At Gibby’s La Cocina on Nogalitos Street, it was A Tale of Two Tortillas. Flour to be exact. Now, I’ve never read the Charles Dickens classic, so this is about as far as I can take this literary pun. But, I tell you, the same tortilla coming out of the same kitchen changed vastly depending on whether I consumed them in the restaurant or in my office.
When I ate them at Gibby’s, the tortillas seemed poorly made — silky and doughy.
But when I took them to go and brought them back to my newsroom, they were soft and tasty. It must have been the steaming process, while the tortillas were inside the foil, that cooked them more thoroughly.
Usually, the opposite happens — where the tortillas are best ordered in house rather than to go.
So, allow me to take you on this journey, taco by taco. I’ll start with Gibby’s specialty tacos.
Their Taco Feo looked promising — asada, egg and bean. This is one I ate at Gibby’s so the doughy and chewy (in a bad way) tortilla turned me off. Some of the asada were tough to chew. However, the scrambled egg was cooked and mixed in perfectly with the meat. The beans had very good flavor. And the grilled onions were a pleasant surprise. I’ll order this one to go next time.
That’s what happened with the Lalito — an egg taco with cheese and butter. This certainly is new. Tacos aren’t the healthiest food, and then add butter? Sure. They must have slathered the inside of the tortilla with butter, and then added the egg and a yellow-white cheese combo. Again, the steam must have softened the tortilla even more and actually allowed the butter to drip and incorporate more into the egg and cheese mixture. Delicious. I felt my heart skip a beat or two, but delicious.
Other standouts were the bacon and egg, which was mixed together well and not greasy in its steamed tortilla.
The papa ranchera — also steamed — was very good with its way-above-average ranchera sauce, which captured the essence of the tomato beautifully. I would have liked the potato pieces a little less mushy.
The carne guisada and bean and cheese were disappointments. Not bad versions of these S.A. classics, but just not as memorable as Gibby’s other tacos. These were consumed in house, by the way.
Speaking of tortillas, the chilaquiles I had on corn in the restaurant and it was a winner. I loved the freshness of the diced hot onion, tomato and serrano pepper. My thing with Tex-Mex chilaquiles: They must be cheesy, and these weren’t. Still, a good taco with a large and perfectly cooked corn tortilla.
So, my opinion of Gibby’s changed drastically based on how and when I ate these tacos. This proves, if anything, that tortillas really are the key to quality tacos.
Gibby’s La Cocina, 2602 Nogalitos St., (210) 922-9660
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.