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May 21, 2012 08:33 AM

Crispy Tacos?

What restaurants have crispy tacos that are made with folded tortillas (as opposed to pre-made taco shells)? I know of a few places (Chuy's, Jorge's) but I am sure there are more. I am always afraid to order crispy tacos at new restaurants because they usually use the pre-made extra-crunchy taco shells that break apart after the first bite. Anybody have any suggestions?

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    1. re: TheBadWolf

      Amaya's may be the best old school Tex-Mex in the city. Their crispy tacos have the traditional picadillo filling (seasoned hamburger meat) and the fresh fried shells are outstanding. I agree that it's hard for a picadillo filling to compete with a carnitas filling, but if you want old school, go to Amaya's.

      1. re: Alan Sudo

        Admittedly I haven't been to Amaya's in many years (have not been to the new location) but the last time I went was for their crispy tacos based on reviews here that gushed about their fresh corn tortillas. Maybe they were just having a bad day but the tacos were simply awful and I have not been back. The tortillas and the meat were both very underdone (mushy wet tortillas? really? and they were supposed to be crisp). I know I shouldn't judge based on one bad experience so I will try them again, hopefully this week.

        In my experience most anybody can do at least passable soft tacos, but doing crispy tacos right is very hard (or at least it would seem so from the fact that very few do it right). However crispy tacos is one of the (few) things that Chuy's does right. I just had some of the best crispy tacos ever from there for lunch.

        1. re: danny_w

          Amaya's does play fast and loose with their definition of "crispy". They're actually a thick corn tortilla fried to order, almost like SA puffy tacos. I wouldn't describe them a "mushy" but they are moist and slightly pliable, not hard and dry like a chulupa.
          As disappointed as I have been with Chuy's recently, I may have to go try the crispy tacos based on your rec.

          1. re: Alan Sudo

            Of course different people have different tastes and you may not like what I like, but I loved the ones that I had for lunch. And yes I would describe what I had at Amaya's as more of a puffy taco, which I have never liked.

            1. re: danny_w

              I cannot more strongly disagree with the description of Amaya's tacos as similar to San Antonio style puffy taco. Yes the shell is bubbled and I guess you might describe it as "puffed", but that's because they are homemade. The only crispy taco shells that are not puffed are the pre-made ones that you say you want to avoid in the original post. If you make your own taco or chalupa shells at home you will find they can be slightly chewy.
              Amaya's isn't anywhere close to a traditional puffy taco.

              1. re: TheBadWolf

                Yes, Wolf is correct that Amaya's does not serve puffy tacos and that should be made clear for any future 'hounds searching for puffies. In my mind I was thinking of simularities of textures and pliability, but what I wrote didn't do enough to emphasize the differences. Still, Amaya's serves great old school, yellow cheese Tex-Mex.

    2. Angie's carnitas tacos rock. They use the same thick tortillas for their table chips, which also rock. Yellow cheese though , definitely Tex-Mex. Amaya's is somehow related to Angies but I don't think they have carnitas. I only like the carnitas. Mighty scrumptiouschef doesn't like Angie's though....

      1 Reply
      1. re: BTAustin

        Another vote for Angie's carnitas tacos, the most amazing facesplosion disaster you're likely to lunch in Austin. Yum. Make it a 4500 calorie meal by quaffing an Angie's frozen lemonade with your meal. (Scrumptiouschef's predilections are inscrutable but ineffably wise.)

      2. Thanks for the suggestions everybody!