and dried beef with crunchy edges and a steaming cup of cafe de olla, with sugar for speed and cinnamon for serenity. We’ll save the spectacle for all the restaurants that have turned Manor Road into Restaurant Row in the 25 year’s since Mi Madre’s got the ball rolling.
 
The taco: Carne guisada (top)
Finishing the thought from the first line: Carne guisada is the most spectacular taco at Mi Madre’s. Not the prettiest, for sure, dripping with mahogany gravy and melting cheese all shiny and orange. But beef stew meat abides the ignominy of rich chili gravy with tender grace, incorporating the salt and fat and tomato twang like it was born to the task. ($3.50)
 
 
 More tacos: Dry, tough and bland, shredded stewed chicken tastes more like it was boiled, the taco for people who don’t really like Mexican food ($3.95). The people who do? They get pork adobado, lean and mouthy with red spice, grilled onions and fresh avocado ($3.95).
 Tortillas: Warm storebought flour and doubled-up white corn.
 Salsa: You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The blended tomato red table sauce with free chips sits on your shoulder, begging you to be sweet and friendly. Mi Madre’s Diablo green sits on the other shoulder, telling you to raise serrano hell. They’re both damned good.
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The 500 Tacos Project
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)