Taqueria Hoy! Brings Back SOLD-OUT TACO HEART for Limited Time Only This Valentines Day!

Orange County, CA (RestaurantNews.com) Taqueria Hoy!®, the leader from Orange County in Authentic Mexican Tacos that leave you with a smile, is set to help you impress this Valentines Day. At all of their locations they will be offering a one-of-a-kind TACO HEART. The guests will be able to customize each heart to their liking and will include the following:
• 10 Tacos – customized exactly how you like it
• Choice of 8 meats with all toppings available
• Our Famous Salsa Verde & Salsa Roja
• Hand cut onions and cilantro
• Grilled serrano chilies
• Guests can place an order by calling any location or through social media by following and sending a message to their Instagram page
The menu at Taqueria Hoy!® specializes in local flavors. Dishes vary from Carne Asada (Grilled Steak) to the traditional Lengua (Beef Tongue) meats prepared in an authentic style to the famous Al Pastor. The green and red Hoysioso® salsas are the stars of the menu with the secret family recipe that brings a unique twist to every bite.

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Order heart-shaped boxes of birria tacos for your Valentine

By Linh Ta @https://www.axios.com/

Nothing says love like, "Honey … I got you tacos."
Driving the news: Nina's Tacos is offering unique Valentine's Day gifts you can order — taco boxes with sauce and consomé for dipping.
A small box includes five tacos for $35, while a large box includes eight tacos for $50.

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Texas Tacos Transcend Culinary Borders

By José R. Ralat @https://www.texasmonthly.com/

Fifty years ago, the tacos most Texans ate—breakfast tacos, barbecue tacos, and crispy tacos—originated in the foodways of South Texas. Not anymore. Today tacos hail from all over and have become a vessel for cultural bridge-building in a wildly multicultural state. The taco is a culinary welcome wagon, inviting Texans to be more adventurous in their eating habits while offering immigrant diners and restaurateurs a passage into American cuisine. Immigrants from around the world and their descendants are adapting their dishes to create new fillings for the familiar tortilla. “I don’t want to say it’s easy to put something in a taco, but it’s more approachable for a lot of people,” says Anna Swann, owner of the Dallas pop-up Ulam Modern Filipino Kitchen.

For anyone raised on tacos, it’s not a huge leap to consume Swann’s signature sisig, a mixed-meat dish composed of pork head and shoulder, seasoned with onions, chiles, and citrus fruit, and nestled in a gossamer flour tortilla. It resembles discada, a mixed-meat preparation popular along the border. This isn’t exactly shocking. From the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries, the Philippines and Mexico, with a shared history of Spanish colonization, were connected by the trade route between Manila and Acapulco, which promoted the exchange of fruits and spices.

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L.A.’s next taco sensation is a mariscos truck in Silver Lake

BY BILL ADDISON-RESTAURANT CRITIC LA TIMES

Francisco Aguilar calls out the name on my order. Through one of the windows of Simón, the admiral-blue mariscos truck he parks six days a week at Sunset Triangle Plaza in Silver Lake, he hands me a plate with two tacos — a fish al pastor and a shrimp-filled gobernador.
The always-evolving options for tacos total 10 or so, and during the last couple months of regular lunches at Simón, solo or with friends, I’ve started taking care to request tacos in even numbers. Aguilar and his small crew pair them by happenstance as they’re ready. As a taquero, he leans modernist in his sculptural forms and outside-the-box shadings of taste and texture. Eating his coupled tacos is as satisfying as considering a duo of paintings by the same artist made in two very different moods.
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Top 10 Taco Tuesdays in Los Angeles

Duke’s

Duke’s Malibu honors surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku, but also pays tribute to the early days of surfing in Malibu. Adding to the lore, Kathy Kohner Zuckerman, the inspiration for the Gidget novel, movie and TV series that sparked the California surfing craze, works at Duke’s Malibu as their Ambassador of Aloha. We recommend their two tacos with chips & salsa for $14. They pair perfectly with the Spicy Cucumber Margarita with Herradura silver, agave, fresh lime, jalapeño, cucumber for $14.

