It was time to recalibrate. I’d been eating all over town from the top Mexican chefs in Austin, but something was missing. I’d had great salsa, incredible mole, killer queso…but there was this nagging doubt that I’d somehow been led astray.
Time to revisit the Queen.
Montopolis is alive. The laundry mat is bustling. The busy intersection of Felix and Vargas is jammed with lowriders and sedans; nearby yard sales are abuzz; the Sunday morning sun is beating down; fires are kindling; two neo-bohemians sit under the nearby lavanderia’s overhang.
When your food truck gets featured on an Anthony Bourdain TV show you can expect such things.
And in the middle of it all sits El Taco Rico. Ground zero for the best Mexican food in Austin.
That’s why we’re calling it the best food truck in Austin in 2013
The potato and egg taco arrives on a freshly-griddled, pillowy corn tortilla. I don’t bother with either of the two splendid salsas. I dive straight into this: the humblest of all tacos; just eggs, potatoes and pressed masa.
It is divine.
A chorizo and egg taco follows. The bright orange chorizo is clearly handmade, and of a generous portion. The egg a testament to the common hen. I actually take a moment and apply a daub of green sauce and the taco sings hosannas.
I’m completely stuffed but soldier on and tack into a barbacoa taco. The signal event of La Monita closing two years ago meant that El Taco Rico chef Yolanda Sanchez Cornejo could occupy the slow-cooked beef cheek throne alone. There is none finer in Austin. Deep, funky and ribboned with fat, this taco could swagger into San Antonio and hold its own.
Austin is drowning in food trucks. Entrepreneurs can go fat cat-style and drop 50-60k on a mobile kitchen or keep it real, do the build-out themselves, and crest out around 20 large. In other words, it’s a path toward ownership that many people can walk down.
In a country that has had 44 presidents there has only been one queen. And her name is Yolanda Sanchez Cornejo, owner and head chef at El Taco Rico; the apogee of Mexican dining in Austin, Texas.
Last year’s winner