Taco Tuesday: Pork belly with fried parsley and mandarin, and ribeye with Takis     

taco tuesday 5.3

Fair or not, many taco places that pile on the ingredients get slapped with the label of ‘gringo tacos.’ I would imagine more than a few people would call the tacos from this taqueria ‘gringo tacos,’ or (GASP!) ‘hipster tacos.’ Label them however you want, but that doesn’t mean you saddle up your high horse and run away from these tacos sight unseen.

And you have to like the attitude here. They have a sign that reads, “sex sells, unfortunately we sell tacos.” I see it as a slight shot across the bow at locals Torchy’s Tacos. And, like Torchy’s, this place also layers ingredients and masking sauces to excess at times.

It doesn’t always work, as with a cloyingly sweet and mild diablo shrimp taco (top middle) topped with jalapeno jack cheese, cilantro and cream tomatillo ($2.99). And a dried out crispy duck taco (top right) buried beneath viscous, salty hoisin sauce ($3.75) and cucumbers needed more fat and more restraint.

But the creative offerings at this taco stand with a massive and varied menu are sometimes right on point.

Sometimes less is more, as with the simplicity of this crunchy, nicely seasoned crispy beef taco ($1.99, bottom right), and Tyson’s Tacos whimsy is sometimes a welcome thing. Seared pork belly supple with fat served with fried parley, pickled onions and mandarin slices (top left) is a nice balance of salt, sweet, tang, fat and crunch ($3.25), and I love the addition of the colorful and fiery crumble of Takis (think Flaming Hot Cheetos, gringo), jalapenos and sriracha to a ribeye taco cooled by cilantro ($3.50, bottom left).

Find your favorites and get a plate with lard-laden beans and fluffy rice for the very reasonable price of $8.99. For all of the novelty with the inventiveness with the tacos, bagged tortillas (both corn and flour) are a little depressing, but hey, you can earn a free taco just by playing the ukulele provided. And that almost makes up for it.

Tyson’s Tacos. 4905 Airport Blvd. 512-451-3326, tysonstacos.com

Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

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