Tu Madre West Hollywood

Tu Madra has been making tacos and breakfast burritos with love since 2015. Their food celebrates flavors from across the city with a diverse array of ingredients and cooking techniques, including slow-roasted and braised meats and house-made fermented chili salsas. Plant-based tacos, burritos, and bowls are available so vegans can fiesta too. We have fallen in love with their West Hollywood locations AND their red velvet churros. They have Street Tacos for $2.40 all day, featuring the V-K BBQ plant-based taco with pickled fresnos and cilantro, a rotisserie chicken with salsa roja and queso panela, and brisket taco with onions and cilantro.

Amor y Tacos

Amor Y Tacos is a multi-award-winning full-service restaurant specializing in Alta Californian cuisine. Their flavors are inspired by Chef Ortega’s Mexican roots growing up as a Chicano in Los Angeles, featuring a chef-driven kitchen and craft cocktail bar using the highest quality, fresh and natural ingredients. Their Taco Tuesday specials are available from 2-10pm. We recommend their tacos, choice of short rib, chicken, carnitas or veggie for $2.75. All served with salsa, cilantro and onion.

Te'kila

Te’kila is LA’s go-to tequila oasis, boasting over 150 different bottles. Their daily happy hour – featuring made-to-order margaritas – is a draw for visitors and locals alike. On Tuesdays, they have tacos all day, choice of chicken, asada steak, carnitas for $2 if you order three and purchase of a drink. We highly recommend the Te’kila Margarita with fresh lime juice, orange juice, agave nectar, and El Jimador Blanco Tequila for $12. They also have $3 vegan taco options.

Long Beach Taco Co.

Their authentic Mexican cuisine, hand-made tortillas & brunch are why they are one of LA’s favorite go-to spots. They have 36 craft beers and delicious late-night grub. We recommend their $2 tacos, choice of asada, baja fish, birria, chicken, carnitas, fried avocado, calabasitas, mushroom, rajas (peppers) con queso, and the OG with veggies, beans, and guacamole. They go great with their 32-ounce micheladas.

El Cholo Santa Monica

El Cholo is LA's very first Mexican restaurant. Since first opening their doors in 1923, El Cholo has operated as a family-owned business and today, the restaurants are run by Ron Salisbury, grandson of the founders. We recommend going to their Santa Monica location for some fresh ocean air, the $5 Tres Cantina Tacos & $7 El Cholo Margaritas all day long. 

SaMo’s Oaxaca

This family-owned restaurant serves authentic Oaxacan and Mexican casual food. They’re open for takeout, delivery and offer outside patio seating. Their menu boasts Tlayudas, Mole, Tortas, Tacos, California Burrito, Oax Burrito and so much more. On Tuesday from 3pm to 8pm they offer 3 tacos with your choice of meat for $6.

Mercado Los Angeles

Founded by Jesse Gomez with partner/chef Jose Acevedo, Mercado takes pride in offering a traditional yet contemporary experience that has paved the way for elevated Mexican cuisine that is accessible to everyone. On Tuesdays, from 5pm to 7pm enjoy a wide variety of drool worthy tacos from $7 to $12

Petite Taqueria

Open all day, this West Hollywood restaurant puts a unique spin on Mexican cuisine. If you’re looking for a place to grab some crave-worthy food, Petite Taqueria provides a trendy dining experience that will leave you full with a smile. We can’t get enough of their Soft and Crispy Shell Tacos with choice of chicken, baja fish or steak for $2. Margaritas are $9 but ½ off margarita pitchers all night long are our favorite!

Lola's Mexican Cuisine

Established in 2007, the Lola’s family has always had a love affair with Mexican recipes that have been passed down for generations. Everything is made from scratch and their vegan options are plentiful. Their menu changes with the seasons and the availability of ingredients. On Tuesdays, we recommend their $2 tacos with choice of mesquite grilled chicken, carne asada, or zucchini mushroom. You can’t go wrong with their specialty tacos for $2.50 too. Don’t miss the Mexican Coca-Cola glazed carnitas birria. They have Modelo Especial on draft for $3 or pitches for $10.50, but we dream about their Mexican Lollipop Shots: tequila, fresh squeezed lime, watermelon purée, and Tajin rim for $4.

