500 Tacos: Taquito Anaya

A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
Taquito Anaya
6700 Guadalupe St. (map), 512-775-5180. Hours: 7am-4pm Mon-Fri; 8am-4pm Sat
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 07.27.15
The test of any restaurant is how well they do two things: open and close. Can they hit the mark 15 minutes after the lights come on, and can they do the same 15 minutes before they switch them off? The second one is harder, and Taquito Anaya nails it. Yes, this little trailer in the lot of a fire extinguisher shop was out of barbacoa at 3 in the afternoon, but the rest was fresh, hot and delivered with patient grace. And for that I’m thankful, because hunger and opportunity can’t tell time.
The taco: Beef fajita
The street has no place for a sizzling iron skillet. But at trailers like Taquito Anaya, the street is still a place for grilled beef skirt steak with the hard sear and tight union of fat and lean that makes fajitas a spectacle. A one-two punch of grilled and fresh onions complements a rub that brings out garlic, pepper and salt. ($2.50)
 Breakfast at closing time: Anaya’s passes another closing-time test: Can you still make a fresh, hot breakfast taco as the clock ticks down? Yes. One with eggs spread as thin as a crepe, then rolled around hot, velvety refried beans like an enchilada omelet. ($2)
 The pork parade: Carnitas here are dry-seared nuggets and fiber as stiff and crunchy as pork floss. I mean all of that as a compliment for a rich, satisfying taco. I’m less satisfied with the schmear of listless red adobo over bits of rubbery pork that passes for al pastor. ($2 each)
 Tortillas: Storebought flour and doubled-up white corn tortillas warmed on the flat-top.
 Salsa: Use the watery chile de arbol red sauce sparingly; its high heat is surpassed only by its soggy aftermath. Save your salsa quota for glossy, viscous jalapeño-tomatillo verde that manages to be cool and fiery at the same time.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)