Sometimes a taqueria is just a taqueria. It’s vanilla.
No taco drives you to murder the cook, like Johnny Depp did in “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” after finishing his cochinita pibil, because the food is so good that balance must be restored.
Vanilla is a very good thing if you’re in the neighborhood and you’re looking for a restaurant to satisfy your breakfast taco jones.
El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant on the far West Side is such a restaurant. All of the tacos were pretty good. The menu is your standard San Antonio breakfast taco menu and that’s wonderful.
An ecclesiastical man (he mentioned the congregation several times) kept raving about the ham-and-egg taco so, yes, I told the waitress, I’ll have that on corn.
The first thing that came to me was the corn tortilla, one of the better ones I’ve had. It was soft and on the thicker side — you could really taste the corn. The egg steamed. The ham texturally was more boiled than cooked on a hot surface. The red hot sauce — chile de arbol-based with something like lime to tame the chile — complemented this taco well.
The beans in the bean and cheese were more coarse than the typical pulverized refried we’re accustomed to. So more of a watery bean; I could still detect the skins. Very good in flavor; perhaps on the buttery side. The height of the beans made me wish I had ordered them on that excellent corn tortilla.
The flour tortillas tasted fine. But these weren’t the fluffy and pillowy kind. These are flatter, a bit tougher. Seems like some kind of agent was added to the comal to add flavor to them given they had a yellow sheen.
The potato and bacon was basically hash browns with chopped bacon mixed in. DRY. The bacon bits had beautiful crunch, though. The carne guisada was chunky and less stewy, but the meat was moist and tender. What little stew was more on the red side.
This place in the Westover Hills area is a full-blown restaurant and bar that’s open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. every day. The one thing I couldn’t stop thinking about was not tacos, but the $3 margaritas they offer during happy hour in cool flavors like mango and strawberry. However, no vanilla.
El Rodeo, 8085 Potranco Road, (210) 521-0246
— 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.