Y’all can go to hell, I’m going to Los Altos

(361) 442-2618 • 3310 S Port Ave • Corpus Christi, TX 78415

Summer cut in line in front of spring this year, and the wind and rain are scrambling to keep up. It’s an election year, so there are a lot of issues in the news that you won’t hear about for another four years. Right now, the issue of gay marriage is stealing the spotlight – just as any self-respecting diva would. North Carolina, where some of my family lives, just outlawed gay marriage – with conservatives fighting back against a perceived war on marriage. This from a political viewpoint whose shining lights are all divorced, adulterous, and or closeted. Okay, not all of them – but the hypocrisy hangs around the people fighting this battle like a cheap suit. It doesn’t fit, it looks ridiculous, and it won’t last through the season.

Finely blended salsa

Both sides of the political fence are playing politics with this issue right now, but one side is clearly right, and one side is clearly wrong. ‘But Leviticus 18:22’ you say? ‘ If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.’ Really? I’m going to steal an argument from Dan Savage, who helped redefine the name Santorum: If Leviticus 18:22 is so important that you have to deny people equal treatment, why do you not adhere so to the rest of the rules laid out in the bible, instead of picking just the ones that agree with your particular prejudices and peccadilloes. A lot of laws laid out in the bible are pretty insane, if you care to look at it rationally. Blind people can’t go to church, or people with flat noses, or the lame (Leviticus 21:17-18). If you lose a testicle to cancer, you can’t go to church (Deuteronomy 23:1). Brats should be hit with rocks (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). According to Leviticus 19:19, American Apparel is evil because they make 50/50 poly/cotton shirts.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the bible is bad, or even that it isn’t divinely inspired. Just that people with an agenda shouldn’t use it inconsitently to justify their agenda. If you hate fags, you’re entitled to be that kind of asshole. This is the U S of A! We fight to defend your right to be a jerk if you want. It doesn’t mean you’re not a jerk, and you should not delude yourself into believing you have a moral leg to stand on.

The parts of the bible with which I can’t abide, though, are the rules about food. I like pork, but Leviticus 11:7-8 says it’s not kosher. God wouldn’t have made bacon if we weren’t supposed to eat it. And shellfish? Leviticus 11:10 says it’s detestable. I think Leviticus was selfish to deny us shellfish. Maybe I’m going to hell because I like chicharrones, but I like to think I’m going to heaven, and that they will have tacos & gay marriages, and maybe even some Slayer to listen to. If not, it’ll probably be wherever I’m headed.

On Port there’s a new taqueria, where the old Guadalajara was. They’ve completely remodeled, even going so far as to pour new concrete in the drive-thru. The service is good, and the food is really good. The salsa isn’t watery, and the tortillas are fresh. Their nopalito & egg taco is heavenly, and their carne guisada is rich and meaty. Thank God for good food.

The Taco Award Winner will return with the next installment, when we’re not talking about God.

Los Laureles

2754 Port Ave • Corpus Christi, Texas • 361-884-7010

Los Laureles is a little old cinder block building on Port. You can drive down Port on any given Saturday morning and you will likely find at least one new taqueria, or taco trailer. This is not tourist food, it it intensely local. So much so that I, the taco show host, with my intimate knowledge of the breakfast taco world, often feel profoundly caucasian with my pronounced arctic complexion and rudimentary Spanish.

A few months ago a took a drive down Port and made a list of new places to try out. Then a few weeks ago I was contacted by the catering manager for a touring country solo act whose name rhymes with Tim McGraw and called upon for assistance in finding a taco truck. Sure enough, I did find a few trailers, and one of them was on Port (though they expressed no interest in working a private event). In all this, I had noticed Los Laureles sitting humbly, and set out to pry loose its secrets.

