Strip Tease – Taqueria Nueva Vallarta

Strip Tease – Taqueria Nueva Vallarta

4117 S. Staples St. – Ste. 200
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
Mon. – Fri. 6:00am – 10:00pm

FullSizeRender (4)What a mess.  I don’t know about where you are right now, but the Sparkling City is a mess.  We’ve had a slow drizzle for the last couple of days and the grit and grime of the city has been uprooted from its natural place on the streets, and deposited on every surface in the city.  The muddy patina that looked so at home on my old Dodge POS, looks out-of-place on my current truck.   But at least I’m not the only dirty bird on the road.  Still, after a couple of days of muck, I’m ready for some sparkle.  And that’s just what I found.

Being in the taco-eating business, I get recommendations all the time about taco shops I should try.  Friend and taco fan, Jim always has a recommendation and has quite often proven to be in the know about new shops in town.  Most recently, he suggested Taqueria Nuevo Vallarta on Staples and I thought I’d give it a go.  The Taco Show Host was unavailable this morning, so I had asked another tacoficianado, Johnny Joe to meet me there and have breakfast.  Johnny’s a veteran of tortilla-wrapped deliciousness and has set us on to several good shops in the past.

Quite the contrast to the dismal, sloppy, mud-coated city outside, inside Nuevo Vallarta was bright and shiny.  It’s located in a strip mall in the newly renovated Parkdale plaza.  There’s not a spec of dirt anywhere in the place.  Our waitress, Nadia, told us that they had just been open for two weeks and were still working out some of the kinks.   I noticed the temporary signage on the building, but I really didn’t notice any kinks.FullSizeRender (1)

Nv. Vallarta is a full-service restaurant and while it was a bit early for me, I did notice a nice bar tucked in the corner.  The menu was varied and I jumped to the taco section expecting to find the usual fare, but to my surprise, I found more.  I ended up with a machacado con huevos a la Mexicana on a homemade corn tort and a lingua con cilantro y cebollas on flour.  Johnny ordered a carne guisada with aquacate and a chorizo, bean and egg, both on flour.

FullSizeRender (5)As we waited, we talked about old Dodges and dead hogs.  The coffee was good and kept piping hot by frequent visits from our waitress.  She brought us a couple of squirt bottles of hot sauce in preparation for our meal.  It wasn’t long before our tacos arrived and they were beauts.  The machacado taco had plenty of the carne seco.  The vegetables were fresh and the corn tortilla delicious.  It was one of those thinner, toothier torts that held up well to the overstuffed onslaught of the machacado mix.  The lengua also was good, not spectacular, but good.  The flour tortilla it was sharing space with though was primo.  I asked our server which of the sauces was the hotter of the two and she said that for her, neither.  She said she was fond of chiles.  Both sauces, red and green were rich and flavorful.  Not very hot.  But Johnny was prepared for the lack of heat, having secreted in a small jar of homemade sauce that definitely brought the heat.

We chatted with the waitress about fishing as we finished up breakfast.  I don’t know why, but I have a prejudice about strip malls.  But Taqueria Nuevo Vallarta definitely slapped that right out of my head.  Our breakfast was a total of $15 and well worth it.  I recommend checking out the joint.  I already have plans to go back for lunch or dinner and try one of the platos.


Our Taco Award Winner for this week is:

Karen Allen

Karen Allen

My first exposure to Ms Allen was in the movie Animal House.  She played the level-headed love interest of one of the Delts.  But the role that made her famous was that of Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Her acting career spans just about 4 decades and she shows no sign of giving it up.  About here, the Taco Show Host would have a listing of media facts and double entendres, but I just don’t have the gift.  I will say though that my favorite part of the movie’s climax was not watching God have his way with the Nazis,  but the way the wind plastered her satin gown over her handsome figure.  Come on, I was 17.  As well as acting, she has her own clothing line, Karen Allen Fiber Arts, featuring handmade cashmere clothing.  Congratulations to Karen Allen, this week’s Taco Award Winner.

Offer includes 2 tacos, an audience with the ‘tacoteurs,’ and a free Tacotopia t-shirt. Taco Award winners may claim their prizes by responding on  the Tacotopia Facebook Page, or by emailing

Offer subject to cancellation by order of the wives of the tacoteurs.


