Keep your $15 tacos with duck confit and radishes, this is a guide to greasy, $2 street tacos served in gas stations and restaurants hidden in obscure shopping centers.
PLACES TO TRY
La Paisanita Deli
Fill your tank and your belly at La Paisanita Deli. Located inside a gas station off Greenville Avenue, the tiny shop serves tacos for $1.59 each, offering 14 types of meat. You can’t go wrong with a classic fajita or barbacoa taco. 8209 Park Lane
Mario Bros Tacos
In a bright yellow-and-blue house off Northwest Highway sits Mario Bros, a taco joint cooking recipes from the city of Monterrey. For a meat lover, enjoy the campechano taco with both trompo (al pastor) and bistec (steak). Mario Bros also sells a vegetarian taco with beans and grilled veggies. 5942 Abrams Road
Don’t let the name fool you, they serve tacos too. The restaurant says, “Antojitos Estilo D.F.” That means, “Mexico City-style snacks.” The chorizo taco is a classic. For the more adventurous folk, order the lengua (beef tongue) taco. 7019 Holly Hill Drive
TYPES OF MEAT
If you’ve ever seen a giant funnel-shaped piece of meat spinning in the restaurant, that’s al pastor. It’s roasted on a trompo to create slow-cooked pork. The bright red color comes from being heavily marinated and seasoned in onions, garlic, achiote paste, cumin, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Some restaurants serve al pastor with pineapple for a sweet and savory taco.
Barbacoa is typically made with beef and seasoned with dried chilies, spices and fresh lime juice. It’s slowly cooked until flawlessly tender.
Carnitas means “little pieces of meat,” and it’s usually pulled pork shoulder cooked in lard. Originating from the state of Michoacán, it’s a classic for tacos.
A favorite at cookouts, carne asada is sliced beef made of skirt, sirloin, tenderloin or rib steak. Marinades vary but typically include oil, salt, pepper, garlic and lime juice.
A great choice for breakfast tacos, chorizo is a pork sausage. It’s red from dried chilies and paprika, the best combination is with eggs and potato.
PHRASES TO KNOW
¿Hola, como estas? = Hello, how are you?
Yo quiero = I want
Con todo = With everything
Sin cebolla = Without onion
Sin cilantro = Without cilantro
Salsa verde = Green salsa
Salsa roja = Red salsa
Aguacate = Avocado
Arroz = Rice
Frijoles = Beans
Tortilla de maíz = Corn tortilla
Tortilla de harina = Flour tortilla
Para llevar = To go
¡Hasta luego! = See you later!