On this most cherished 4th day of October, National Taco day, it seems fitting to reflect back on probably the best taco town I’ve visited, Houston, TX. San Antonio may have better Mexican food, and Austin better BBQ, but Houston nails the perfect intersection of Tex and Mex and has some killer tacos.
Tacos a Go-Go
Tacos a Go-Go is a Houston local taco joint with two locations in the city. Walking in feels like someone sort of remembered something they saw in Mexico and described it to someone else who told the decorator how to do it. Mexican movie posters, luchador masks, and of course flags serve as the main decor but somehow it works and sort of feels authentic. The menu is vast and covers all of your taco needs from shrimp to brisket to queso fresco. They also offer beer from Texas and Mexico, but don’t go looking for any crafts, it just covers Shiner, Lone Star, and Tecate. With the strong flavor of the tacos, these work fairly well though. The tacos are authentic Mexican style street tacos with a corn tortilla, or available as puffy fried tacos. Definitely do the puffy ones for some extra texture. The carne guisado, slow marinated chicken was nice and tender and in a slightly spicy sauce. The brisket taco was awesome with slow cooked brisket and a smoky flavor. The grilled shrimp was also good, but the least exciting of the three. The shells were incredible and the toppings equally packed with flavor. Tacos a Go-Go is the perfect spot for some Mexican street food style tacos and atmosphere.
Back in 2012, I experienced Torchy’s for the first time in a parking lot in Austin. The ambiance and birds stalking me for a bite didn’t take away from the amazing tacos one bit and when I ran across Torchy’s in Houston, dropped everything and ran in. Torchy’s is a great take on more modern tacos, you won’t find standard Mexican street tacos here. There are a ton of normal and breakfast tacos available and they even have craft beer from the Houston area. The tacos are delicious and you can’t go wrong, though I love the spice of the insane Brushfire and the tender and seasoned meat of the brisket one, the Crossroads. The special taco of the month in September, with fried chicken and maple bacon was also particularly amazing. Torchy’s is fast and delicious and the price isn’t bad. The chips and spicy salsa are also quite good so load up as well. Torchy’s is so good I went for dinner, then again for lunch the next day when I was in Houston.
Not in the mood for tacos? Try an Indian pizza at Bombay Pizza Co.
A unique find in Downtown Houston was the Bombay Pizza Company, a pizza joint serving pizza topped with Indian restaurant staples. They make a chicken tikka pizza and this delicious and creamy Saag Paneer pizza. The crust is even more of a flatbread and almost naan like which goes so well with the toppings. Saag paneer is a spinach and cheese cube dish and between this and the cheese, it is very creamy and has a great texture. Like everywhere in Houston, service is super friendly and very willing to help with the menu or suggestions. This is a perfect place to duck in and escape the crowds of downtown during the day. Just kidding, I don’t think we saw a single other person in all of the downtown while there. The buildings are quite impressive but does anyone actually live or work here?
Where to wash it all down: Little Woodrow’s
Since Taco Day falls on football day, here’s my tip of where to watch the game. Grab some tacos from the nearby Torchy’s, or bring a chicken pizza from Bombay Pizza to Little Woodrow’s. They don’t serve food, but the ambiance, beer list, and football watching options are all top notch. The draft list is pretty extensive, not like the Ginger Man next door, but Woodrow’s is much more accessible and less intimidating. They have great local craft options and plenty of seasonals on tap. Ginger Man is a good option too, and has something like 60 beers on tap, but no TVs. On the deck at Woodrow’s you can enjoy your brew and veg out while catching the game.
How to wake up the next morning: Siphon Coffee
After all those tacos, pizza, and beer, you may have a hard time getting up the next day. Or maybe you just need some fuel to get through a lazy Sunday. If so, grab some coffee from Siphon. You can either chill out at the ample seating inside on couches or high counters which all have outlets, or enjoy the outside garden area. You’ll want to sit for a spell with the cooky siphon device which while heated, soaks up the coffee and delivers a smooth and strong brew. It’s a great place to unwind and slowly sip some tasty brew.