The Palate and I cruised down SW Military Drive, because that’s what you do. You don’t drive down SW Military Drive. You cruise. And in the sea of business signs — amid the Peter Piper Pizzas and Chinese restaurants and auto stores — we spotted, in one of the endless retail strips, Hacienda el Tule.
(Yes, you read that correctly. The Palate is back! Or, was back for this write-up, at least. Good to bring some respectability and real tastebuds to a Tacoist post.)
Having two of us meant more tacos to taste. Overall, Hacienda el Tule’s tacos were about average. However, there were surprising moments.
The papa ranchera would have been a very, very good taco if it hadn’t been for a few slightly undercooked potatoes. Otherwise, the tomato-based ranchera sauce was excellent.
We both really enjoyed the “chicharron w/sauce.” Usually, you’ll see the sauce described as red or green. Here, it’s just “sauce.” That’s because it appears of red or orange hue, but it’s obvious there was tomatillo mixed in. The result is a tangy and very acidic sauce. And delicious. It could have used some salt to cut through the acidity, but otherwise this was a very tasty taco. The skins were cooked perfectly.
The Palate really liked the machacado and egg. So did I, but I thought the meat was over salted and the egg slightly overdone.
The carne guisada had good flavor up front, but then it trailed off considerably. The beans in the bean and cheese were average on a very good corn tortilla. The chorizo and egg was your standard, average, blah chorizo and egg. (My least favorite kind of breakfast taco.)
Hacienda el Tule generally delivered the flavors. When it didn’t, like in the case of the carne guisada, the garlicky green hot sauce served as one of the best flavor enhancers I’ve had in any taqueria. So why isn’t my rating higher? The flour tortillas were very standard.
If you’re cruising down SW Military Drive, know that there is some talent inside Hacienda el Tule’s kitchen. But there are also setbacks.
Hacienda el Tule, 403 S.W. Military Drive, (210) 924-4232
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.