I ordered a chorizo and egg, and a carne guisada, both on flour. The tacos came out before long and I went about tasting them. The chorizo & egg was good, and greasy. Some people don’t appreciate the grease but I do, depending on the grease. This was bright red and flowed out the back of the taco like a garden hose in spite of my pinching off the end. The napkins began to come in to play at this point. The carne guisada was like a burlesque performer: a little fat around the edges and more delicious than what is held out by the mainstream as ideal. It was fantastic. I got two different salsas. The red was nearly tasteless until it contacts air at which point it gets dusky and fiery. The green, on the other hand, entered with fanfare and stole the show. Both were really good, as were the flour tortillas.

The waitresses were cute, and not to be trifled with. The coffee came quickly in an impossibly small cup. I was the only guerro there, and crews of mexicanos were joking with each other before their day’s work while eating and reading the paper. This place gives off the feel of a restaurant that is steady, and not going anywhere, like Bill H, the guy downtown who drives the little vacuum cart. There’s nothing you could throw at him that he can’t handle, and then not bother to talk about with his crew at Cheers. If we could all only have that kind of conviction. I’ll be back to this place with friends in tow.

Our Taco Award Winner for this week is:

Carla Gugino

Carla Gugino is a chameleon, playing old and young, modern and retro, light and tragic. She was the redemption of Watchmen as Silk Spectre the elder though she was just seven years older than Malin Ackerman who played her daughter. You can see her in theaters now in Sucker Punch. She is a regular on Californication, as well as Entourage, Spin City (as well as R. Rodriguez‘s Sin City), Chicago Hope, and the show she led, Karen Cisco.  She has aslo been in American Gangster, This Boy’s Life… the list goes on. She’s just a little younger and a little hotter than the girl I confused her for at first, Rachel Weisz, who is hot enough herself to trigger smoke alarms, but there’s no mistaking Carla for long.

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 the Box Set of Battlestar Galactica to tacos@tacotopia.net.


3002 South Port Ave, Corpus Christi, Texas • 361-885-7705

I drove down Port recently and spotted four taquerias I’d never been to. I pulled into parking lots and emailed myself names and gps locations for each. One of the rationalizations I’ve had for not blogging every week was that I’d picked all the low hanging fruit. Well, the crazy thing about fruit is it grows back. Sure enough, close to HQ there are a bunch of new (at least to me) places to get tacos.

Pulling from the top of the list, I pulled my Valkyrie into the lot of the Merequetengue, which is inside the Q.C. Meat Market, and narrowly avoided an ankle-biting from a local dog who took issue with my mode of transport. Walking into the place, one is overwhelmed by the smell of a meat market: disinfectant and blood. I was bit apprehensive, but I ordered from the lady behind the counter and sat down at one of the tables that didn’t have chairs stacked upside-down on top of them.

The tacos were made to order on fresh handmade tortillas, and brought to the table by a waitress whose English was about as good as my Spanish. She pulled some sugar and a salsa verde from another table and set it in front of me – there was a red salsa, but not for me apparently. My routine when trying a new place is this; try the carne guisada with a fork, try the chorizo & egg with a fork, try the salsa with a spoon, add salsa and salt to the tacos, evaluate. Every step in the routine was satisfying here. The carne g, as you might expect from a restaurant in a meat market, was really good; toothy but not tough, and well seasoned. The chorizo and egg had good separation, with really good spicy chorizo and made so fresh to order that it was hard to distinguish the heat from the chorizo and the heat from the hot eggs. Add to both of these an excellent green salsa – a bit creamy, a bit hot, and good handmade tortillas. Merequetengue exceeded my expectations.

Our Taco Award Winner for this week is:

Debi Mazar

When I first watched Goodfellas, there was one thing – above all others – that made me wish I were Henry Hill and that’s Sandy, his guma, with a few pounds of cocaine, a tight dress, and an insatiable appetite. Cocaine is an evil drug, but if it were the 70’s and Sandy was offering it to me, I might be persuaded. Debi is now in her late 40s, is married to a tuscan cook who is inexplicably skinnier than she is, and she looks better than she did when she was in her twenties. You can see them working out who wears the pants in the family on Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel.

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 the ’93 Vogue Italia in which Debi appears to tacos@tacotopia.net.