500 Tacos: Taqueria Rosita
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
3207 RR 620 N. next to Zee Cigs (map), 512-662-0862. Hours: 8am-3pm Mon-Sat
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 07.07.15
As 500 Tacos goes deeper into places where the only English is what I bring with me, I’m seeing a richer mix of apathy, curiosity and hostility. Sometimes I get treated with amused patience, ordering tacos in my toddler Spanish. And sometimes hostility wins. Like when a landscaper put a finger in my face at Taqueria Arandinas, scorching me in machine-gun Spanish where the only words I could understand were the bad ones. Or the guy in line who made eye contact just long enough to spit out “pinche güero” while I waited at Taqueria Rosita in Hudson Bend. “Worthless white guy” or not — the kinder of the translations — I’ll keep going to places like this, because the best taco stands don’t always come with a welcome mat.
The taco: Carnitas
At $1.75 for lunch tacos and $1.50 for breakfast, these are among the least expensive tacos in this series, but they carry their value with integrity, even in the parking lot of a vape shop just the other side of Lakeway. Especially the carnitas with fatty pork in fibers glossy and crisp from the grill, dressed with onions and cilantro on a handmade corn tortilla. ($1.75)
► Breakfast: Fresh tomato, jalapeño and onion come alive with freshly scrambled eggs in this huevos a la Mexicana taco. ($1.50; served all day)
► Lunch: Hot fatty brisket could only be called a disappointment when you’re expecting hot fatty cheek-meat barbacoa. But if it’s brisket you’re after, this “barbacoa” is it. Rosita gets dressier for a Mexican steak taco, with grilled lean strips of beef stir-fried with jalapeño, tomato and onion. Al pastor is the flat-top fried kind, dusted with adobo spice heavy on the annatto. All are excellent values at $1.75.
► Tortillas: Thin, functional corn tortillas are made by hand, then barely warmed on the flat-top. They’re unremarkable, but better than the storebought flour tortillas.
► Salsa: A high-viscosity jalapeño salsa verde is all sting and salt, but I like the red chile de arbol, with unapologetic heat and a twang like bourbon on first blush.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)