To view more Taco Tuesday specials throughout Southern California, visit TacoTuesday.com,

About TacoTuesday.com
TacoTuesday.com is a fun search engine to find tacos across the United States. With 90,000 plus Taco Tuesdays nationwide the juggernaut of a website is quickly becoming the resource for restaurants to spotlight their Taco Tuesday menu while giving millions of taco obsessed consumers a convenient way to find tacos. The site is continuously expanding, with exciting plans to combine tacos, technology and happiness.  Follow TacoTuesday.com on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter for more entertaining content and tips on how to live your best life while eating more tacos and drinking more margaritas. Sigh up to receive the TacoTuesday.com newsletter here to be invited to special events. 

Corazon Modern Kitchen Brea serves tacos made with lots of love

By KABC

Tacos have become a staple in Southern California and Localish LA is on the hunt for some of the best tacos in town.

We discovered Corazon Modern Kitchen in downtown Brea, Orange County, where every dish with corazon or plenty of heart. Every taco is filled with the freshest ingredients, which include vegan options.

One local favorite is the chorizo con papa taco plate which is made with a variety of ingredients.

"It's actually one of my favorites," said Fernando Romero, the owner and chef of Corazon Modern Kitchen. "And this is what my mother showed me. It's like treat the cilantro like you would treat a bouquet of flowers just a stem a little bit on water so it doesn't wilt. So when you see my cilantro is nice and beautiful, because we treat our cilantro with love. And that's how it kind of how we garnish all our plates. So once you wrap that taco, it's an explosion of flavors."

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Taqueria Ramirez and Greenpoint Fish Team Up for Taco Tuesday

By Jennifer Rosini-Gentile @ GreenPointers.com

Mexican eatery Taqueria Ramírez (94 Franklin St.), is teaming up with seafood shop, Greenpoint Fish (114 Nassau Ave.), to give Greenpointers the collaboration that Taco Tuesday dreams are made of. 

Both Greenpoint hotspots announced on Instagram that this collaboration will take place on Tuesday, August 16, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (or until the menu sells out) at Greenpoint Fish. 

Chefs Orion Russell from Greenpoint Fish and Lobster and Giovanni Cervantes from Taqueria Ramírez have created a special menu, which features a variety of playful fish tacos and more including monkfish al pastor, scallops Ramírez, and a tuna tostada.

A few of Greenpoint Fish’s classics will also be available, plus a selection of natural wine and local beers and specialty drinks like Clamacheves and Micheladas. Limited edition shirts will be for sale also.

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Move Over Ketchup Popsicle, The Tacosicle Is Here

Canada broke the internet with their Ketchup Popsicle dubbed the Frenchsicle and that got the team at TacoTuesday.com thinking and googling. According to dozens of marketing firms, two out of every three Americans prefer salsa to ketchup. Factor in that tacos are everyone’s favorite food on planet earth and the team decided a Tacosicle was needed!  Although these beauties are not sold in stores, you’ll find they are easy to make. Granted not many (if any) will want to eat these but taco fans can find the tacos they’ll want to eat at TacoTuesday.com.

The Tacosicle featured here is a vibrant combination of taco toppings, including cheese, cilantro, serrano peppers, Tapatio, tomatoes, shredded meat, and tortillas.  

“Tacos and Taco Tuesday are fun,” said Pamela Waitt, founder of TacoTuesday.com. “We tend to have a spicy personality so the Tacosicle just makes sense to us. Try it for yourself and decide which trend is better, the Frenchsicle or the #Tacosicle!”

TacoTuesday.com is on a mission to find the best of the best while living the best taco lifestyle possible. The taco obsessed can share their Tacosicle moments using the hashtag #tacosicle and the best video on TikTok & IG will win 2 tickets to a summertime Secret Taco Tuesday dinner society party at exclusive locations, with incredible chefs, tacos, and tequila.

Learn More Here >>

Taco Tuesday: 13 of Dubai’s best deals

By Time Out Editors

Tuesdays mean tacos. Tacos are for Tuesday. Tuesday tastes like tacos. We all love a good deal. And we all love tacos. At least here at Time Out we do. If like us, you’re on the hunt for the very best Taco Tuesday deals, look no further than this list.

You might also like: The best dining deals and offers in Dubai 2022

From soft shells to crisp exteriors, marinated meats, crispy chicken and very tasty vegan fillings – tacos are for everyone and for every taste. So if you’ve got a taste for tacos, its time to read on.

These are the best Taco Tuesday deals in Dubai right now.

