Just released by University of Texas Press, “The Tacos of Texas” is the latest book from the duo behind Taco Journalism, Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece. Pour yourself an horchata and get comfortable because you’ll feel like you’re on the patio chatting with friends as you flip through this conversational, colorful book.
“The Tacos of Texas” is the result of the best road trip ever. Armed with insight from members of their Inaugural Texas Taco Council, Rayo and Neece drove all over Texas to find the best tacos. The book covers nine cities (Laredo, El Paso, Austin, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Midland-Odessa, Abilene) and one region (Rio Grande Valley) with a top 5 taco list for each one.
That would be impressive enough on its own, but probably not enough to fill a whole book. To supplement the top 5 lists we’re dying to get our hands on, the authors include insight on Texas taco styles, regional influences, history and even recipes. In each city section, readers can browse interviews with community leaders like Chief of the Austin Police Department Art Acevedo. Chief Acevedo says he loves carne asada tacos with avocado and salsa verde, onions and cilantro. You’ll have to pick up a copy of the book to find out where his favorite tacos are in Austin!
It goes without saying that Austinites will flip to the Austin section of the book first (pro tip: page 137). But once we’ve galloped across the taco frontier in our own city, it’s time to day trip! Only 80 miles away, San Antonio is the most logical choice. But don’t stop with the closest options. I grew up in Corpus Christi and actually met my husband Eric there (founder of The Austinot). His go-to breakfast taco spot was always Southside Barbacoa, and we were delighted (and validated) to find that Manuel and Maria made “The Tacos of Texas” top 5 list for Corpus Christi.
Is this the most sophisticated writing ever? No. Does anybody care? No. All we care about is finding the best tacos in Texas to satisfy our cravings and share with our friends. Rayo and Neece know what they’re talking about, and they’re willing to put their opinions in print to prove it.
“The Tacos of Texas” book launch party takes place Sept. 24, 2016, from 7-9 p.m. at Tamale House East. BookPeople will be selling copies of the book on site. Free tickets are still available, as of this writing. The book is also available for purchase online.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What is your favorite taco in Texas?
Disclosure: I was sent a review copy of “The Tacos of Texas” for the purposes of this article. All opinions are my own.