Stingray, you owe me a new taco

Great thread of yours, but after reading about your taco lunch, I got a craving.  Here in Florida, we can’t get good tacos.  Just Ropa Viejo.  Did not hit the spot. 

all the best

Met a “local boy” from da Big Island at the Board Show last Sat.  We were talkin’  “poke”. Man I miss that stuff.  No shortage of Taco Joints out West.  You should learn to make your own.  We got Winco’s and Carncerias out here.  You can get everything you need to make your own.  I just had Taquitos and Guac yesterday with Cueritos.  Little yellow waxed chiles.  Lowel

I’m gonna get hosed for this I know but…

Every now and again, our local Costco (S.L.O.) has decent poke.

Mr. Tate, cuando la ropa es vieja, mucho salsa vato. Budweiser and Poke…a repast of Kings. I could eat my weight in it and I’m a fat f$$%. M’Ding, as you know in “Alta Ca.” no need to DYI. Grinds on every corner. Love that Mole.

Greg’s first post in this thread got me wondering what kind of literary food porn stingray had posted about his taco lunch to get Greg so stirred up about it… so I went and checked out the “Not my first Epoxy Glass Job” thread.

And that was it. That was all there was. Less than one line about the taco lunch in a four page thread.

Holy cow Greg, 'doesn’t take much to get you jonesing for a taco does it?

I just don’t get it.

How can you not have access to a decent taco? You’re living in the U.S.

Okay so Florida doesn’t share a land border with Mexico, but it’s only a few hundred miles from Florida to the Texan border which is famous for it’s Tex-Mex food. What happens in those few hundred miles that kills off the standards for making a half-decent taco?

How hard can it be to make a decent taco? They’re not that hard to make; at quite a few family meals we’ve eaten taco’s made from the “Old El Paso” taco kits. Simple. Easy. Tasty. I thought they were pretty decent.

And they’re available all over the world.

But then again, after a bit of reflection, maybe it’s me that’s the problem.

Maybe those “Old El Paso” taco’s, relatively speaking, aren’t all that good.

Maybe it’s because I’m the one that’s never tasted a decent taco, and so I’ve no idea what you’re on about.

Okay Greg (and anyone else who wants to chime in), what does hit the spot?

What is your definition of what makes a “good taco”?

OLD EL PASO?!?!?! Fer cryin’ out loud, why not say New york City? No offense but Old El Paso doesn’t come close to the real deal. Barbacoa, Pastor, Carnitas? As the “Local Boys” from the islands would say, “broke da mouth”. Fageddaboudit.

:)  :)  :)  :slight_smile:

I had a notion my mention of “Old El Paso” might elicit that kind of response.

Absolutely none taken :slight_smile:

I suspected that might have been the case, and that’s exactly why I’m asking.

Sorry, nope. Never heard of any of them.

Good to have my suspicions confirmed, but also a major bummer too, because you know what stings most? I’ve driven the West Coast of the U.S. before, and not once did I think to try out some Mexican food along the way. Dumb. Really, really DUMB. Too late now though.

So. What’s the difference? What should I be looking for next time I’m out trying to find a decent taco?

Better yet, how do I make one?

…from time to time this thing about “tacos” and the other types of meals appears here and in other forums…I do not have an idea of what a taco is; ok now with internet I can check a picture or a recipe but I cannot imagine the taste. A few weeks ago I was recording a song in a “budget” studio and the audio guy there plays in a band that is somewhat famous; they had a show in Mexico in that huge festival: “Vive latino” in the DC and the guy started to talk about these and other Mexican foods…he did not liked any (!) also said that the quality and hygiene were not the best…

Is that taco thing a thing from South California? Is da iconic food there or is something because is near the border and also a coastal stuff; something that you do not see inland California?



My daughter is in Morelia michoacan.  She loves to send me pics like this quesadilla, cost her $1.60. Or the torito, grilled jalapeño with cheese and shredded Marlin, and salt, cost a whopping 86 cents.

She’s become a real foodie. The last pic is gorditas which she describes as SO GOOD! They are $0.46, stuffed with beans, fresh melted cheese, and any meat you want.  There ya go Mr. Tate!

Okay, sounds like there’s at least two of us who’d like to know how to put together a decent taco.

Reverb - the Mexican food I’ve had in the past has been good. Not amazingly “WOW, where have you been all my life?” good - mind you, nothing has ever made me feel that way; personally I think the whole foodie thing’s got a little bit out of hand over the last decade or so. Actually, scratch that. I think it’s got a LOT out of hand (e.g. all the cooks, chef’s, and would-you-believe-it, food critic’s, who’ve become multi-millionaire media celebrities over that time)… but as per usual, I digress.

