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Apr 24, 2007 09:34 AM

Taco Blasphemy

I've always been a burrito guy versus a taco guy because everywhere that I've ordered a burrito and taco, the burrito has been better, to my taste.

I have two problems with tacos compared to burritos:
1) corn tortillas: I like the neutrality of flour tortillas. Corn tortillas overwhelm the filling, IMO, unless the tortillas are fried first.
2) filling to tortilla ratio in tacos. There's not enough beef, pork etc. in a taco. When you wrap the taco, you are invariably stuck with tortilla pressing against tortilla the top inch or more of the taco and then when you get to the filling, I still taste way too much mealy corn tortilla.

One of my favourite mexican dishes in l.a. has been the carnitas in morita sauce plate at Loteria. Big chunks of pork in a spicy red sauce, sliced avocado, and your choice of flour or corn tortillas--I get the flour.
From this spread (they give you rice and beans too, but those aren't important), I can make a wrap of pork, sauce, and avocado in a soft flour tortilla and it is a perfect "taco" because it has enough delicious filling and it's in a flour tortilla.

My question to the taco experts out there--do you know if any of the taco trucks or other favourite taco stands will make a taco in a flour tortilla? Will I embarass myself with this request?

As much as I liked the taco table al pastor tacos at Sabor a Mexico, I'd like them so much more with a flour tortilla. I almost want to bring my own flour tortillas there like I bring ketchup for my fries to Father's Office.

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  1. Just keep on enjoying your burros!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Burger Boy

      I was thinking the same thing. The OP just doesn't like tacos (and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.)

      My only suggestion to him -- which was more like an anti-suggestion -- is that they make sure they try some corn tortilla tacos at a place that makes fresh tortillas. I personally love fresh corn tortillas when they are available, but prefer factory made flour tortillas to factory made corn tortillas. Factory made corn tortillas are only edible to me if they've been fried for hard shell tacos.

      I haven't tried Sabor a Mexico yet and can't recall ... do they do fresh corn tortillas? If they do, then I'd say the OP just doesn't like tacos.

      1. re: PaulF

        I believe that they make their own tortillas, but use store-bought on the outside table.

    2. Try the SUPER FRESH Tortillas at Luz Del Dia, they also PILE on the meat...

      If you don't like those Tortillas, then you are honestly better off going to Gigante, picking up a lb of Carnitas and fixin's and making your own 'soft tacos' at home...


      1. Just to add ...

        There seems to be a reason why tacos don't have the same filling to tortilla ration as burritos.

        If you have too much meat or filling on a taco, it won't stay together, you'd end up dropping filling all over yourself.

        Tacos, to me, are simpler than burritos -- but their openness allows each to be customized. The best taco places have a variety of salsas and garnish, allowing each to be a creation of the consumer as well as the chef. Burritos -- which I also love -- are self-contained units, by and large. Yes, you can add some salsa to each bite, and I do, but there is more uniformity here.

        I find them to be complimentary. Sometimes I feel like eating a taco. Some days I feel like eating a burrito. But I don't consider them to be in any way interchangeable -- even though some of the ingredients are often the same.

        I eat burritos with beans and meat or just meat. Tacos have no beans, ever.

        But no liking corn tortillas would preclude taco love. A fresh corn tortilla enhances the taco. A less flavorful flour tortilla is more of a vehicle to transport the more flavorful filling.

        8 Replies
        1. re: PaulF

          I agree. I love both tacos and burritos. However, I lose the filling on even the most meager filled tacos, too!! Guess I am just a mess. When I go to a taqueria and get tacos, I usually do not even eat the tortilla (usually just eat the meat and condiments with a fork) since I would rather be filled up with the meat than tortilla! Also, I prefer flour tortillas to corn.

          1. re: WildSwede

            Ive always preferred flour over corn tortillas too, but if you get fresh made corn sometimes they are awesome. I was dissapointed that Pollo Campero now only offers corn tortillas (and 2 instead of 3). Ah well, change is hard sometimes.

            1. re: Josh90004

              Where are you? I know the chain Pollo Campero from Guatemala. They don't serve any tortillas. Ladies out front sell customers fresh, hot, delicious maize tortillas to take inside ( a feature that makes Pollo Campero tolerable).

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                That sounds great Sam. Im talking about the ones in Los Angeles, specifically Hollywood and Pico/Union. I think the chicken is great, even if its moistness is artificial. Love the spicyness of the skin. Also like their sides a lot compared to the usual.

                1. re: Josh90004

                  Josh, I got dragged into one in Guatemala kicking and screaming. But the chicken salads (w/ lots of lettuce) plus the (cheap and good) tortillas from outside made PC one of the places to be able to put together a healthy and good meal. I only recently learned that they're in California.

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    So you didn't try the fried chicken on the bone? Im wondering how it compares to the US version.

                    1. re: Josh90004

                      The salads had broiled chicken on top. I think the last time I ate fried chicken was about 15 years ago. Don't know why...nothing against it. Funny how your question made me think of that.

          2. re: PaulF

            I completely agree: a good corn tortilla is a great wrapper for the taco filling. I'll put in another shameless plug for my favorite taco place: La Paloma in Duarte. They make their own corn tortillas, and they fill them very generously--right up to the edge of the tortilla.

          3. I used to feel the same way, until I discovered the layered taco. I hate to admit it was inspired by something at Taco Bell, but I have morphed it into something I can do with fresh ingredients at home or at any restaurant.

            You absolutely want fresh corn tortillas. Mass-produced are nasty. Take a small flour tortilla, spread beans all over it, and wrap it around the hard shell taco. You can fill the taco more since it doesn't matter if it breaks, and eating the taco is less messy. The flour tortilla and beans mellow out the corniness of the other tortilla. I love refried beans, so this is a great way for me to get the best of both worlds.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mojoeater

              I have to say that flour tortillas for me would just not be right.
              It should be noted that in Mexico city they don't eat burritos, I guess its a Northern-Mex/Cali thing kinda like putting hominy in Menudo (Tripe only in the south) but I love burritos either way
              I'm having trouble understanding all these reviews of pseudo-Mexican fancy restaurants. To tell you the truth I wouldn't be caught dead in one of those places when I go back home to East LA. If you like burritos de Asada man you should find a King Taco. There salsa verde is the best. The service is essentially a window you order from and usually King Tacos are located in pretty ghetto areas, but man its the first place I eat at when I go back (well after my abuelitas chile rojo, and In N' Outs a big gotta eat also). man I miss home. For me the good Mexican food in ELA has nothing to do with service, its quick and its cheap. Otherwise I'm eating at home! (helps to be Mexican but not required, just marry a Mexican or something they're everywhere!)
              either way this beaner is so jealous of all of you living out on the West Coast.

            2. You could always order a meat plate with a side of rice and beans. These usually come with a choice of either corn or flour tortillas and you can assemble your own tacos.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hrhboo

                If available, I'll gladly do this.