Living in Texas, I am pretty spoiled by all the wonderful taquerias that are located all over the city and in many of the small towns I visit on business trips. Authentic tacos based on the cuisine from different regions of Mexico are so far above the ‘gringo’ tacos you find in chain restaurants or pseudo-Mexican places that cater to the lowest common denominator standards on seasonings, you tend to just forgo the food if you’re away. (Sometimes ask me what passes for Tex-Mex in Gaylord, Michigan. Or rather, don’t. It’s a painful memory.)
A friend of mine who was born and raised in the beautiful mountain area of Mexico told me to try out a restaurant that she said had ‘pretty good’ food and excellent margaritas. A few weeks ago, I stopped by there for lunch on sunny afternoon.
The Yucatan Taco Stand and Tequila Bar is a small restaurant with a walk-up counter, good-sized menu, and a huge selection of tequilas, around 50 varieties. The inside is cozy and warm, with tiles and wood, but not very large. In this part of the state, the patio is good for most of the year, except during the coldest bit of winter, and likely during the hot August days, although summer evenings will be perfect here.
You can walk up to the bar from the outside and order your drinks, if that is all you are interested in, or step inside and choose from the posted menu. I asked the young woman behind the register for her favorite taco, and she immediately recommended the carne de puerco. Great choice! The pork meat was juicy, not dry, the soft corn tortilla freshly made, the salsa bright and flavorful. Not a fan of tequila shots, especially at high noon, I opted for their Skinny Margarita which was just right for lunch. I also ordered a side of guacamole, so as usual I ended up with more food than I could eat. I spent an hour on the patio, reading my Kindle, enjoying the warm spring day, and sipping my drink.
Unfortunately, most of you will never be able to try this place, as it currently has three locations – a couple in the northern Houston metropolitan area, and one in Bricktown near downtown Oklahoma City. Compared to the taquerias, they are pricey (over $3 compared to a paltry $2 or less at most stands and restaurants) but I’m glad to have found a casual place with a bit of ambience to relax and people-watch.
- Weekend Cocktail: Austin’s best margarita (nbclatino.com)
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- Bar Bites: El Topo, Bondi Junction (shoestringluxe.wordpress.com)