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Best Tacos Al Pastor in Austin

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foodiegal71 Apr 6, 2009 02:52 PM

I searched for a thread on this topic and couldn't find one. I'm shocked that there's not one on this board, and figure I must have searched wrong. But, in case I haven't...I'm starting it now. Who has the best al pastor in Austin.

So far, I'm loving Chango's and Las Cazuelas. Chango's has a better tortilla for sure, but I do really like the meat at Las Cazuleas. It seems a little "saucier" than Chango's. Both are great to be sure, but I'd like to find some more, and see if I can top them.

  1. Chicago Wine Geek Aug 4, 2009 09:09 AM

    I'm still a big fan of Al Pastor off Riverside by the HEB.

    1. f
      flimflamini Apr 16, 2009 03:48 PM

      I've been visiting the austin chowhound board for nearly two years now, but for one reason or another have never posted before. I suppose this is as good a time as any...

      El Taquito and Rosita's share my top spot for al pastor.

      On it's day, I think I prefer Rosita's but I've had bad experiences with tacos full of completely dried out and strangely crispy pastor on two separate occasions. That said, 80% of the time the meat is close to perfection. If you do venture out to Rosita's cart (I've not been to the restaurant situated in the strip mall behind it) MAKE SURE YOU OPT FOR THE FLOUR TORTILLA! In general, I nearly always choose corn for my tortilla needs- but these tasty concoctions are the best flour I've had...period. @Foodiegal71- I assume the mission tortillas you received were corn, right? On a side note, the green sauce is very hot and a real delight.

      Within eyesight of Rosita's cart is the hilltop gem El Taquito. The place is fantastic and- on the whole- more consistent than Rosita's. The restaurant is counter service and looks quite new- from what I've heard they only opened two or three years ago. In the past they operated exclusively out of the truck which still sits out front and is open for business on some (maybe most?) nights. My order here usually includes the following- 1 taco al pastor (corn tortilla). 1 taco w/ fajita beef (flour). 1 Especial order: 5 or 6 mini taquitos w/ pastor. Their salsa bar is a nice compliment with four or five different salsas- all good.

      Enjoy!

      4 Replies
      1. re: flimflamini
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        bloody hammer Apr 16, 2009 04:51 PM

        please tell me where this Rosita's cart can be found. i just decided that i must try it.

        1. re: bloody hammer
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          flimflamini Apr 16, 2009 06:14 PM

          0.5 miles east of I-35 on Riverside. The cart is in the front of the parking lot . Map Below:
          http://tiny.cc/RoistasAlPastor

        2. re: flimflamini
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          foodiegal71 Apr 19, 2009 08:14 AM

          Yep, the Mission tortillas were corn for sure! Now I'm curious if any of these places are open on Sunday... Time to put the dogs in the car and go for a drive!

          1. re: payjota7
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            Buddylove Aug 4, 2009 08:59 AM

            Tacos de Trompo is what it is called in Mexico. Fresh off the trumpet-shaped slab. Pineapple is definitely NOT a requirement (no me gusta), but fresh cilantro and chopped onions are!

        3. xcernfsi Apr 10, 2009 09:42 AM

          Just back from a visit (our first) to Austin, and am happy to have made it to El Meson (thanks to the many Chowhounders who recommended that place) on the way back to the airport. We'd hoped to get the migas there, but missed out on breakfast by about 20 minutes and had to settle for the lunch menu. The al pastor plate is with pineapple (I like that), chewy, almost crispy pork, and the best tortillas I've ever had.

          1. f
            foodiegal71 Apr 9, 2009 06:44 PM

            The quest began today. My friend and I have declared Thursdays as Taco Thursdays and exploring our options for tacos al pastor at lunch (since I work downtown and she works in south Austin, we're kind of limited in our choices).

            Today, Rosita's Al Pastor. First, I have to say that I was kind of confused because I didn't realize that Al Pastor and Rosita's were the same thing. That turned out to be nice because it's one less place to put on my list!

            We each ordered 5 al pastor tacos for $5 and got to eatin'. I'm not a fan of cooked fruit, so I was happy to not have pineapple in these and have them be more, what I understand, traditional. The tortillas were a bit disappointing, but since I saw the stacks of bags of Mission tortillas when I walked in, I knew what I was in for. They weren't horrible by any means of course, and honestly, I'm after the meat so we're good.

            The meat. Wow. That was some good stuff. Every now and then, I'd hit a fatty piece that just melted in my mouth and made me think of pork belly. The meat just couldn't have been any better I don't think. There was a good balance of meat and fat, a nice hint of sweetness and nothing too tough or chewy.