Cactus Jacks

Get ready for a fiesta, a fiesta of feasting on tacos. Every Tuesday, you’ll be able to load up on those tasty things called tacos. Load up those delicious tacos, and dip your chips into freshly smashed guac before sipping on Mexican mixed drinks.

Happy hour from 3pm-6pm. DJ from 10pm-3am. Millennium Airport Hotel, Al Garhoud (04 702 8855).

Chalco’s Cantina

If you fancy getting the most bang for your buck, why not hit up Chalco’s Cantina at the Dubai Marina. Tuesdays mean unlimited tacos all washed down with free-flow lemony mixed-drinks and hops. Spice up your Tuesday night with some of the best tacos in town, great live music and a good deal.

Dhs200 per person. Every Tuesday from 2pm-midnight. Marina Gate, Dubai Marina. (052 112 8923) @chalcoscantina

El Chapo’s Tacos

Make sure you’re hungry for this one. If you’ve got an insatiable appetite for tasty tacos, this is the deal for you. Dive into this unlimited taco deal for just Dhs99 at El Chapo’s Tacos. Bump your package up to include drinks for an additional Dhs80, and you’ll be able to enjoy a selection of unlimited house beverages.

Dhs99 (unlimited tacos), Dhs179 (unlimited tacos and drinks). Every Tues 4pm onwards. El Chapo’s Tacos, Studio One Hotel. (04 514 5411)

El Mostacho

JLT isn’t short of places to eat out, but we reckon El Mostacho deserves your attention for its tempting taco Tuesday deal. It’s a tiny nook in Gold Tower, so (as well as keeping your eyes peeled) be prepared to get cosy as you enjoy tacos ’til they come out your ears. Every Tuesday El Mostacho offers a buy-one-get-one offer on all their tacos. Grab an amigo and get on down.

From Dhs15 (for two tacos) Every Tuesday from 12pm-10pm. Gold Tower, Cluster I, JLT (04 551 6679).

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Chef specializing in birria tacos moves into Miamisburg

By Natalie Jones

Taco Tuesday just got a whole lot better in downtown Miamisburg. A new chef cooking up birria tacos, salmon cheesesteak and much more has moved into The Vault Event Center.

More Than A Apron LLC, owned by Darion Lewis, recently signed a lease to sell and cook food at the event center, located at 23 E. Central Avenue.

Lewis told Dayton.com he has always enjoyed cooking because food brings people together. He said his passion for cooking first started at 14 or 15 years old when his father taught him how to cook at their home in West Dayton.

“I just loved cooking and I never looked back,” Lewis said.

Lewis was previously a travel consultant in the medical industry, but when the coronavirus pandemic hit, he lost his job. He said his family and friends encouraged him to start selling food and once he started cooking birria tacos, his business went “crazy.”

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Tacos Are the Perfect Breakfast Food

The Origins and Anatomy of the Texas Staple By Laurel Randolph

When you hear the word breakfast, the first thing that comes to mind might be pancakes, cereal, or eggs and toast. Or it might be that energy bar you scarfed down on the way to work yesterday. But if you live in the southern half of Texas, chances are the word that popped into your head was “tacos!”

Breakfast tacos are a staple dish in Tex-Mex country, with their popularity spreading nationwide thanks to tourism. Festivals such as South by Southwest have exposed food lovers from around the country to the iconic dish, and restaurants in cities outside Texas now offer breakfast tacos on their morning menu.

The Origins of Breakfast Tacos

Tacos have long been eaten for breakfast in Mexico, but there’s nothing especially breakfast-y about them outside of the time of day. You can enjoy the same tacos at lunch or dinner, frequently consisting of fresh tortillas topped with a filling of meaty stew. It wasn’t until the rise of Tex-Mex that breakfast tacos became a thing—and now they are the thing.

While most out-of-towners assume the dish originates from the dynamic Austin food scene, it likely started further south and spread north. The exact origins are unknown, but the phrase “breakfast tacos” began to appear in San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley newspapers in the 1950s and 60s. They can now be found throughout southern Texas in restaurants and cafes, and at roadside stands and food trucks.

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Get your Taco Tuesday in Shreveport and Bossier City

By Meredith G. White of Shreveport Times

Is Taco Tuesday the highlight of your week? There are a lot of good spots to check out in the Shreveport-Bossier area. Whether you're looking for traditional street tacos or wanting to venture out with some unique options, there are plenty of options to choose from. 

