When East Austin’s La Morenita was taken down in the black market beef scandal that rocked Austin two years ago, their forced closure opened the doors for Taco Mex to break out of their tiny, take-out window on Manor Road and get into a proper brick and mortar restaurant.
At $2.44 there’s little value afoot in the tiny piece of real estate the taco is set to occupy in my belly. The shell is indeed crispy, and lacks the weird metallic flavor that many of its brethren around town showcase. The carne molida is lightly seasoned with a bit of chile powder but is lacking any sort of salt profile.
The menu claimed sour cream was to be served on the taco but it vanished somewhere between kitchen and table. Cheese is a blend of white and yellow; its relationship to a dairy cow remains tenuous. A few shreds of lettuce and a half handful of chopped tomatoes completes the picture.
It’s not a pretty picture.
Ambiance is quite nice. Hookers are on the stroll down nearby Harvey Street, and there’s a nice bustle afoot on 12th Street. I gaze longingly at the condo tower that now occupies the footprint where Soul Kitchen once stood.
I’ve had good food at Taco Mex in the past but sadly their crispy taco was a desultory affair. Were it not for the fine weather and scenery afforded by their comely patio my lunch there would’ve been little more than a bad memory.