I’m surprised by how often I’m surprised by my own ignorance. I really should be used to it by now.
But seriously, I obsessively read about food, eat it, write about it, photograph it, talk about it, roll around in it, and yet all too often I feel like Jethro at a Seder. “That there bitter herb sure do taste funny. Maybe if I tried it with one of them big ol’ crackers…”
Just this weekend I got taken to school by a little trailer not five blocks from my house. I love that Austin sports scores (hundreds?) of little mobile taquerias. My only regret is that I don’t get to eat at more of them, more often.
In an attempt to rectify this shortcoming, Rachel and I committed ourselves to lunch at La Fogata, a tiny white box that we’ve driven by countless times, parked at a self-serve carwash.
Walking up to it, I realized something wasn’t quite right. While the menu had some of the usual suspects in the taco and gordita categories, I had never heard of their specialties. This town is pretty good about providing regional Mexican cuisine if you know where to look. Areas like Jalisco, Oaxaca, and Michoacán are all represented; with a little footwork, excellent pozole, moles, and corundas can all be found lurking around.
To my delight though, I discovered that the amiable proprietress of La Fogata is from San Luis Potosí. Sure my brainiac (and gorgeous) wife had heard of the place but I was in decidedly uncharted territory.
The first dish we tried was the enchiladas potosinas. More closely resembling empanadas than traditional tex-mex enchiladas, these reddish half-moons of fried masa and chile goodness came filled with queso cotija and a tomato based salsa. They were topped with crema Mexicana and served with a side of well-seasoned refried beans.
The most curious part of the dish were these slightly vinegary, white strips that I at first mistook for onions. When I bit into one, it had the texture of a yam starch noodle- soft, fairly dense, and a little creamy. After a quick recon trip back to the truck I learned that they were cueritos de puerco, little bits of pickled pig skin. Nice. It’s odd, delicious discoveries like this that keep me on my toes.
Our next local offering was called Alambre. It’s basically a fry up of bacon, pork leg, onions and strips of various peppers. Topped with queso fresco and served with avocado and warm corn tortillas, it made for some killer do-it-yourself tacos.
She threatened me with the San Luis Potosí Sleeper Hold if I didn't take some of her Mexican candies.
We also tried the barbacoa that was so-so and the al pastor that was nice but fairly standard. I enjoyed the vibrant red color but the sweetness from the pineapple overpowered the pork flavor a bit. I would definitely stick to the regional specialties here.
They also serve tacos potosinos (that actually look like enchiladas if you’re wondering) that we didn’t get to try. Oh well, just another good reason to go back soon.
La Fogata Taco Trailer
8513 Burnet Rd Austin, TX 78757