Nano’s Taco Run
4722 Holly Rd
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
Chorizo & Egg: $1.65
Carne Guisada: $2.25
Large Coffee: $1.95
After last week’s debacle we were looking forward to something closer to what got us started. Plain jane, familiar, comfortable. As the team of two assembled in front of the entrance of the morning’s eatery we wordlessly communicated our shared yearning for the upcoming evaluation: “I hope this doesn’t suck.”
It didn’t. They claim to produce the “best salsa in town” and it was the best thing about the fare. It is blended so thoroughly that there are no seeds or visual hints of what ingredients it might contain. It’s color is that of Autumn leaves, orange as the paint on the gorgeous sign hung above the door. The tacos were big, like a horn-of-plenty set out for we weary pilgrims after our long voyage through the treacherous seas of gastrointestinal persecution. In this story, though, we aren’t the ones giving smallpox blankets to the indians. So hot was the salsa that it slapped us out of Fall reverie and reminded us that in a few scant minutes we’d be trudging beneath the furnace of the hot Texas sun.
The carne guisada was nice looking, with the color of the sauce also orange so that when combined with the salsa one can’t tell them apart. On biting into it the flavor was very familiar, and after a while it came to me. I can’t say this with certainty, but it tastes very much like the HEB frozen Carne Guisada. The beef was very chewy – just like the HEB brand, and the sauce has the same look and taste. The only reason I’d know that flavor is because I have bought it many times, and it’s not bad for frozen carne g, but I’d expect more from a Corpus Christi Taqueria. The chorizo & egg wasn’t bad, wasn’t great. Nothing unusual about it. Basic. The tortillas were big – as were the tacos – and weren’t bad, but again – not great. If they’re homemade they don’t taste it.
I have to admit, I’m still recovering from last weeks corporate romp. As I drove across town in the darkness, I wondered about the fare. I’d never been to Nano’s, but had heard about it for years. It has a significant following and was recommended many times for consideration for a Tacotopia visit. It was dark when I got there and white light blared out the door. The smell of bacon permeated the air. My hopes soared.
The place was cold, like a Blue Norther. I ordered two tacos, a machacado and egg, and a chicharrones and eggs. We barely sat down and the tacos were on the table. They were bountiful. Giant stuffed beauties. The chicharron and egg ranked first. The chicharrones were the small, dense, extremely crunchy ones that originate in Mexico. They were crushed into pieces that brought to mind crushed candy in peppermint ice cream. Except this candy had a rich fried pig flavor mingled with caramelized onions. If not for the mid-grade tortilla, it would have been great. The machacado was also good. The carne seco was very flavorful, maybe a bit jerky-like, but but hey, that’s what it is.
Both tacos were improved by the addition of the burnt-orange salsa. Served in a squeeze bottle, It could have passed for French dressing. The coffee was good, as is usually the case for that Bunn coffee maker. You know the type. The coffee has a rich cafe taste, but is missing the high notes you might get from a press.
In the end, Nano’s didn’t suck. It wasn’t at the top of the scale, but it was a pleasantly cool breeze in our otherwise brutally-hot existence. Salud.
We are left to bear the burden of the cruelest season to the South, but we are thankful for the food we are given.