Los Potrillos Taqueria 

If classic street tacos are your jam, Los Potrillos has you covered with favorites like carne asada, carnitas, barbacoa, chicken, fish and more with a plate special including rice and beans. Order classic apps like guacamole or cheese dip and pair them with a top-shelf margarita or an imported beer.

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Get to know the 10 local restaurants competing in Louisiana Food

By Meredith G. White of Shreveport Times

Food Prize's annual Taco Wars showcases 10 local restaurants that are competing for the best taco in Shreveport and will be at the Municipal Auditorium on April 30th. Check out the restaurants competing and the tacos that are battling it out for the grand prize. 

El Novillo Carniceria 

A locally owned store dedicated to providing great quality products like fresh produce, baked goods, meat and deli food is putting up their al pastor taco up for battle. Located at 2242 Barksdale Blvd. in Bossier City.

Ramirez Mexican

Authentic Mexican made with fresh ingredients which includes their taco chica which will be put to the test during the taco battle. Located at 6715 Pines Rd. Ste. 108 in Shreveport and 929 Westgate Ln. in Bossier City.

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Tacos Are Bringing Latino and Muslim Communities Together

The first thing one notices in Rida Hamida is her hot pink hijab, tied in a turban style at the nape of her neck. She laughs calling it her signature color.

"Everyone calls me the pink hijabi of Orange County," Hamida, founder and executive director of Latino & Muslim Unity says.

A reflection of her vibrant, energetic personality, she says, she dons the hijab every Ramadan as she takes her #TacoTrucksInEveryMosque initiative to local mosques in Anaheim, Santa Ana and Garden Grove. The trucks serve halal meat, which has been prepared in adherence to Muslim law, alongside her latest civic mission. This Ramadan, with the primaries around the corner, her goal is to register Muslim and Latino Americans to vote. She also has a summit in the works to empower women to be financially free.

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This Is What Happens When You Drink A Margarita Every Day

BY CAROLINE CORAL

Whether it's cooling off by the pool during a summertime heatwave or an escape to a beachy tropical paradise, there are more than a few occasions to enjoy multiple days of margaritas. Don't let the fact that the godfather of Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffet, has given up on the cocktail (via People) deter you entirely. Here's a look at the pluses and minuses of drinking fresh lime juice, triple sec, and tequila on a daily basis.

According to The Daily Meal, a margarita made with freshly squeezed lime juice is going to contribute towards a healthy daily dose of vitamin C. The benefits of citrus are big. Dig in a little deeper and you'll find that lime juice contains additional healthy elements including antioxidants, immunity boosters, and even factors that can keep your skin glowing and reduce the risk of heart disease (via Healthline).

Of course, there is a downside to consuming all of that citrus. The Chicago Tribune warns that overdoing margs (and other highly acidic beverages) while in the summer sun can lead to a nasty condition called phytophotodermatitis otherwise known as "margarita dermatitis." The thinking behind this theory is that when lime juice comes into contact with skin, the sun heats it up making for a painful rash.

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Descanso-An OC Mexican Dining Experience

By Jessica Wilburn

You know the saying "Taco Tuesday"?  It is part of our weekly lives as a Southern California community.  We are blessed with many options to choose from: the fast-food version, the make it at home yourself version, the taco truck version, the happy hour version, and so on.  Now I can't say "Taco Tuesday" without thinking of the BEST taco Tuesday experience my family has ever had!  I am NOT exaggerating!  It was a night to be remembered and to be repeated monthly.

I have heard of Descanso restaurant several times over the years.  I didn't know much about this restaurant and because the restaurant is in Costa Mesa, I didn't give it much thought. I was then given the opportunity to experience their TAQUERO Tuesday in the Plancha room which is an immersive experience as you watch your food being prepared right in front of you.  The place was packed which is a good sign to me as that shows a great repeat business and people were happy all around us.

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The 50 best places to eat tacos in Orange County

By BRAD A. JOHNSON | bajohnson@scng.com | Orange County Register 

For the past six years, my annual compendium of the Best Places to Eat in Orange County has featured everything from tacos to French haute cuisine. And every year I’ve come away questioning, “Should I have included more tacos?”

