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.


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.

Mi Masatlan – The Times They Are a-Changin’

2000 Ayers, Corpus Christi, Texas

Everything changes. What’s that hackneyed joke about weather in Texas? ‘If you don’t like it, wait a minute, it’ll change.’ The climate is changing. Hardly anyone smokes cigarettes anymore. Fully electric non-hybrid cars are starting to show up on our roads. My stepson last night was confused at the sight of my wife and I sending invitations to a party through the US Mail. Politicians are still in the wholesale business of trading influence for campaign money – but the scale is changing with record spending and decreased oversight each election cycle. It’s enough to make me want to crawl into a bunker and shut the rest of the world out. There is one problem with that – no good source of tacos.

And good tacos are one thing that stays the same here in Tacotopia. While cities to the North with more energetic economies and less regressive attitudes are trotting out Pad Thai Burritos and Kimchee and Cheese Quesadillas, Corpus Christi is making the same world class tacos they’ve been making for generations. I think we are a society in which there is room for everything, and there is a place for these novel tacos. In another week I will be chowing down on some McMexican Corned Beef Tacos to try and beat my hangover from my St. Patrick’s day party. There are some things, however, that can’t be improved upon: The Zippo lighter, the Godfather, Prince when he was with The Revolution, and Corpus Christi’s breakfast tacos.

Some time ago we reviewed a place called Alma’s which is now Mi Masatlan. I’d been there before that, when it was yet another taqueria. This place is not the most attractive taco shop around, with utilitarian steel building architecture and well used but sturdy booths. There are no frills here. It was fair the last two times I was there and I expected in its new incarnation would stay true to form. I was wrong, and it was a welcome change. I ordered a chorizo & egg, and a carne guisada. It came to the table almost too hot to hold. The carne guisada must have been made in-house, and was perfectly cooked with big square chunks of good beef. It was not too fat, but not too lean. The tortillas were handmade, with artisanal angular edges. The chorizo was excellent with a hint of cinnamon. The salsa verde was fresh and hot, and distinctive – not tasting like any other I’ve had. Everything we ate this morning was really good.

One thing you find in taco shops here in Corpus is that the servers are always women. Having a man refill our coffee was unusual, and he looked familiar. When I asked him he said his name was Raul Fuentes, and that he’d worked at another spot called Rinconcito del Jalisco, which I had tried to write up before my attempt turned into a two month tacotopia dry spell a la Francis Coppola during Apocalypse Now. One thing that would have come out with the review was that the tacos there were delicious. I asked Fuentes if he was the owner, or the manager, and for whatever reason he didn’t really give me a straight answer. I imagine he’s a turnaround specialist; that he takes ailing taquerias and makes them into shining stars. This would explain why he is out in the trenches in spite of his gender, pouring coffee and serving up truly wonderful tacos.

Our Taco Award Winner for this week is:

Lucy Lawless

I never watched more than one or two episodes of Xena, Warrior Princess because I took issue with their use of the letter X instead of Z, and the fact that I didn’t have cable for much of the run of the show. What I did see of it, though, I liked – but more for the hotness of Zena and her ambiguously gay relationship with her sidekick Gabrielle, than for the story from which I was distracted. Recently I watched Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and was knocked out upon watching a lot of Lucy Lawless (and I mean a whole lot). She is stunning, and brings some real acting chops to the show as well as physicality that while not exertive is as impressive as those of the gladiators. A native of New Zealand, Lawless was awarded the Order of Merit, which is like being knighted by New Zealand. This makes her practically a hot lady Aragorn. She’s one more really good reason New Zealand is not to be confused with Australia.

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