A Tale of Two Tacos

I love tacos. There’s no getting around that fact. But I’m particular about them. So when I had the opportunity to accompany my wife to San Antonio (she was speaking at a conference) I knew I could satisfy my craving without much of a problem. After all, my good friend Tom Thees lives in San Antonio and said he’d be happy to take me to two of his favorite spots: Urban Taco and Taquitos Estilo Jalisco.

A palte of upscale tacos and sides at Urban Taco, in an affluent San Antonio suburb.

A plate of upscale tacos and sides at Urban Taco, in an affluent San Antonio suburb.

I’ll admit the tacos were delicious at Urban Taco, particularly because of the thick tortillas that encased the grilled meats. But the upscale setting looked pricey and the food indeed was. The waitstaff, some of whom spoke Spanish as a first language, wore white chef’s coats accented by a colorful apron — a nice touch.

Server at Urban Taco.

Server at Urban Taco in chef’s coat.

I wanted, however, to visit a more authentic taqueria — a joint that would remind me of Jalisco, where I spent a year teaching school in the late 1970s before moving to Mexico City. We hauled it over to West Ave., a busy street lined with Mexican restaurants and auto repair shops. This looked promising. And there it was: The taco joint that made me think I was again in Guadalajara.

A pot of boiling tripa and cabeza at Taquitos Estilo Jalisco

A pot of boiling tripa and cabeza at Taquitos Estilo Jalisco.

This was a modest restaurant that appreciated customers who spoke Spanish, no matter how badly. I ordered two plates of six tacos each for the five of us. And damned if I forgot to take picture them. Instead, here’s a shot of a worker chopping meat for tacos. He’s from Guadalajara.

Meat for tacos being chopped at Tacquitos Estilio Jalisco in San Antonio.

I worker chopping beef for taquitos at Taquitos Estilio Jalisco in San Antonio