500 Tacos: Taco Hot

An Austin taco a day for 2015 — and then some
Taco Hot
1425 E. Rundberg Lane in the Shell station lot, Austin (map)
Hours: 7am-11pm Mon-Sat
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 11.07.15
The corner where Rundberg, Cameron and Dessau come together is a taco-rich environment, with Ken’s, Los Reyes Del Taco and Taco Hot practically on top of each other. And they fight like gas stations for who has the cheapest tacos. The winner this week is Taco Hot, with breakfast tacos for a buck and lunch tacos for just 50 cents more. And it’s Taco “Hot,” as in “caliente,” not Taco “Hut,” as in Taco the Hut, one of several rejected villains for the new Star Wars franchise.
The taco: Tripas
If the union of meat and tube is more than your adolescent mind or stay-at-home stomach can handle, tripas will never be the taco for you. But at a trailer like Taco Hot, chopped intestines are like beef popcorn with powdered jerky, all salty, greasy and crunchy, with an intangible carnivoral jolt that keeps you going back until it’s gone. Dressed with onions and cilantro on a fresh corn tortilla, it’s one the best values in this series at just $1.50.
 Pirata: Dry, greasy and tough with the acrid taste of griddle oil, this steak taco is a disappointment by any name. ($1.50)
 Barbacoa and al pastor: If gamey funk is what sets a barbacoa street taco apart from its more genteel cousins, this one’s a street taco all the way ($2). The same overcooked griddle char that waylaid the pirata also sabotaged this flat-top al pastor ($1.50)
 Breakfast tacos: Taco Hot sells breakfast tacos for a dollar until they run out of eggs, which for a late lunch meant breakfast was represented by beans and cheese. Usually a standout taco at any good trailer, this simple bean and cheese was just a simpleton, a lazy stoner quesadilla.
 Tortillas: The trailer makes its own thin, utilitarian corn tortillas, but it also gives storebought flour tortillas some toasted character on the grill.
 Salsa: Both the creamy jalapeño green and slurried chile de arbol red salsas are hellfire hot.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)