500 Tacos: Taco More

 
 
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
 
Taco More
2015 E. Riverside Drive (map), 512-383-5531; also at 9414 Parkfield Drive (map), 512-821-1561. Hours: 7am-11pm daily
 
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 02.16.15
 
There are three good reasons to visit Taco More, and two of them walk on little cloven hooves. They put cabrito to high purpose two ways, both as a taco and a soup. Both are pure enough reasons to visit this tidy, gym-sized taqueria, with laminated black tables and sealed concrete floors and friendly table service. The third reason is a salsa bar with few equals in Austin: seven salsas, escabeche, grilled jalapeños, sliced radishes, dried chiles, fresh cucumber and limes like there’d never been a shortage.
 
The tacos: Cabrito (top left) and barbacoa
Picking your favorite taco here is a big game hunt. Do you go for the gamey splendor of barbacoa or cabrito’s beautiful game? You’re a winner either way. The barbacoa — billed as “cabeza,” in case there’s any doubt where it came from — plays with power, but it’s a mellow power, going fatty and soft around the middle with nothing left to prove. The cabrito’s game is more subtle, all lean fiber that starts soft and sweet then turns on the moves, juking with salty braise. There’s a rhythm to its aromatic evolution, first a little grassy, then ironclad, then finishing with a loamy underglow. A franchise player. ($2.50 for cabrito; $2 for barbacoa)
 
 
 Goat soup: The goat dynasty also plays into a consome de cabrito (above right), a vibrant orange broth bubbling with shredded meat and nuggets of hominy.
 Tortillas: Commercial-grade 4-inch corn tortillas, doubled up, and 5-inch flour.
 Salsas: The green team is represented by mild pureed tomatillo served cold or warm, a salty jalapeño emulsion and a cold chop of tomatillo, cucumber, onion and lime. The red team starts with a warm, stewed tomato table sauce then sends in a smoky chile de arbol and a smooth red chile salsa like sambal. None of them turns on the afterburners. They’re support players, keeping the rest of the team in the game.
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The 500 Tacos Project
 
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)