At Home on Taco Row – La Tapatia #1


At Home on Taco Row – Tapatia #1

4503 Kostoryz Rd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78415
(361) 225-3551

So as mentioned last time, the Boss and I went and partook in a ritual we haven’t done in a while.  I must say, it was good to be back.  It’s true.  We are both currently reinventing ourselves in the “healthy” sort of way.  I don’t know how The Taco Show Host does it, but I had to drop my daily taco fix to stay under my now year-old draconian calorie limits.  But when the Doc speaks, people listen.  So I do the hamster thing at the gym as regularly as I can and stay motivated by participating in physical events like Tough Mudder, Beach to Bay, and the Harbor Half Marathon Relay.  Humble brags aside, this is not a fitness blog, but a taco blog, and  it was nice to bust a move on a couple of Gabriel’s best.

I also must say it was kind of The Taco Show host not to mention that I didn’t even ask if Gabriel’s had homemade corn tortillas when I ordered my barbacoa.  I faux pas some would consider unforgivable.   In my own defense, I had seen the big, fluffy, floured beauties saunter past under the guidance of obviously experienced porters a half-a-dozen times so I had already decided to have a couple.  I did end up asking if they had homemade torts and in fact they do so I look forward to giving them a spin.

Today we met at La Tapatia #1 at Kostoryz and Gollihar.  It’s a small place with that distinct South Texas patina commonly found in taco shops.  There were several other patrons and the place was abuzz with Spanish conversation.  The Taco Show Host ordered as is his custom, a carne-g and a chorizo and egg – both on flour.  I opted for one of my favorites, nopalitos and eggs a la Mexicana, and something a bit more sinister, a SPAM and egg – also both on flour.  La Tapatia has homemade corn torts, but I guess I still have an hankerin’ for flour.  We coffeed up and talked tech while we waited.  The coffee was good, and once they got rolling, constantly refreshed.

Once the goods arrived, we set to it.  The nopalitos taco was loaded with cactus.  A generous dose of the a la Mexicana vegetables provided the perfect complement to the vinegary tang of the nopales – all-in-all, a success.  Nestled in scrambled eggs and wrapped in a perfect tortilla, I couldn’t have asked for more.  While I don’t eat SPAM much, I do consider myself if not an expert, at least a very experienced dabbler in the SPAM taco.  As SPAM tacos go, this one didn’t jump out of the pack and scream “I am Taco, hear me roar!”  The technicians out there would have noted that it was for the most part well-executed, but it could have used more canned pig.

The accessories on the table were impressive.  Both hot sauces, a green, and a wonderfully-orange sauce were delicious.  I also ordered fresh chiles and between the three, almost managed to get my heat on.  Speaking of hot, I got into a text conversation the other day with a long-time friend – an army buddy I’ve known for 30 years.  He lives in a beautiful part of Wisconsin.  We don’t see each other much, but I’m always happy to hear from him.  He mentioned that he was corning beef.  Now I love me some corned beef.  Mostly because cold, wrapped in a good tort, it makes a great breakfast.  He was using a good recipe, Alton Brown’s, and I mentioned that I preferred it tweaked a bit on the spicy side.  Now, I’m not one of those people that think nothing’s too hot.  In fact, I know hot.  I’m not a big fan.  Hot is different for everyone.  Hot for me is pleasurable up to about habanero.  After that, moderation is a must.  I was recently reminded of this when a friend gave me some tabascos he’d grown in his back yard.  We all know tabasco…as in Tabasco – that delicious, fermented pepper concoction made on Avery Island.  I like the sauce, usually not that hot.  (But it comes in several levels of hotness.)  So I figured I’d pop one in my gob and give it a go.  I was on fire!!  The flojo moco, the hiccups, tears.  I had it all for 20-minutes.  Once again, a reminder to look before you leap.  I say take a look into La Tapatia #1 if you find yourself in the area and in the mood.



Our Taco Award Winner for this week is:

Olivia D’Abo

I’ll always see Ms. D’Abo as a member of the Q continuum on Star Trek – The Next Generation, or maybe as a spoiled princess in Conan the Destroyer, but either way, through the eyes of a teen-aged boy.  However, she continues to be active in her crafts acting and music.  Her long filmography includes many television series, voice acting roles, movies and the theater.  She has had success as a singer-songwriter, teaming up with music luminaries like Leanard Cohen.


Offer includes 2 tacos, an audience with the ‘tacoteurs,’ and a free Tacotopia t-shirt. Taco Award winners may claim their prizes by responding on  the Tacotopia Facebook Page, or by emailing

Offer subject to cancellation by order of the wives of the tacoteurs.




