In this installment we were going to visit the final two trucks in the Austin Chronicle's 4-way tie for 'Best of Austin' Taco Truck category and declare a winner. We got a chance to eat at the third of the four establishments, but were unable to visit the fourth contender, Torchy's Tacos, due to a major renovation happening at the truck this week. You will have to wait for the declaration of the winner, but for now let's see what the journalists thought about the third truck in the competition, Tacos La Flor.
Tacos La Flor -
Tacos La Flor is located on S. 1st street between St. Elmo and Stassney in the parking lot of a small convenience store on the east side of the street. The truck itself looked clean and presentable with the menu clearly posted on the truck itself. My choices today were a carnitas taco and a picadillo taco, both on corn tortillas. There is a nice little table behind the truck with plenty of shade, so Cornbiter and myself decided to plop ourselves down and enjoy some tacos.
Right of the bat we notice that the tacos are served on handmade corn tortillas and the tacos are filled with a generous portion of meats. The carnitas was seasoned well with equal parts crispy shredded pieces and moist delectable chunks, topped with finely diced white onion and fresh cilantro. The tomatillio salsa that accompanied the tacos was spicy and added a nice balance to the spicy meat. I would have to say this is some of the best carnitas in town, and you should definitely try this filling on a taco or one of their gorditas that were being made by hand when we arrived at the truck.
The picadillio was equally delicious with nice chunks of potatoes and fresh diced tomatoes. The meat was not dried out like some picadillio I have encountered and the tomatillio salsa was again a fine accompaniment to this juicy piece of meat nirvana.
One more truck to go before we declare a winner, but for now I can say that Taco La Flor is holding it's own and should definitely be on everyone's list of future taco outings.
Tacos La Flor - 4.5 stars - jarod
As we walked up to the trailer, I saw one of the ladies pulling some fresh thick gorditas off the griddle, and I knew I'd need to get in on some of that action, so, after a quick perusal of the painted-on menu, I went for a gordita de bistec and a carnitas taco. I was mildly disappointed that al pastor was not offered on the menu, but I got over it quickly.
The carnitas were fantastic. The texture of the meat was spot on, and it was very, very tasty. It was ALMOST too salty, but the overall effect of the salty pork with the fairly hot jalapeno salsa was excellent. The corn tortilla was really tasty and toothsome, as well. This is one of the best pork tacos of any kind I've had in town. Bravo.
My gordita de bistec was also a real winner. The steak was extremely tender and well seasoned. The thick handmade tortillas were a joy, and soaked up the salsa and steak juice perfectly. The slightly distinctive flavor and amazing tenderness of the bistec in my gordita was well worth the fact that I had the Selene mega-hit 'Como La Flor' stuck in my head all afternoon.
The fact that we're reviewing taco trucks that the Chronicle has already shouted out as the four best in town probably should have prepared me for how stoked I was going to be, but I'm still kind of blown away. The lunch I had today at Tacos La Flor would be the best lunch I've had in a long ass time if I hadn't recently been to the Tacos Al Pastor truck for part 1 of this series.
It's really, really fun to be eating at new(to me) places of this quality. 15 years of taco eating in the big city has been excellent times, but it's easy to get into a rut of hitting the 5 best places close to the house.
We'll be bringing you reviews of many of our old favorites as we continue down our taco journalism path, but discovering places like Tacos Al Pastor and Tacos La Flor is going to be as fun for me as it is for you. (more fun for me.)
Tacos La Flor - 4.5 stars - Cornbiter Deluxe