Friday, March 26, 2010

South by South Taco - Austin, TX 2010 - Day one

Note: I meant to do this last year when we went to Austin for SXSW, but I got lazy and didn’t.

I make it no secret that I think that Santa Barbara has the finest Mexican food available in the country. There are few other places that I even give a nod of the head to. I have great affinity for San Francisco (a very close second to SB in my opinion), and if you try hard there’s decent stuff in LA. And then there’s Austin, Texas. Austin is a very cool city, totally unlike the rest of Texas which is basically one gigantic heaving shitpile. And it happens to have great Mexican food, although in a different way than my beloved hometown.

Straight off the bat, let’s get to one of the best things about Austin. Breakfast tacos. Is anyone is Santa Barbara fucking listening to me? I guess it’s possible there’s a taco truck around town that has breakfast tacos, but I haven’t seen it yet, so point me to it.

Izzoz Tacos is a place that we loved so much after they opened up last year that we vowed to keep coming back often. Located in a trailer next to the lightly flowing waters of Bouldin Creek, you order up at the trailer window and wait outside on the grass area at picnic tables. No beer here, but BYOB is not only welcome but encouraged, because after all, we’re in Texas.

The guys that own this place used to run some fancy restaurant somewhere. That doesn’t mean shit now, but it gives you a clue that they probably use good ingredients and are making an effort for good, interesting food. While this could easily come off as pretentious bullshit when it comes to tacos, they pull it off. HUGELY. Everything we’ve ever eaten here is tip-top.

We started off the eating portion of our 2010 Austin trip right here at Izzoz with a few tacos: Migas, The Padre, and an Escobar. They were all terrific. I particularly liked the migas taco, migas being a southwest specialty of eggs, tortilla strips, cheese, and often onions and peppers (more fun with migas in later postings). Deb was falling head over heels with the Padre taco, which was carnitas with avocado, pineapple, and tomatillo salsa. She’s still talking about it today, a week later. The Escobar was the third choice and least favorite. Carne guisada, salsa and cilantro, really good, but not earth shattering like the other two.

More Mexican in Austin tomorrow....

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