3942 Leopard St., Corpus Christi, Texas
6:00 am – 2:00 pm, Mon – Sat • 7:00 am – 2:00 pm Sun

I have been out of sorts lately. The work I’ve been doing is frustrating, and I’ve had many obstacles come up to impede it’s progress. Machines breaking down, employee drama, scheduling problems, and on and on. That’s why it’s called work.  I have moved back and forth between working long hours and taking brief trips into the heaven of my wife’s great cooking, and perhaps a little irish whiskey now and then. I have, in fact, been so busy that I’ve been unable to put together a post for a while. The Hat has been picking up the slack. It’s not for lack of trying, though. I’ve been to one taqueria in particular three times trying to put together a post, but it hasn’t materialized yet.

Lila's Juevos Ahogados

I did, though, have a little time this morning to get my taco on so the Hat, his better half, and myself all converged near the Saxet Hall on Leopard this morning. Saxet is Texas spelled backwards for those who don’t know. It’s a tough little shopping center that has seen better days but is still kicking. The hall bears witness to the Hurricane Alley Roller Derby about every month. It also hosts countless quinceañeras, to which I have dropped off my stepson many times. Some of these quinces have bikers working security so there’s little to worry about in this neighborhood. Not your weekend bikers either, but bikers who couldn’t hide their colors if they wanted to, and they don’t want to.

The first thing we tasted was the coffee – which was a good deal stronger than most. The lady bringing out the coffee was Lila herself, the namesake of the restaurant. She was polite and dignified with perfect english. Hold on – before you get bent about that last bit – let me explain. I don’t assume she speaks Spanish, I know because she was cracking the whips with the other waitress and the kitchen crew in Spanish. I would guess this was her first language, and when people live in a country where they have to speak in a foreign tongue much of the time  they usually end up in one of three groups. The first is people who have a thick accent whose speech never grows closer to that of the host country (think of the governator). The second are people who assimilate perfectly into the host country so that by listening they could only be identified as non-native by a finely tuned ear. The third group are people who are able to speak as well if not better than the locals, but choose to retain a flavor of their first language out of respect for their own culture. Lila falls into the third group.

I ordered a chorizo & egg, and a carne guisada. Lila brought them out and they looked pretty typical of the taquerias in the area. The tortillas were the star of the meal, both flour and corn on a level with the best in town. The salsa, too, was distinctive: very hot, and pretty fresh. The carne guisada was subtle but good. The chorizo & egg was sharp and delicious, bringing me back to the first time I tried C&E as a child. It tastes exactly how it’s supposed to. I’ve had better, but not very often.

I asked Lila how long they’d been there, and she said 12 years – but that’s after 5 years as another location. Cesar, the co-owner was there too, dressed in a uniform shirt for another job. Do yourself a favor, like the numerous police who were eating there this morning, and drop in for a taco. You won’t be sorry. Watch the parking lot though, it’s hungry too, for cars.

Our Taco Award Winner for this week is:

Aria Giovanni

Aria Giovanni is one of the three most beautiful women in the world. Period. The other two are Salma Hayek, and my wife. I’m not going to reveal what order they’re in but you should note they all have black hair and brown skin, and they all have curves. If you look up cleavage in wikipedia, they have a picture of Ms. Giovanni. A compelling argument for blended marriage, she is Italian Yugoslavian French German Irish and Native American. Aria is a model, meaning she’s pretty much hot for a living.  She was briefly married to Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5. This makes him barely the winner of the ‘I divorced the hottest pinup girl in the world’ contest he had with Marilyn Manson himself who divorced Dita von Teese. A frequent guest at comic book conventions, she has served as a surrogate imaginary girlfriend for a generation of nerdcore fanboys. Be careful for the NSFW if you google her.

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 September 2000 issue of Penthouse to

Hermanos Solis 3

All signs should aspire to be this beautiful.

