While in Converse …
This isn’t a community or part of town I’d normally eye for the latest taco discovery. But I was in the neighborhood for my job-job and this restaurant — El Patio — looked promising.
It’s located in what looks like a covered patio just down the street from D.W. Rutledge Stadium, home of the Judson Rockets. I had high hopes for this place because it’s mom-and-pop-looking and has all the appropriate signage, like “Breakfast Taco Special — 3 Tacos For $2.99 — No Mix.”
I asked the waitress for her recommendation and she half-heartedly pointed me to the country guisada, which is country sausage in a sauce. It was good. The sausage quality seemed somewhere in the middle — not the cheap stuff, but not Kiolbassa. The sauce was thin but not runny — it stuck to the triangular pieces of sauce. And it had a nice kick from the peppers.
The carne guisada was actually very good. El Patio’s version isn’t big on the stew. It’s the meat that takes top billing. It was well-seasoned and had very little fat. Perhaps a bit on the dry side, but it wasn’t hard to chew. This carne guisada just tasted like MEAT, if that makes sense.
It was impossible to get a handle on the beans in the bean and cheese because they were covered in like a cheese casing. Like, no light was touching those beans. It was OK, but I will give props (do the kids still say this?) to the corn tortilla. It seemed very homemade and cornmeal-y, like it could have made a great gordita in another life — er — patting.
The chicharron was a disappointment. It was clearly fried pork skins that were covered in the same chile de arbol red sauce that was on the table. Absolutely no indication that it was cooked over a period of time.
I could have made that taco.
El Patio, 805 S. Seguin Road, Converse, Texas, (210) 566-1739
Worth traveling across town for
Average S.A. taqueria. Some hits, some 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.