500 Tacos: Tacos Rio Verde

 
 
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
 
Tacos Rio Verde
3500 S. Congress Ave. at Benny’s Corte de Pelo (map), 512-350-9825, Facebook page
Hours: 6am-2pm and 6pm-midnight Mon-Sat
 
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 08.13.15
 
It was my dumb luck to be stumbling along South Congress last night, chasing down the 10th and 11th taquerias of the day for this series. Because it was also the night Emilia Prado and her husband, Jose Paita, opened their Tacos Rio Verde trailer, helped in the kitchen by their friend and neighbor Alicia Saavedra (that’s Prado, left, and Saavedra in the photo below). There are no signs yet, and no printed menus. Just a fresh blue and white coat of paint for the trailer that used to be called Soco Tacos, parked out front at Benny’s hair salon. Emilia and her husband are from the Mexican town of Rio Verde, and the menu will include the flat, handmade tortilla dish of that region called enchiladas rioverdenses, with tortillas dyed red by the guajillo chiles folded into the masa. For now, the menu is simple, just chicken and beef fajita tacos, bistec, some lengua, those enchiladas and an assortment of breakfast tacos for the morning hours. With more on the way. The whole taco canon.
 
 
The taco: Lengua
Get lengua right on opening day? No way, and yet here it is: roasted, peeled, chopped, finished on the flat-top and dressed with fresh onions and cilantro on a handmade corn tortilla. It’s as deeply beefy as brisket, but more forgiving and a degree more decadent. Not a bad way to start. ($2.75)
 
 Prices: Two-ingredient breakfast tacos are $1.50. Lunch and dinner tacos run $2, a little more for specialties like lengua.
 Tortillas: The red chile and white corn tortillas are patted out by hand, and the flour tortillas come from H-E-B.
 Salsa: They’ll add chile de arbol and tomatillo verde soon, but for now it’s a cool, sweet blend of tomatoes and jalapeños.
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The 500 Tacos Project
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)