500 Tacos: Taqueria Jefes
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
6305 Cameron Road at Reagan Square (map), 512-796-5176
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 02.23.15
Before they became a cosmopolitan thing, food trailers served the small communities where they parked. In the case of this Taqueria Jefes trailer, that community is a shopping center with a laundromat, a place to wire money home, a small grocery store, a barbershop and the blurred constituency of traffic at the busy intersection of Cameron Road and U.S. 290. From this little trailer comes nine kinds of meat tacos and eight breakfast taco combinations. The painted menu is beat to hell. No hours, no prices. And a sign that advertised “4 tacos $6.99” must have been meant for someone else; my 4 cost me closer to $9. Community tax.
The taco: Al pastor
The dusky orange afterglow of al pastor always tastes better at a trailer, and this trailer works its own simple magic with a balance of lean and fatty strips of pork marinated in adobo spices and herbs, grilled hard on the flat-top and finished with onions and cilantro. ($2-plus)
► More tacos: Crispy tripas are like a cross between jerky and popcorn for nature’s perfect snack. I’m no authority on porcine taxonomy, but I’m certain the carnitas taco is a sampler of belly fat, shoulder and skin — and they work well together. A hot bean and egg taco is just right for the blustery onset of a cold front. ($2-plus each)
► Tortillas: Storebought white corn tortillas come warm and soft and doubled up. The flour tortillas sport the welcome translucent shimmer of lard.
► Salsa: Smoky chile de arbol red and silky jalapeño verde salsas are versatile enough for anything on the menu.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)