Well, I finally cracked. Since 2021 was not a normal year, neither is this edition of the guide. Allow me to present the (long overdue) 50 Best Places to Eat Tacos. It’s a wide-ranging list that weaves a trail from smoke-filled parking lots in Anaheim to the hushed, serene confines of luxury stalwart Taco María in Costa Mesa. It’s an exploration of tacos al carbon, barbacoa, birria, buche, carne asada, carnitas, cecina, chicharrones, lengua, suadero and more.

And I still find myself thinking, “Should I have included more tacos?” Even 50 seems like too small of a number for a county that sprawls across 948 square miles and presumably has more taquerias than gas stations. On the bright side, some of these restaurants have extra locations or multiple trucks, so the truer tally is more like 70. Meanwhile, stay tuned: My traditional guide to the 75 Best Places to Eat returns next spring.

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One of Mexico City’s Biggest Taco Chains in Hollywood

by Bill Esparza  

Photos by Wonho Frank Lee

While Mexico City is a torta city, its variety of regional taco styles are world famous and coveted items for travelers to Mexico’s street food capital. There are multiple trompos slicing al pastor in every neighborhood, sweaty tacos de canasta (basket steamed tacos), suadero (beef belly), and offal simmering in silver discs of fat from tacos de fritanga (fried tacos) vendors. And there’s an endless menu of guisados, where tacos are covered with Mexican rice to absorb the liquid from colorful stews, braises, and deep-fried foods. But perhaps the most popular tacos for locals in CDMX are tacos a la plancha, where slender steaks, thinly sliced bone-in pork chops, spicy longaniza or chorizo, cecina (salt cured beef), and other meats are cooked on a flat top, then wrapped in a corn tortilla dressed with salsas and often generous sides like whole beans, nopales, grilled onions, and fried potatoes.

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30 Taco Recipes to Put on Repeat

By Food & Wine 

Whether you prefer your tacos meaty, packed with seafood, or vegetarian, we have a wealth of recipes for you to try. Some of our favorites include Birria tacos and carne asada tacos - we also love crispy ricotta-kale tacos, fideos secos tacos, and green chorizo and potato tacos, too (the crispy potato cubes are irresistible). Read on for even more of our best taco recipes.

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Why Tacos Are The Best Food on the Planet

By: Troy Johnson 

Tacos are messy. Some of us prefer that sort of touchy connection. We are a proud, embarrassing people. We tend to go in for the hug. We want to get food on our hands because it feels crispy and squishy and just plain cool. Kids are often terrible humans, but they’re right about this. Our ancient ancestors knew this was the best way, too. They painted this hand-eating urge into the caves of our DNA.

Many food experts say we’re too far removed from how food is made. Far as most of us know, food is grown and raised on Yelp. So, a hand-held taco gets us closer to the truth.

There are fewer and fewer things we can hold with our hands in this life. No matter how much you want to, you cannot hold that inspirational quote from Facebook in your hands, press it to your heart, and sigh. You can’t wring that Pinterest dream board between your fingers until it releases all its decor secrets. Digital currency is destroying our ability to roll around on a hotel bed in our first million, and iHugs will be a thing. A taco in the hand is worth two on the Instagram. 

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The Carnitas Revolution Is Coming

By José R. Ralat

For the last three years or so, the hottest trend in the taco world has been birria de res, a Jalisco, Mexico, import that traveled to the Lone Star State by way of California. Hundreds, if not thousands, of restaurants and trucks now offer a vast array of iterations of the consommé-dipped preparation, which has even made it into ramen and wontons. I’ve followed the birria boom since its inception, and now I’m seeing (and tasting) evidence that another taco revolution is starting to simmer across the state. It’s a dish you’ve likely heard of, one that has been served in Texas for more than a century. You may not have had the real thing, though, since preparing it right requires serious skill, knowledge, and time. I’m talking, of course, about carnitas.

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Can tacos help solve global challenges?

By Emily Heil

Not all heroes wear capes. Some, according to an eclectic group of writers, activists, academics, and others, are instead draped in tortillas.

To this group, a taco isn’t just a taco: The humble dish can be a conduit for conversations about communities and inequities, an ambassador for Mexican cuisine, a political tool, and a force for good across the globe.

Meet the International Taco Council, a nascent organization whose small mascot belies its big ambitions.

