Monday, May 28, 2012

El Taco Rico.

Enchiladas con guilota at El Taco Rico. © Ryan Schierling
It's fair to say that a large percentage of some of Austin's best restaurants are not restaurants at all. We don't do restaurant reviews, per se, because we eat out so little. We're also not quite entrenched enough in that scene to think that our opining on someone else's food is going to make a lick of a difference in the grand scheme of things. But we do like to share experiences that make a unique impact on us.

El Taco Rico made an impact on us. Finding out about some of the finest Mexican food in a city inundated by more Tex-Mex than you can swing a brick of Velveeta at isn't easy. We have RL Reeves, Jr. over at to thank for our introduction to Yolanda Sanchez Cornejo and her little blue trailer next to a laundrette in Montopolis.

Don't let the styrofoam plate, plastic fork and paper napkins fool you. For eight dollars, the enchiladas con guilota are a unique treat. Handmade corn tortillas are loved-up in red chile sauce, folded into quarters and topped with cabbage, sliced tomatoes, radishes, avocado, pickled jalapeños, crema and grated aged cotija. I would have been satiated by just the enchiladas, but the butterflied and fried quail mourning dove on top, while tiny and delicate in appearance, was a perfectly-salty, rich and crunchy foil to the fresh layers of deliciousness below.

And when I took my first bite of a barbacoa taco, I actually cursed. Julie laughed at me, and I won't repeat the swears, but I vowed "to never eat another taco de barbacoa anywhere else... because this woman just seriously ruined me."

Weekends are usually reserved for our adventures looking for CFS or chilaquiles, but we've made several trips back to southeast Austin for Sunday lunch at El Taco Rico. It's like a taco tractor-beam, pulling us in.

I am still very self-conscious and a little embarrassed that my Spanish isn't better, because I don't want to butcher anyone's native language, especially when they're feeding me so well. But I'm working on it with every visit... I know enough that I can request Julie's sope sin carne, frijoles y verduras solamente. I can order my enchiladas with small bird, a few tacos de barbacoa, and a pair of Mexican cokes. What I lack in Spanish language skills, I always try to make up with a healthy propina.

The comida perfecto is more than worth it. 

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