Sometimes you don’t need to have all the tacos to know whether a taqueria is good. At Mi Celayence, all it took was the carne guisada.
This is what carne guisada is supposed to taste like: Tender meat in stew that is flavorful and somewhat complex. Not too fatty. Without watching it being made, I can’t be certain — but my taco companion and I agreed that the greatness of this carne guisada probably has something to do with not skipping steps. Too many times they’ll bring you a carne guisada that is barely seasoned meat in a watery sauce type of thing. This carne guisada is definitely not that. We thought it might have something to do with the use of tomato paste after the beef chunks have been browned — as the cook begins to compose the dish. Whatever it is, this carne guisada is intoxicating. And it was all put in perfectly cooked and soft flour tortillas.
The other tacos weren’t at such a high level as the carne guisada, but good nonetheless.
I really enjoyed the egg and bacon. Mi Celayence’s version mixes in bits of bacon with the scrambled egg. For some people this is a proper bacon and egg taco. For others, this is sacrilegious — an untouched bacon strip placed in an egg taco as being the only acceptable treatment. Me? I’ve never taken a side in the great egg-and-bacon taco debate. I don’t want to get political. Either way, this was a fine taco and with an excellent corn tortilla.
The bean in the bean and cheese was undeniably homemade and very good with cheddar cheese. The machacado was slightly burnt and the beef tasted kind of bland, but all of the other ingredients that included diced ham lifted the taco to respectability.
On Mi Celayence’s list of tacos you’ll find “pancake.” I asked about this, because how cool would a pancake taco be — whether the pancake be wrapped in a tortilla or the pancake is the tortilla? (If you’re mind was just blown then we’re on the same page.) Turns out it’s just a pancake for $1.99.
Mi Celayence is big and kind of dumpy with excellent service. Red and yellow wooden bird cages hang over the dining area. A picture of the Last Supper hangs near the register. Also near the register is the family menu. And topping that list is cabrito — one pound with all the sides and tortillas for $23.99. Yeah, I definitely feel good about this place.
Mi Celayence, 2903 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 732-1122
— 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.