“We’ve always used food as a means of connecting with others,” says Serena Maria Daniels, the Detroit-based editor and founder of Tostada Magazine, an online publication focused on the voices of immigrants and people of color, who is the council’s inaugural president. “You might have a contentious topic, but when you sit down over a plate, it takes away the distance.”

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25 Types of Tacos

From al pastor to huitlacoche. 

By Serena Maria Daniels 

The taco is deceptively simple by reputation, tortilla, filling, and perhaps some garnishes or salsa on top. But the reality is that so much goes into the preparation for the myriad fillings of the ubiquitous taco that to dismiss this handheld meal as no more than street food is a huge disservice. Mexican food is a UNESCO-designated cultural treasure, and in the taco category, these vessels of masa, meat or meat-like proteins and spice are widely varied.

But it's also easy to get lost among all the options to stuff in tortillas and fall back on the basics. Which is fine, but if you're not exploring the wide world of taco fillings, you're doing your palate a disservice. To give you the knowledge you need to live your best taco life, we enlisted the expertise of Steven Alvarez, an assistant English professor at St. John’s University in Queens who came to fame when he started teaching a taco literacy course at the University of Kentucky.  

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Pairing Wine With Tacos

It seems like tacos are everywhere these days, whether it’s funky fun food trucks to high-end restaurants. While the diversity of taco fillings is delightful, pairings can be a challenge. For starters, consider any sauces and toppings (like chili pepper, onion, cilantro), not just the protein. Depending which region of Mexico your taco is from, or even if it’s Tex-Mex, flavors can run the gamut from tingly heat, to sweet, to tangy and often all the above. But even if it’s not extremely hot, some sort of chili is usually a factor. That translates to red wines with gentle, soft tannins and whites that balance sugar and acidity. Tacos also play well with crisp, quaffable beers like pilsners, citrusy IPAs, and lighter lagers, as well as anything in the extended margarita family. “If you’re in Mexico, someone’s going to hand you a taco, and you squeeze the lime right on,” says Noah Small, beverage director for New York City’s Empellón group. Because margaritas deliver that same citrusy zing, “it’s a natural thing to reach for.” 

Tacos

MEXICAN VS. AMERICAN SANGRITA

Breakfast: This beloved Tex-Mex staple, often made with scrambled eggs, bacon, and potatoes, is ideal with a Michelada, a tall, cold beer kicked up with the addition of lime juice and spices. “Champagne is [a] great move here if that’s how you like to roll,” says Small. “I’d also reach for Chardonnay with this.”

Al Pastor: Made with pork marinated with chili peppers and pineapple, Small likens the filling to BBQ. “It’s fatty meat with some sweetness to it, and that’s very good with beer…A session IPA that’s not too heavy? That’s perfect.” For wine, he says, “reds from the Canary Islands with all that volcanic smokiness work well. If you like something juicier, Rioja will do just fine.”

Fish: For Baja-style fish tacos made with fried or grilled fish, Small reaches for brisk white wines, particularly Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc or Spanish Txakoli. Fried fish also works well with beer and, of course, the classic margarita. “Anything citrus-focused” will pair well, he says.

Bistec (Beef): “You see a lot of beef preparations in Mexico,” says Small. “Different cuts are presented on tacos.” Your best pairing may depend on how the beef is prepared, whether it’s seared, braised, or stewed. No matter the cooking method, Small says, “It’s a good chance to go for a bolder red wine,” particularly Tempranillo, Grenache, or Malbec.

How To Pair Wine And Tacos

Why should drink pairings with tacos be limited to beer and Mexican spirits? There should be no shame in pairing a double-decker taco with your favorite rosé. “I think wine pairing for anyone is going to become much more sensible,” says Celia Pellegrini, general manager and wine director of Suerte in Austin. “It’s so easy to pick up a bottle of wine and not have to lug around a case of beer or create cocktails. Wine is becoming a really good way to kind of create a complete meal and celebrate that.”

Pairing Tips From Celia Pellegrini

1. Start with proteins. “For red meats, stick with light, bright reds, such as the mouthwatering Touriga Nacional from Adrienne Ballou’s Lightsome Wines in the Texas Hill Country. With chicken and seafood, I love Spanish whites like vinho verde and albariño—anything with high acid and a little bit of salinity, just like you find in a margarita. Southold Farm and Cellar in Fredericksburg makes an albariño called Sing Sweet Things that fits this bill perfectly.”

