Monday, May 10, 2010

Taco Cabana Brisket Tacos

It was a Sunday night, and we were finishing up the daily chores just before bed. The television chattered quietly behind me with little of it grabbing my attention until the word "brisket" was uttered. I turned to see a duo of soft flour tortillas enveloping shredded "hickory smoked" shredded brisket. It was a Taco Cabana commercial advertising their newest menu option, hickory smoked brisket tacos, and my wife chuckled "now you have to try them".

The next day (last Monday) I made my way to the Lower Greenville location of TC in Dallas. Unwrapping the foil covered torpedoes didn't release any smokey aroma, so I dug right into the meat. While there was a hint of smokiness, there's no telling how this was achieved. I doubt Taco Cabana constructed a big smokehouse at the San Antonio headquarters, so there's a good chance that some liquid smoke made their way into the meat. Besides that, the meat was moist, tender and flavorful. Although BBQ sauce is available, adding some cilantro, onion and lime made for a couple of tasty tacos.

- BBQ Snob


Kent said...

Really? I had some the other day on MLK here in Austin, (I know, I'm stupid, I was less than 5 miles from Franklin BBQ)... but they tasted of grease and fat, and only mildly of brisket.

guadalupebbqco said...

I had to try them and not so good as BBQ....they were just mush. save the money and just get a carne guisada.

Brent said...

Ugh. I wandered into the TC off of IH-35 at Wm. Cannon in Austin the other morning (no joke, the Sysco truck was parked outside at the time - swear!) and saw the well-photographed poster advertising "New! Brisket Tacos!" and decided to give it a try - ordered two. As I stood inside waiting for my to-go order and staring mindlessly into the kitchen, I watched as an employee in front of the flat-top retrieved a large white bucket-like container and, using an ice cream scooper-like device, dropped two brown blobs from the bucket onto the flat top. A minute or two later, using a spatula, she began pressing down on the brown balls to flatten them and, presumably, cause them to warm more quickly... "Nah, couldn't be, I thought..." Sure enough, another minute or so later each flattened blob was slid onto a flour tortilla, wrapped in foil, and put in a bag, at which time my number was called. (I was one of the few in the store.) With great hesitation I took them with me and, once at work, had one bite before depositing them in the trash can. I'm still ashamed at myself for even trying them after watching that process from conception to conclusion. Never again.

Lee Jackson said...

They must be cooking 'em better up here in North Texas, and that's coming from a South Austin native. I've had several of them at the TC off of I-30 here in Garland, and they are really good. Moist, good balance of fat and lean, and especially good when they have really fresh tortillas. The sauce is a good complement and does not overpower the meat. The texture of the ones I've had is well chopped, not stringy or tough, with the occasional piece of flavorful bark that makes them worth going back for.

TH said...

Finally, I found a channel that truly honors "chopped beef tacos" aka brisket tacos. Put together much like pulled pork, but chopped beef tacos are great! I was @Mo's Place in Katy, TX and there is a food vendor who provides chopped beef brisket tacos - WOW - they are awesome! Lean with very little fat or at least not chunks of fat which is obvious in other chopped beef BBQ sandwiches. There are a few special sauces to put on these tacos - one is a spicy green sauce which is "killer", another is a spicy pickle relish - also killer and then of course sweet BBQ sauce. I totally recommend getting some of "The Boss" tacos if you ever see a concert such as Ronnie Millsap or Willie Nelson @Mo's.


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.