Day two in San Antonio started with more eating. This time we were headed to Taco Taco, a restaurant Bon Appetit had raved about as being “the best tacos in America!!” and Food & Wine Magazine had named one of of the best taco spots across the country. Their list of awards goes on and on: http://www.tacotacosa.com/awards/
From the outside, Taco Taco appeared to be a pretty unassuming place.
But a line stretched out from the door, just like we’d heard always did. It was only a five minute wait though, really nothing at all.
The inside was equally unassuming, just some tables, chairs, and people eating. On a small tv in the corner, the episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives that featured Taco Taco played on loop (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqgDrZ4Sjzc). On the wall, a signed poster of Guy Fiery quietly boasted of his visit.
We ordered a Huevo a la Mexicano breakfast taco and their famous Taco Norteno. You couldn’t order it without meat, so I geared myself to eat some beef. I just feel like when I’m travelling across the country and trying to eat the best food I can, if they say the famous dish only comes with meat, I’m gonna try it for the experience.
It was pretty good. I could see how if you were a meat fan you would be a lot more enthusiastic about the Taco Nortena. For us, we were underwhelmed. The tortilla for sure was delicious. It was warm, soft, and thicker than any tortilla I’d had before. You could tell they were hand-made in the cafe. It made me interested to try and make tortillas myself next time I cook mexican, because it was such a step above store-bought ones and noticeably elevated the quality of the taco. The beef was good, well seasoned. I’m just averse to meat, so what I look for in a taco is a lot of fresh vegetables. It only had a few bell peppers lightly sautéed and some refried beans. I was hoping for a taco bursting with vegetables and flavor, but that’s just not what I got. It definitely needed the salsa and hot sauce we added to it. The egg taco was, again, fine. It was scrambled eggs in a taco. The tortilla was the highlight.
Next we headed downtown to see the Alamo, something Rachael insisted upon. Neither of us really remembered what we were supposed to remember about the Alamo, but we got the gist that there was a big fight against Mexico there and everybody died. If you want to know more, look it up, because it really didn’t interest me. You weren’t allowed to take pictures in there, but it was a few empty rooms with some guns in glass cases and names on plaques. Instead, enjoy this picture of a horse in a silly hat.
The best part of the Alamo was the gift shop. We had a little photoshoot with the coonskin caps and wooden guns.
The theme of the shop seemed to be Don’t Mess With Texas. You could almost hear the chest thumping and manly grunting amongst all the bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets proclaiming that Texans were gonna kick your ass. I had trouble assimilating that attitude with the story I had just learned about Mexico completely defeating Texas’s forces at the Alamo. But I guess later there was a battle at San Jacinto where the Texian army defeated the Mexicans in all of 18 minutes, so that’s supposed to be retribution. Only 9 Texians died, while 630 Mexicans were killed, and 730 captured, which is admittedly impressive.
We were more into the candy sticks, so we got us some of those and were back out on the road…
Patrolling around in the sunshine, sucking on our candy, we came across the largest table tennis paddle in the world. I feel like no cross-country trip is complete without seeing the largest something, so I was glad to find this strange artifact.
There was also the world’s largest hawaiian shirt, for good measure.
In a nearby souvenir shop we found this bizarre creature. Is that a jackalope?
And lots of salt/pepper shakers…
I was about to try and make two of the men shakers kiss, because I was curious on the state of gay rights in the shaker community, but I promptly dropped one and broke it. I swept it up and offered to pay, but the shopkeeper said I didn’t need to. That was my cue for a swift exit.
Next we walked through an old governor’s house, historically preserved. It was interesting in that it gave me more of a feel for past San Antonio than the Alamo had, but mostly I thought of it as the house with the cool candle-holders.
We were off again. This time to Market Square, a mexican market area.
Horchata and cantaloupe agua fresca were much needed after all that walking in the heat.
Sitting on the floor to drink it, we watched a mexican band play and some couples/one homeless man dance.
We started back towards our car. This wheel chair man was going places.
Rachael wanted to look in this church, but she got the evil eye at the door for wearing shorts. I consoled her saying, “Jesus don’t care, he went shirtless all the time! I’ve seen pictures.”
Finally back to our car, we were too exhausted to possibly rent bikes to bike through the historical old house area as our hosts had suggested. Instead I drove by slowly while Rachael hung out the window taking pictures.
And that was the end our day in San Antonio. We had aspirations of going country line dancing, but we were just too tired. Being a tourist is hard work.