El Taco Tote looks like an average fast-food franchise, but its flavors are more authentic
At a friend's wedding a couple of weeks ago, a visiting member of the party remarked that he'd just been on a barbecue spree in Austin where a local told him, Don't bother with brisket in San Antone. You can imagine the apoplexy this induced in the born 'n' raised guests, so it is with great caution that I say, Watch out Taco Cabana, El Taco Tote is hot on your comida-rapida heels.
|Customers fill up on a variety of salsas and other condiments at Taco Tote's fresh salsa bar. (Photos by Mark Greenberg)|
El Taco Tote, like its Alamo-City primo, is a family-built franchise bedecked in assaultingly bright colors (green, yellow, and fuschia for Tote). In the past decade, Taco Tote has opened more than a dozen locations, including four south of the border, but it was born 'n' raised in Nuevo Laredo, a pedigree that shows in the San Antonio location's tacos and clientele. Well-dressed Mexican chilangos, children in tow, are usually among the lunchtime crowd (jeans and sweatsuits "patched" with contrasting fabric seem to be all the rage at the moment) and the spice in Taco Tote's food comes primarily from the salsas, all of which are plenty picante except for the Salsa Suavecita, tagged as "Our mildest salsa yet."
"We don't build a better taco, you do," is Taco Tote's slogan, and it does offer a better condiment bar than the competition, with hot chiles toreados, pickled onions, a cerrano-heavy pico de gallo, and five salsas ranging from the gritty, smoky, and rich Salsa Tatemada to the creamy, tangy guacamole salsa. If you can't decide which one to try, sample them all on the complimentary self-serve chips.
| El Taco Tote Real Mexican Grill |
9502 I-10 W
24 hours weekends
By Elaine Wolff