But I’ve been eating at La Flor for close to a decade and the owners know me well so I can’t box their jaws for them if they protest my picture taking.
Which is why this piece will not have any photos of taquera Angela Olarte, the owner of La Flor, a tiny food cart (it’s a cart, not a truck) on south First street in Austin, Texas. Ms. Olarte is camera shy and her son Cristian denied our request to photograph the tia while she presses out the finest corn tortillas in Austin.
La Flor was founded in 2002, the paleo-era of contemporary loncheras in Austin. Yes, there have been food trucks in Austin since the 70s but it wasn’t til the late 90s-early aughts that the modern wave of mobile cuisine gained a firm hold on Texas eaters.I go to La Flor for carefully prepared meats and hand-pressed corn tortillas. On this visit I asked after the carnitas and desebrada and within 10 minutes found a feast placed before my eyes.
I only get to eat here once a year as I now reside in New Orleans, a 500+ mile journey east.
The strong suit of this kitchen is the humble corn tortilla. Angela presses out a thick, rustic take on the form with strong notes of maize. Her meat work is quite good too as the desebrada (Mexican pot roast) is succulent with good flavors of steer.
A quibble would be the paucity of meat on the tacos. To keep her margins in line, the cook keeps the meat portions quite small. The tortillas on the other hand are large which creates a visual disparity in the taco. At $2 apiece there is value to be had at La Flor but be aware that the tortilla is what will fill you up, not the protein.The carnitas are some of the best in Austin. They’re the pulled-pork style of preparation with a pork butt being slow-cooked then pulled in the style of Carolina barbecue.
Ambiance is casual. La Flor sits in the side-lot of a busy quick mart in a residential neighborhood of south Austin. If you’re of a mind you could buy beers and sit at the pic-nic tables under a line of shade trees on the eastern edge of the property.
But don’t let the police see you doing so. This is not New Orleans where walking about in the open with a beer is commonplace. Austin has very little crime so a taco-eating, beer-drinking hooligan will draw plenty of attention from the law.4901 S 1st St
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