5403 Leopard, Corpus Christi, Texas • 361-299-1717
Mon–Thurs 5:30AM – 9:00PM, Fri – Sat 5:30PM – 10:00PM, Sun 7:00AM – 3:00PM

Steven Slater this last week did what many of us often hope we could: he told some jerk to shove it and bailed out, with a couple of beers. It’s an American folk tale – as much a part of our mythology as the immigrant arriving on our shores with a dollar in his pocket and a good idea starting a multinational corporation. Lately a certain vocal segment of our population would prefer we turn immigrants away when arrive on our shores.  ‘We just want enforcement of existing immigration laws,’ they say. I take this with a grain of salt, considering the same segment laments the death of free-market competition while using competition for jobs as the main argument for stronger enforcement of immigration laws. I try to stay out of politics. The Republicans are as a rule unified in their opposition to anything the Democrats do. The Democrats are predictably incapable of agreeing amongst themselves, much less capitalizing on any success they win or comprimising their virtues in the futile hope of currying favor with their opponents, or with the voters. They’re both out of touch with the real world and they’re both little more than little more than a campaign money driven ponzi scheme. I feel like I have to take a shower every time I read the news, but I’ve got a dog in this fight. I love tacos. Immigration, legal or otherwise, benefits from Immigrants.

There have been no reviews for the last month. A vacation? No, just too busy. I didn’t pull a Steven Slater and give up the search for the best taco. On this particular morning I met the Hat at Hermanos Solis #2, way out on Leopard near N.P.I.D.. If you’ve eaten at the Hermanos Solis #2 on Old Robbstown, you have a pretty good idea what to expect. Great carne guisada, great chorizo & egg, great tortillas. This place is different though. There’s a counter with steel mounted barstools. It’s got a little bit of the feel of a truckstop in the seventies, or maybe the cantina in Episode IV of Star Wars. The roughneck in the booth facing me stared me down until he was distracted by the waitress, at which point the focused on his migas. There ware two salsa, and both were excellent. Six or seven tiny cups of coffee had me ready to get on with the rest of the day, in spite of the hearty breakfast. Every day is better after a taco or two, if they’re tacos like this.

Our Taco Award Winner for this week is:

Susan Sarandon

Since the Rocky Horror Picture Show she has existed in the nexus of class, brains, and sexuality. Her turn with Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie in one of the most unknown and under-appreciated vampire movies, The Hunger, will leave you wanting to sacrifice your soul to her. She spends a lot of time fighting the power, but few would argue she’s doesn’t have it going on. Especially at 63.

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 White Palace to

Yoli’s – Bald Ag Round 2

4217 Agnes, Corpus Christi, Texas • 361-888-8852
Chorizo & Egg $1.30 • Carne Guisada $2.00 • Bottomless Coffee $1.35

Part two of our Baldwin/Agnes Taco series, The Bald-Ag Taco Frag, takes us to Yoli’s. Our goal with this series is to judge the best taco shop in a number of neighborhoods, and then to pit the winners against each other. This is not the first Yoli’s we’ve been to: there’s one on Kostoryz where we stopped during the Spam Marathon. It is, however, the first full review of a Yoli’s.

While Corpus Christi has a lot of taquerias There are certain areas in Corpus Christi that have a lot of them close together, like mushrooms. Here at Tacotopia we’ve often wondered why this is. Some of these clusters aren’t even located in places where there would seem to be reason for exceptional patronage and yet they exist. Agnes, if you aren’t familiar with it, is a street that runs from downtown all the way out to Robbstown. Much of it is industrial, home to steel vendors, muffler shops, salvage yards, and abandoned buildings.

As you can see in the 1962 ad Mexican food has been a part of Agnes since restaurants advertised air conditioning and the phone number prefixes started with letters. These restaurants seem to pull in a lot of oilfield workers, but what restaurant in Corpus doesn’t I guess.

Brian had the table staked out when I showed up, and we commenced our warmup for the eating. This consists of some sitting exercises, stretching, and about 45 seconds of cardio. Before long the Hat showed up with Shell in tow, and we ordered.

The food, altogether was okay. Not great, not as good as El Charro from Last week. My carne g was serviceable, The chorizo & egg fair. Flour tortillas were good, and the salsa was bad. There was nothing really that I could put my finger on that set this place apart, though compared to most mexican restaurants I’d eaten at before I moved to Corpus Christi it’d be among the better.

