Taco Call and Response

RECEIVED Sun., Nov. 7, 2010

Dear Editor,
    Just a couple of quick notes on "Taco Wars" [Food, Nov. 5]: You listed 17 locations for the three taco "chains." Of these 17, 13 (or 76%) are north of the river. What gives with that?
    I really enjoy eating the Big Pink at Torchy's. But, alas, I am limited to this one selection, as all the other tacos I have tried at Torchy's are way too salty. C'mon folks – let us season them ourselves!
Stan Peyton
   [Rachel Feit responds: I am not sure why most of the big three in Austin's taco wars are north of the river, though I'd speculate that maybe this is due to the fact that there is more demand north of the river. South Austin has been a hub for Tex-Mex for a long time now, and there are already many well-established restaurants that serve tacos south of the river. By contrast, the area north of the river and west of I-35 was a wasteland for good Mexican food (except Fonda San Miguel, which is in a different class) until recently. Notice that there are no Torchy's, Taco Shack, or Tacodeli outlets in East Austin either, which historically has been home to many well-established Mexican restaurants. When I interviewed Orlando Arriaga, the owner of Taco Shack, he mentioned to me that he has always wanted to open a place south of the river, but he has never found the right opportunity. This could have something to do with market saturation.]
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