To get back to the point, it’s good stuff. Generally it’s been “hot” food; lots of spicy chilli-based sauces used, but as long as you can get your hands on something that’s not too hot/spicy for you to handle, it’s been good, cheap, and fairly healthy stuff.

Mind you, I have read that an Aussie shaper, after encountering Mexican food on his first trip to California (and possibly down into Baja too?), back in I think the 1960’s, went absolutely crazy over it. So much so that when he got home he set up a Mexican restaurant in his home town and has spent the rest of his life searching for and experimenting with recipes to try and create the ultimate “rellenos” (stuffed chillies). The restaurant is gone now, but from what I hear, his search for the “Ultimate Rellenos” goes on.

So there may be more to Mexican food than I imagine, and beware Reverb; that same thing could well happen to you to once you’ve tried “the real deal” :slight_smile:

As to the hygiene and quality; I suspect that all depends on who you’re getting to cook for you, and how much you’re willing to pay -> the photo’s of the meals Deadshaper posted recently from his trip to Puerto Vallarta where he was staying in a rock-star penthouse style apartment looked as clean and as good quality as you could get anywhere in the world.

Incidentally Reverb, I get the impression you’re from South America (Brazil perhaps)? If so, what local food would you recommend a visiting Swaylockian try out if they’re passing through your neighbourhood?

Doesn’t necessarily have to be “national dish” type stuff. Just good, tasty local food.


I’ve been to Mexico less than 5 times in 50 years. Southern California has awesome Mexican food. Everything from Street tocos, to Toco Stands to real Classy Mexican Restaurants…

Surfers tend to like what we call Taco Stands… Small places, mostly locally owned, sometimes more than one location but not big chains…Chilli’s and Toco Bell …no way Jose!!!

…L.I.T. is BS’ing or just doesn’t get it… ass burning peppers is not good Mexican food… And Tex / Mex is not what So Cal surfers are eating… I’ll be ordering a carne asada burrito for lunch tomorrow…For Greg Tate to drool over. Yummy.


Ok. Last time I was in Baja we ate at El Trailero in Sauzal  in Ensenada. Best tacos in the known world. Anyone know the place?

Back home in  Florida it’s all Cuban. Not bad but not Tacos.  

On your way to Big Sur from the South, stop a Zorro’s, Shell Beach Rd., Pismo Beach. That’s a relleno!!! Homemade tortillas. You even get an orchid on your plate on Sundays.

Thanks to this thread, I’m planning on having to add extra volume to my next build. 

I am not sure I would call Mexican food healthy.  But I love it.  All this talk of Mexican has me salivating.

Tex-Mex in Tejas is where I got started.  Some differences from CA, not huge though.  It is all about which one you grow up with.

“Eating Taco,” as my local escort called it, at midnight on a street corner in Hermosillo was fantastic.  Fire-grilled beef, sliced on a log cut in half, served with fresh “bandera” (aka pico de gallo) and fresh flour tortillas, oh yeah.  Without a local taking me there, it would have been risky solo – possible bad case of tourista otherwise.  Seafood rellenos at a restaurant in Navojoa with a group of locals were great, especially washed down with a bottle of Bohemia.

What he called “eating taco” was what our good native latino friend in San Antonio, TX grilled for us regularly many years ago.  He called them “fajitas.”  My sister in-law is latina.  She made the fresh pico de gallo and quacamole.  (Never had the desire to try beef-head barbacoa.)  And there was always much cerveza.

Corn tortilla shells with Old El Paso/ground beef filling ain’t quite the same.

I am not a “foodie,” but Mexican is my number one non-gringo food.  (After brewing my own, my tastes in micro-brew and brew-pub ales has become selective though.)

I do appreciate a good Mexican meal, but this thread brings up memories of growing up surfing Huntington Beach at Taco Bell Reef (9th street), and then going across Coast Hwy to the Taco Bell at which all your friends worked and scarfing down all the food you can.

Tako Poke!  One of my favorites.

I guess I’m lucky to have 712 Mexican eateries in my area.

Here’s my local source "el tuca " ,fresh from the market.owner was a teacher at the SF culinary collage plus I get the hook up’s

Mine too.

Greg, There are a couple of good Mexican food joints in this area. One in Dunedin That I like is El Huarache Azteca. on Alt 19.  Another is more up scale Casa Tina also in Dunedin. 

There is something about building boards and Mexican Food. When I was working at Nectar,it was a regular routine to head over to The Market Mexican Restaurant for beers and Burritos.