Fried or Grilled Tacos
I have been following comments about a certain fast food chain in another thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/839069 ) with more than a little amusement. I admit to innocent experimentation with the fried tacos at Jack in the Box as a young man, but must warn you that they might be a "gateway taco" to the hard stuff.
Specifically, the "Tacos Dorados De Barbacoa Adobada" at Taqueria Los Altos. Corn tortillas are filled with flavorful chili and spice marinated barbacoa and then grilled. The heat releases a red-orange mixture of grease and spice that soaks into the corn shell, giving it a deep fried quality. Served with a mound of grilled jalapenos and onions on the side, it’s very greasy and seriously delicious.
Besides these, danny_w mentions the Tacos Garcia at Jorges. Anyone else know of great grilled or fried tacos in Austin?
angie's carnitas tacos are fried or grilled. Also, Matt's brisket tacos are in a fried shell. really good.
At Dos Batos on W Anderson (nest to the Walmart), they serve tacos made with wood-grilled steak or veggies. They come on flour tortillas, and once filled and folded they are finished on the grill. It gives the tortilla a little smoky char and melts the cheese inside.
They don't fry them whole, but I've always loved the taco shells fried to order at Amaya's. I've never had a satisfactory puffy taco in Austin - I've tried the one at El Chilito & at Vivo, just OK.
No. Puffy tacos are primarily a San Antonio specialty, where uncooked masa dough (rather than a corn tortilla) is fried. When the dough hits the oil, it "puffs up," resulting in a bubbly, crispy shell. Some photos via Robb Walsh:
I think Angie's and Amaya's do what you suggest - fry thickish corn tortillas to order, and so I don't know that they're technically puffy tacos (but they are tasty).