3825 S. Port Ave.
Corpus Christi, TX 78415
6:00 AM – 3:00 PM, 7 days a week
Chorizo & Egg: $1.50 • Carne Guisada: $1.75

When faced with an impasse, Ulysses S Grant would turn to the right or the left and find another route to his destination – never turning back. I’ve been on that type of detour for some time now, and I think I can see the road from here. A shadowy international cabal feared I was giving out information that might endanger their anonymity, and conspired to make it difficult to post in the last few years but they can’t keep me quiet forever. There is almost nothing that can stand between me and a good taco.

So when I called up fellow tacoteur, now Doctor of Tacology and Salsa Science, the Hat, and asked him to meet me at Gabriel’s on Port, he knew what was up. He didn’t hesitate to risk life and limb to be seen in public with another flyer of the tortilla flag. This is Texas, where a man can still eat beef face and tongue and woe be to him who tries to stop him.

It’s not always easy to get back in the saddle. Both our Dodge pickups have been put out to pasture, or worse. Both of us have undergone serious reevaluation of our physical conditions and undertaken courses of physical rehabilitation to mitigate the middle, both of us running regularly – the Hat much more regularly than me.

But what good is clean living if you’ve got nothing to clean up? I still eat a taco most days, in my house in the morning. I make a good breakfast taco too, but sometimes I have to get out of my own kitchen. Lest I become humorless and bitter, I’ve got to avail myself of a taqueria in our city that is home to some of the best taco sellers in the world.

Gabriels-LenguaAt Gabriel’s, I ordered my usual, a carne guisada and a chorizo and egg. Dr. Hat ordered a lengua taco and a barbacoa taco. The C&E was gentle but pressing with it’s chorizo flavor, sneaking itself past the flavor profile so that while you didn’t notice it in the beginning, by the time you swallowed the flavor of the egg had all but disappeared. The carne G was straight ahead beef and gravy. Like a well made brick wall – nothing fancy, but substantial and humbly well crafted. The tortillas were delicious. Top notch. Still hot from the flat-top. Not quite browned, and soft as a baker’s wife’s hips, and with a dusting of flower on the surface. They were really the star of the show – as they should be. Like a drummer in a band – if the tortilla isn’t good, the rest of the taco can never live up to its potential.

Hat and I discussed important matters, and schemed to persist in our defense of the righteous taco. At the end of the meal, as we parted in the parking lot with a secret handshake, vowing to stay true to the cause, we both left content that no government or industry can get a foothold in Corpus Christi without the favor of the fans of tacos. We won’t have to stay underground for much longer.

Our Taco Award Winner for this week is:

Christie-Brinkley-Taco-Award-WinnerChristie Brinkley

If you have read this section before, you know what it consists of. So pardon me for getting meta, but it’s usually a georgeous – often buxom, often older – celebrity who I would love to see wearing a tacotopia t-shirt, and with whom I would really enjoy having tacos. It isn’t that I have anything against younger celebrities, but there are so many women in showbiz who are overlooked once they turn 30. The women I think deserve recognition are usually older than me, women I grew up admiring, and I’m far from a kid now.

There’s usually a repackaging of facts gathered from wikipedia, imdb, and any articles on them in the first two pages of google search results, and a carefully selected photo – one that shows off their visage without being enough to offend too many people. Then I sprinkle some links and puns, perhaps a double entendre, and J’ai fini. So here goes:

This is what 60 looks like, at least on Christie Brinkley. She’s had work done, but tastefully. There is no cartoonish baloony duckface, no giant fake boobs, no orange spray tan. What there is is the results of 6 decades of diet, exercise, and making mostly the right choices. I say mostly because she’s been married four times. Her second husband was Billy Joel who, once a gifted craftsman of schmaltzy pop hits with heart, failed to write a single great song ever again once the marriage was consumated. Tell her about how blindly commercial your music became, Billy, as you try on musical decades like they were costume changes at a Cher drag show. Okay, maybe he got dosed with Polonium when he went to Russia and his music suffered. It would explain why Christie looks like she’s in her mid 40s, and he looks like an apple doll. Okay, I can’t lie – I love early Billy Joel, and I’m just bitter about how his music changed as he grew older and more self-important.

I will say that Christie Brinkley was the poster on my wall when I was 14, and I remember thinking about her a lot as a young teenager, after watching National Lampoon’s Vacation – thinking of the horrible decision Chevy Chase was faced with at that swimming pool. Sure he did the right thing, but oh the regret.

Offer includes 2 tacos, an audience with the ‘tacoteurs,’ and a free tacotopia t-shirt. Please redeem this offer at Whetstone Graphics on a Friday morning of your choice. Offer subject to cancellation by order of the wives of the tacoteurs. Enter to win by emailing your name on the back of said poster to