WINNER: Ray's Drive Inn
822 SW 19th St. • (210) 432-7171
It's been an emotional six months for everyone at Ray's Drive Inn. Last October, patriarch Arturo H. Lopez, the man behind the puffy taco, passed away. Since then, his daughter Maria "Lali" Rambo, and son, John Louis Lopez have been running things at the West Side eatery. Rambo says they're doing it to honor their father. "We want to keep it going because it's part of the culture and is my father's legacy," she said. "There is also a lot of nostalgia here. I always hear people saying, 'I used to come here when I was little.'" This year, the restaurant celebrates its 60th anniversary in San Antonio. While Ray's features a nice assortment of menu items, it's definitely the puffy tacos that keep patrons coming back for more. These stuffed pockets of deep-fried tortilla heaven can be packed with beef, chicken, carne guisada, fajita, beans, avocado or fish, not to mention all the fixings like lettuce, tomato and jalapeños. It's safe to say Austin won't be trying to steal this taco from San Antonio anytime soon. Just as the restaurant's neon sign proclaims, Ray's is the "home of the original puffy taco." And what better way to eat some Tex-Mex comfort food than listening to a little Sunny and the Sunliners on the jukebox and drinking some freshly squeezed lemonade? Call us old fashioned, but we even love the fact that Ray's doesn't accept debt/credit cards. You don't got cash? You ain't eating!