500 Tacos: Taqueria La Rivera

A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
Taqueria La Rivera
13900 Immanuel Road, Pflugerville (map). Hours: 7am-2pm Mon-Fri.
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 12.21.15
Simplicity lives at Don’s Short Stop in Pflugerville. Beside it, anyway, at a gray trailer with a red stripe called Taqueria La Rivera, where simplicity means good tacos without flash for $2 or less with handmade corn tortillas. This industrial part of semi-rural Pflugerville isn’t exactly destination dining, but if you’re a neighbor or working out here, it’s worth finding out how far your taco dollar can stretch. Mine stretched to include all five tacos in this report for $8.50.
The taco: Carne asada
A taco with grilled steak and onions takes many forms. It’s medium-rare ribeye at Tyson’s Tacos, stiff mystery beef at Takoba and something like fajitas at Polvos. At La Rivera, it’s just good top round with salt and pepper, grilled to order with sweet onions on a fresh corn tortilla for only $1.75.
 Al pastor and chicharrones: The best deal at La Rivera is tangy achiote pork with grilled onions on a handmade corn tortilla for just $1.50. Higher on the hog for $2 is a taco with rubbery pork skin — the kind that makes people think chicharrones aren’t anything but wet, salty pork rinds.
 Breakfast tacos: Among the ways to start the day, you could do worse than and pay more for ham and eggs made to order on a flour tortilla for $1.50. If you’re feeling fancy, add beans for a quarter to a taco with eggs and griddle-fried potatoes.
 Tortillas: Hand-patted tortillas come hot off the grill with mild corn flavor and springy resilience. Waxy flour tortillas come from a bag.
 Salsa: Simplicity also means just one squeeze bottle of jalapeño-tomatillo green salsa, but it’s good enough to slam like shots of spicy gazpacho verde.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)