Monday, September 20

El Papalote: A taco-worthy of it's price

By now, you've read our taco posts, and even disagreed with our tweets. Yes, it's true. We don't like paying for overpriced tacos and Austin has quite a few of them. Luckily, for you and me, I've grown a bit since my dollar taco days. Now I can proudly say that I will spend more than $2.00 for a taco. Mexican food and ingredients aren't too expensive and that's the reason I've been anti-expensive tacos but when the ingredients are mixed right, cooked con amor and the product is authentic, then hell yeah I'll spend some money on a taco (not to exceed $5 or $6 of course).

So last week, I met up with my friend, El Famous Soup Peddler at El Papalote. A small modern taqueria, El Papalote Taco House inspires un tipico cafe y taqueria de Mexico with a true homage to the iconic Mexican comic Cantinflas while serving up cafe de chaipas y un potpourri de comida interior. The place embodies authenticity, Mexican style!


At first glance at the menu, you can really get overwhelmed and a bit confused. But if you're a mero mero taquero (like me!), you'll appreciate the fact that they don't translate los platos tipicos - the ingredients tell the story. The menu is laid out like a Mexican market with a plethora of choices from tacos to huaraches and tortas to aguas y Mexican cokes! Here's a rundown...

Los Guisados - Probably the best taco variety in town. Complicated and delicious! $3.25 per taco, definitely worth it!
Los Madrugadores - Breakfast tacos, of course! Eggs plus two items for under $2!
Las Tortas - That's the Mexican size hoagie sandwich - Try the Torta Poblana: shredded turkey breast in mole. It's the kind of mole everybody loves, not to thick, not too salty and not too rich, ees just right!
Las Callejeras - From de estreets! Tostadas y taquitos (rolled tacos)
De La Plaza - Variety of meat offeri
ngs, lengua (tongue), cabeza (barbacoa of sorts), pastor y surtidos (mix).
Los de Masas (for the Cornbiters!) - Sopes, Huaraches y Tlacoyos - Definitely try a Tlacoyo but only if you can pronounce it!
Para Morder - Bites! That's their sweet, tangy and espicy salsas and chiles
De Tomar - Organic coffee from the mountains of Chiapas, Mexican cokes, horchatas y mas!

So there you have it. Finally a taco-worthy of it's price. I'm down with spending $3.50 per taco, especially when it's cooked to perfection and it brings out los sabores verdaderos de Mexico!

Tan tan!

El Papalote - 5 Stars - El Mundo de Mando
2803 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 804-2474


David Wilton said...

We have a Papalote in San Francisco. I've been looking for an excuse to move back to Texas. Sounds like I've found one.

Zane said...

So glad I found your site, keep it up!

Papalote is a current hidden gem IMO, not a typical run of the mill taco dive...tremendous options and flavors coming out of them. The place is rock solid. Hope they stick around in the hood.

Mando Rayo said...

They did good with us!

Anonymous said...

Toooo American ... Expensive and focused on quantity...

To give you an example I ordered a huarache with chorizo on the top, and in Mexico we just sprinkle chorizo and lettuce, tomato, cheese, cream, etc... The focus is the harache - nice thick tortilla with beans! Here the thing had like a pound of chorizo on the top... After half a huarache I felt just overwhelmed and never got to really taste the tortilla... The topping was like for 4 Mexican normal huaraches...

I felt like and IHOP, quantity, quantity quantity...

Also tacos should be thin, not too full... One taco there is a equivalent of 4 Mexican tacos, but they don't serve you 4 tortillas.

You loose the true feeling... I would not give this place 5 stars.... Sorry...

Audrey said...

Too bad Anonymous didn't leave their name! I'll stand by my comment, Papalote is delicious, I had the fried avacodo sopa and it was amazing. I keep trying to find excuses to go back!

Michelle said...

I agree you with Audrey (and this blog post). I live up north, so when I started working downtown closer to Papalote, I thought I was the luckiest gal in town. Now that they are opening up one in North Austin, I'm pretty sure I'm in heaven! :D