Here’s a little gem on the southwest side that’s nestled in what looks like the main drag of a small town.
However, most of the retail buildings along this stretch of Southcross Boulevard are shuttered. It’s weird to me that this specter of a community is in the middle of the seventh largest city in the U.S. But, of course, there are taquerias.
Mary’s Snack Bar & Cafe looks like a business left over from whatever past these buildings allude to. Like Tacoland, it doesn’t resemble what its name says it is.
Mary’s opened in 1965, when this strip was bustling with military personnel from nearby Kelly AFB. The new owners took over the place years ago, but kept the name because it was well-known in the neighborhood, we learned after talking with some of the staff.
Oh, and the tacos are solid.
My buddy Val and I ordered a smorgasbord of tacos (don’t we all, usually?). We both agreed that the chicharrone guisada was tops with its chewy, well-seasoned pork skin in an excellent and consistent stew with its bits of red pepper. Yes. Hell, yes.
The waitress recommended the carne guisada and it didn’t disappoint with its good beefy flavor and tenderness. Other solid selections were the asada a la mex; the bean and cheese; the country sausage guisada (it was a guisada fest); egg a la mex and papa country — all pretty good with solid homemade tortillas.
The service was solid, too — some of the best so far on this fledgling Tacoist journey. The inside of Mary’s looks like the 1960s. An older couple watched The Price is Right on a TV directly in front of them while eating tacos. An older gentlemen in the corner, clearly a regular, drank coffee and eyeballed us the entire time.
On a non-taco note, the waitresses were wearing T-shirts that said “Got Ribs?” on the back. So we asked. On Fridays, they serve beef short ribs during lunch. Now that sounds pretty damn good. Rib-ist?
Mary’s Snack Bar & Cafe, 2709 W. Southcross Blvd., (210) 921-2575
— Worth traveling across town for
— Average S.A. taqueria. Some hits, some misses
— Mostly misses
— Benjamin Olivo
What do you think? Is there a taco I should have ordered, but didn’t? Have any taco news, issues or concerns? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.