            The creamy green added a nice, slow burn that I didn't pick up until taco #2. I ate three of the tacos and was stuffed, so I brought 2 back and gave them to a co-worker who declared them "really effin' good".

            My friend enjoyed hers too, but she's a fan of pineapple so her #1 is currently Chango's. I do like Chango's tortillas better (made there), but the meat at Rosita's is superior, no contest.

            1. a
              auspr Apr 7, 2009 06:58 PM

              The best tacos al pastor in Austin are at Curra's Grill. Order the al pastor plate with red corn tortillas and black beans. They come with a Avocado sauce. Yummy!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: auspr
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                bloody hammer Apr 7, 2009 07:04 PM

                i've tried Curra's al pastor twice and wasn't overly thrilled either time. i can appreciate they do the authentic style of cutting it off the slab but..... the flavor just wasn't there for me.

                i consider Curra's al pastor to be just slightly more than good.

              2. b
                bloody hammer Apr 7, 2009 06:49 PM

                i prefer ordering an al pastor plate and making my own tacos.

                so far, my favorite al pastor plate in austin is at Vasquez Taco. i've had them at both the 183 and also the braker lane locations and i slightly prefer the one on braker.

                1. i
                  ieathereforeiam Apr 6, 2009 06:05 PM

                  pastor cart on north lamar in the car wash parking lot

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: ieathereforeiam
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                    bloody hammer Apr 6, 2009 06:28 PM

                    first of all (for me)...... NO PINEAPPLE!!!!

                    1. re: bloody hammer
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                      foodiegal71 Apr 6, 2009 06:36 PM

                      I'm with you on that. I'm not a fan for a variety of reasons, one being that I detest cooked fruit, but that's another post all-together.

                      1. re: foodiegal71
                        amysuehere Apr 7, 2009 06:33 AM

                        In the no pineapple category, Taquera Arrandas on Burnet. In the with pineapple, it's a toss-up between Los Pinos and Polvo's for me.

                      2. re: bloody hammer
                        Bababooey Jun 12, 2009 09:41 AM

                        I believe pineapple is part of what makes "al pastor" what it is:

                        Al Pastor: Usually pork, it is marinated over one or two days with a blend of different chili peppers, spices and herbs (such as adobo), and then slowly cooked on a vertical rotisserie called a Trompo (lit: spinning top), often with a pineapple on top. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_pastor).

                        The sweet pineapple melts over the pork, giving it a swwet, crusty glaze, as opposed to simply roasted pork. The pineapple also helps tenderize the meat:

                        "The juice from the pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which breaks down protein and makes the meat very tender. When ready, the meat is then thinly sliced off the spit with a large knife. It can be served with small tortillas, onions, pineapple, cilantro and lime. It is also a common ingredient in tacos, burritos, and tortas."

                        "Al Pastor" without pineapple isn't really Al Pastor at all!!

                        1. re: Bababooey
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                          scrumptiouschef Jun 12, 2009 05:10 PM

                          bababooey
                          You're not getting off that easy. We know what al pastor is.Where do you go to get yours? Details please.

                          1. re: Bababooey
                            b
                            bloody hammer Jun 12, 2009 05:27 PM

                            the description your copy & pasted says ".....often with a pineapple on top".

                            the word OFTEN is an odd way to describe something mandatory, eh?

                      3. b
                        brattpowered Apr 6, 2009 03:10 PM

                        My favorite thus far are from the El Pastor trailer just east of Parker on Riverside.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: brattpowered
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                          scrumptiouschef Apr 6, 2009 05:38 PM

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/500848

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/557092

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/304597

                          I dug up these old al pastor discussions from the wayback machine.Sadly most of the really passionate hounds heating up over the issue have all but disappeared.Maybe foodiegal71 can pick up the torch and start beating the bushes for the best in town?

                          1. re: scrumptiouschef
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                            foodiegal71 Apr 6, 2009 06:18 PM

                            As much as I would love to throw myself head on into this search, Weight Watchers will not allow it, the bastards. Why isn't al pastor point free?

                            I'll definitely take on some research, but I doubt it will be to the extent as some of y'all.

                          2. re: brattpowered
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                            chucklesmcfarland Apr 6, 2009 07:25 PM

                            I second this, except I go to the restaurant from whence it came, in the strip mall.

                            1. re: chucklesmcfarland
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                              foodiegal71 Apr 7, 2009 09:48 AM

                              I can't tell which your seconding? El Pastor trailer?

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