Taco More Grabs Us with Goat Dishes
Taco More sits on the Northwest corner of Parkfield and Rundberg in North Austin, but not too far beyond the demarcation line of Research Blvd. It's an unassuming spot well worth finding.This joint tends to be pretty busy at lunchtime, but our pal Diego was able to snare a table on the patio and had totopos (chips) and salsa waiting when Shane and I arrived. Neither Diego nor Shane had ever been there before, so I gave them a rundown on the menu. I had eyes only for posole and chivo.
We got more chips and raided the salsa bar inside. They usually have 6 different salsas and a whole assortment of other treats, like pico de gallo, and radish slices. My favorite sauce is featured here in this shot: it is made from chile de arbol and crushed peanuts and is hot as hell but very flavorful. They also have the standard smooth green jalapeño-tomatillo-avocado that everyone is nuts about. The red sauce here is the raw tomato version of their casera (house) salsa, which is different from the cooked red salsa served with the totopos. They are all great.
This shot shows the griddled fresno chiles (they have a little bit of heat, but not very much) and the small fried, dried hot-as-hell smoky chiles japones that both grace the salsa bar. The green sauce pictured here tastes like pureed jalapeños with just a dab of tomatillo and big chunks of avocado; it’s mostly jalapeño and is quite piquant. The other component in this shot is onion pickled in escabeche with a little Mexican oregano and vinegar with a little sugar. The sweet in the sweet-sour is subtle, but they taste really good.
Here is the taco de chivo in all its glory, topped with onion and cilantro. Rich, sensual shredded goat meat that melts in your mouth with just the right amount of funk. Taco More handles goat with delicious aplomb.
Here is the Taco More gringo quesadilla; two tortillas stuffed with tender, succulent pork carnitas and melty queso asadero. This combines for a fantastic gringo that could only be better with a homemade flour tortilla (the corn tortillas taste homemade, by the way).
But these were just appetizers. What I always want at Taco More is a bowl of their amazing posole; I've been a devoted fan since my first visit. The “medium” posole is just over five bucks and comes in a mini bathtub cradling a rich, aromatic, complex pork broth seasoned with dried red chiles; it has a little bit of zip to the taste, but is more about chile flavor than heat. This rich broth is loaded up with white hominy and easily a half pound of the most tender braised pork chunks you could ever want to slurp. On the side they bring another full-sized plate covered with shredded lettuce, radish slices, avocado slices, onions, and cilantro, all of which get dumped ceremoniously into the bowl. A smaller side plate holds three crispy fried corn tortillas to be broken up and added to the bowl. I am an eater of some renown and it is all I can do to finish a loaded medium bowl of this magnificent posole. It’s on par with their fabulous chickpea and goat meat soup that is also offered.
Not that many güeros seem to have discovered Taco More, which in my mind speaks for the authenticity of the food. The crowd is usually mostly Latinos from the neighborhood. Trust me, if you are looking for a dynamite taqueria, Taco More is where you want to eat, regardless of your heritage.
9414 Parkfield 512/821-1561
A version of this story ran on Mick Vann's blog.