2. Take inspiration from drinks you already enjoy with Mexican food. “Why do people pair margaritas, palomas, and lagers with Mexican food? Because the flavors work well together, so I find wines that echo those same notes. When it comes to street food, I typically want to drink a Mexican Coke, Sprite, or Jarritos because it’s bright and refreshing with a little bit of acid and a little bit of fruit or sweetness. That’s why you always see them around taco stands. Lambruscos and pétillant naturels (pet nats) work well with simple street tacos. Pet nats often have similar notes that are light, fresh, and make your mouth water a little bit as the bubbles refresh the fatty texture of the tacos. One of my favorites, from Tecate, Mexico, is the Bichi Pet Mex.”

3. Choose wines that echo the flavors of Mexican foods. “Mexican cooking is complex and layered, particularly when you look at dishes like mole negro. There are notes of dried fruit, chiles, chocolate, and more, which makes it difficult to find a wine that fits. I typically pick one note to focus on. With mole negro, I’ve had success pairing several Chilean wines, because they have these beautiful pepper notes that remind me of the chiles in mole negro. Mexican cooking has a lot of chiles, and while I don’t often find wines that remind me of the dried chiles of Mexico, I can often find wines with notes of pepper and jalapeño.”

4. Go for bubbles, but with caution. “Bubbles do a great job of balancing out fat, but they can also exacerbate spice. If you are going to go with bubbles, go with something with a lot of fruit. The fruit notes will stand up to the bold flavors of the chiles and spice. William Chris Vineyards’ pétillant naturel rosé is the perfect balance of bubbles and fruit.”

5. Skip the tannins. “There are two faithful guidelines that I stick to pretty much every time. The first is that you should drink something you enjoy alongside the food that you enjoy. There are so many ‘rules’ in wine pairings that it’s easy to get caught up in the nuances, but never drink something you don’t like just because it’s the ‘right’ pairing. That said, when pairing wine with Mexican food, do skip high-tannin reds. Tannins make your mouth dry, and the last thing you want when you’re eating spicy foods is to not be able to flush out the spices.”

Birria and Brisket Tacos at Starr Barbecue

Starr Barbecue, with its brightly colored exterior and an interior packed with memorabilia from years gone by has all the makings of a classic Texas ’cue joint. Here you can find wedges of pan de campo—a cakelike cowboy bread baked in a Dutch oven—served with a heart-stopping mound of butter. And the barbecue comes wrapped in tortillas just as often as it’s served on a tray. It’s with these tacos that Starr truly shines.

Starr Barbecue excels when it focuses on its border roots, using fresh ingredients and beloved brands. The mac and cheese is made with Velveeta. Some snobby gourmets might turn up their noses at that, but Texans know that the traditional, comforting queso con chile dip requires Velveeta. Starr Barbecue also serves cheesy birria de res tacos with stewed brisket in a birria broth punctuated with ancho, pasilla, and guajillo chiles. Small cups of the strong-flavored consommé and a salsa roja whose spice flares up in the back of the throat are served alongside four tacos in a basket lined with red-and-white checkered paper. The tacos are fragrant, juicy, and oozing with mozzarella cheese, a common Mexican American substitute for expensive Oaxacan quesillo. Also, Gonzalez knows that traditional birria is made with goat. Goat is popular in the Valley, as butterflied, spit-roasted cabrito al pastor, but Gonzalez insists that because Starr is a barbecue joint that smokes brisket, brisket is what should be in her birria. I also liked the chewy, heartwarming charro beans served in a small Styrofoam cup.

smoked brisket tacos

The saucy smoked brisket tacos, nestled in house-made flour tortillas, are even better than the birria. The meat is juicy, while the sauce balances sweet and spice. Best of all is the flattened, rectangular burrito. Dark-spotted with swooshes of brown created from time on the flattop, the behemoth fits tightly into a 8¼-by-5¾-inch foil-lined Styrofoam meat tray. Cut into quadrants, the exposed interior shows the same saucy chopped brisket mixed with refried beans and mozzarella. The components work harmoniously in every bite.

Starr Barbecue 

1300 W Main St. Rio Grande City, TX 78582
Phone: 956-488-0555
Hours: Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m

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