Summary of a summary — about Taco Wars.
Perhaps I can find a link for this, hard proof.
In the first year or two of working in Austin’s Nature’s Treasures — see astrofish.net/travel — I got in a habit of driving through a certain South Side San Antonio taqueria, and getting a bag of tacos. Ten breakfast tacos for $7.77, grease soaking through the brown paper bag by the time we arrived in Austin. Each San Antonio taco? Two or three times the size of an Austin breakfast taco.
What makes food so good, two ingredients, one is the basics. San Antonio tacos made with flour ground, right there, at the old Pioneer Mill.
That single image, guessing it’s a crappy cell phone image, marginally massaged on an old Apple, shows not only the Pioneer Mills, which was still in operation at the time, grinding out “White Wings” flour, but also, to a lesser point, the Tower of the Americas, another San Antonio landmark.
The Austin Tacos tended to be smaller, more refined, and those Austin tacos getting smaller by the year, compared to San Antonio’s Tacos, which were always the plus size. Again, bereft of documentation, I once dug about a quarter pound of cooked bacon, or bacon-like meat of some kind, out of a typical San Antonio taco. Not unusual. Two, maybe three eggs, perhap a quarter pound of bacon (or bacon-like meat). An artisanal Austin taco had one chicken nuggest, cut three ways, a shred of cabbage, and a touch of secret sauce that was mayo and ketchup. Who are we fooling?
While Austin tacos are arguably good, and by virtue of their standing in SXSW, world-wide exposure, perhaps more recognized.
San Antonio tacos have fueled outlaws, inlaws, cops, and crooks, plus hordes of blue-color workers for years.
I love me some Austin. My roots are old-school Austin. In a serious taco war, though, Austin would lose.
My South San Antonio friends would kick artisanal Austin’s collective butt.
Strengths. Got to recognize strengths.
Keep Austin Weird.
Keep San Antonio Lame.
In real Taco Wars, no one wins.
I once asked what made the flour tortillas in San Antonio so much better than any other tortilla.
“They’re made with love. And lard. Lots of lard.”
Who, what self-respecting hippy or hipster, will mix lard into a tortilla?
“The defense rests.”