The nicest thing about this place, I’d say, is the hand painted signage. They were also on the spot with fresh coffee any time our cups were low, and we must have put away two pots between the four of us. The environment was conducive to discussion and we talked about plumbing, cars, foundation repair (both literal and figurative), triumph and tragedy.

Next week we continue our spotlight on the Bald-Ag taco cluster. Tune in! Turn on! Taco out!

From The Hat

It’s been a rainy, windy week in Tacotopia, and I have to tell you, I’m ready for a taco. Today is the second installment of the BaldAg Taco Frag and we’re convening at the Yoli’s on Agnes. The Taco Show Host was early. I wondered immediately what we in for when I saw that TSH was driving the RV. Was he thinking that the taco-throwdown-about-to-go-down was going to wipe him out so that he would need to sleep it of on the parking lot?  Or had he been there all night to get the jump on his Carne-G?  I worried. I put my worries aside once inside where Shelly and I found TSH and Brian W., another taco aficionado deep into their coffee, yacking about recent manly exploits I’m sure. But the conversation ended like it had been doused by a bucket of ice water when we sat down.

Yoli’s is an attractive restaurant. Fresh paint, nice signage (IMHO anyway – I’ll leave the expert judgment to the experts). There was a pleasant mélange of aromas wafting from the kitchen – breakfast tacos at this time of day, no doubt, but the menu was extensive.  As I worked my way through the taco listing, I noticed that Yoli’s served mollejas and barbacoa. You might remember that I kicked off the BaldAg Taco Frag with these two tacos and I figured I’d order the same again. Maybe this wasn’t the best idea. Maybe I was trying to relive last week’s exceptional mollejas taco (The best I’ve ever had), but I promised myself that I would not let past performance prejudice my palate. I ordered both con cebollas y cilantro on flour as Yoli’s doesn’t have homemade corn torts. The tacos arrived in foil and we set to opening them like kids at Christmas. First to the mollejas. The mollejas taco suffered from a technical error that influenced every part of the experience. The pieces of sweetbread were very large. So large that while they were crispy-to-perfection on the outside, they were slightly underdone in the centers. This threw off the the texture and flavor. I will definitely go back and try them again to make sure it wasn’t a one-time problem. The barbacoa was Tacotopia-average. It was a bit lean and needed salt, but all-in-all, pretty good. Both tacos were well-endowed, stressing the tarpoleans almost to failure, but they held firm. The tortillas were pillow-like – a pleasure to eat. Aside from the mollejas faux pas, there were a couple of detracting elements to breakfast. The onions and cilantro were not stale, but the meal would have benefitted from a bit fresher produce – still not a show-stopper, though. The salsa left me wanting. It was fresh, but with no heat or flavor. “Falsa” I think says it all.  Hoping to hot it up a bit, I ordered some serranos. They arrived, minced in a pile that filled a saucer. They were beautiful and could have showed the onions and cilantro a thing or two about freshness. The experience was rounded-off by a never-ending cup of coffee and joking and laughing with friends. Not a bad way to start the day.


Our free taco winner for this week is:

Joan Jett

Though she’s a yankee vegan, she is undoubtedly an expert on eating tacos. Jett was the headliner of the first real concert I attended, at age 12, in 1983 in Fayetteville, Arkasas on the floor of the Razorbacks basketball arena.  I pushed my way up within 2 people of the stage before collapsing from exhaustion, excitement, and armpit stank inhalation. Still one of the most ass-kickinest rockers on planet earth, Ms. Jett is coy about her orientation, though it is was clear early on with her cover of Crimson & Clover, and many of her later more ‘descriptive’ songs that while she appreciates a broad menu of culinary fare she is partial to tacos. Coming from humble beginnings, Jett embodies the DIY spirit rising out of the ashes of the Runaways and starting her own record label after being reject by a score of record companies. Constantly touring for more than thirty years can take a toll on someone less centered and driven, but one only has to look at Joan Jett’s set jaw and chiseled abs to see she just gets better with each passing year.

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 an autographed copy of Joan Jett’s Greatest Hits to