It’s Tuesday. Well at least it was when the guys sat around the table to talk Taco. So listen in as Andy, Greg and Nathan try to decipher just what a Taco is and what it isn’t. Are Tacos highbrow or lowbrow? Do Tacos have to have a tortilla? And just where do Fritos and Vegans fit into the equation?

Well, these questions will be answered in typical Table Set fashion. That means while eating. Tacos, of course. Please excuse the crunch and growl, because you can’t eat Tacos quietly.

Greg decides to start the Taco Talk with a childhood favorite. The Old School Lowbrow Crunchy Taco. He considers it a “Proper Taco” and is surprised (relieved?) to find that Andy and Nathan do too.

If you want to make yourself an Old School Taco don’t look to these guys for directions. The recipe’s on the back of the box.

One more thing. Do the shells have to be stale for a Crunchy Taco to be a Proper Taco? Greg says “Yes”. Andy says “Toast them in the oven”. Nathan says “More please”.

oldschool

Oh, and while we’re asking questions… just what do you drink with a Taco?

DrPep

Artificially flavored sodas are fine (for 12-year-olds) but fortunately Nathan has brought something a bit more grown up. It’s called Siesta, a tasty mix of Tequila, Campari and Ruby Red Grapefruit. It comes from Flatiron Lounge in NYC and it’s a great Taco Tuesday party starter. Partly for its festive pink color and partly because it’s a terrific example of a “Batch Cocktail”. Batch Cocktails don’t need to be bottom of the barrel when you use top shelf ingredients.

Siesta

Speaking of top shelf. Andy brought his version of a highbrow Taco that’s just sooo LA. It’s inspired by a vegan restaurant in West Hollywood known as Gracias Madre. Where they artfully combine classic LA Mexican patio culture with creative vegan fare. His version takes the vegan best of Gracias Madre and pairs it with the bold flavors of another great Los Angeles Taco joint, Guisados. The result is the best of the braised Taco tradition made with mushrooms. Hongos con Cilantro Tacos.

hongos

In between bites the guys get into some of the other vital elements for a successful Taco Tuesday. Salsa (by the bucketful) is certainly essential. Andy serves his highbrow Mushroom Taco with a roasted salsa verde you can make at home (recipe above). Be careful though, Greg warns that too much char can ruin a salsa and says to consider raw “summer salsas” as well (click here for recipe ideas). Nathan likes “blender salsas” (of course he likes blender drinks too). Don’t forget the Guacamole. Greg intended to make a Fuerte avocado version for the Table this Tuesday. However when the last of the season’s Fuerte avocados are in the house– it’s hard to keep them around for “guests”.

Salsas

Of course what would Andy’s highbrow hongos be without homemade tortillas? Greg made a miserable fail of the job of a Taco Tuesday on a Easter Sunday at Andy’s house not so long ago. Determined to right that wrong he’s been perfecting his skills lately. So get up off the floor and step into Greg’s kitchen as he finally does tortillas justice. There are a few tips and he’s willing to share.

Tortillamaking

*BONUS!

pressure

But Nathan decided to take the more traditional route and braise his pork all night. His Pulled Pork Tacos are served with Grilled Pineapple and Cilantro. But he just couldn’t decide if these Tacos were highbrow or lowbrow. After all, they’re served with a Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce (recipe below) so it could go either way. In the end you can decide for yourself. Should he serve them on gourmet tortillas, or ladle them straight into a Fritos bag? Greg’s mom would approve.

DrPepper

Once the Taco Talk gets going at your own table you’ll see just how easy it is to expand on the theme. Which is just what Andy did recently when he put together a mock French/Mexican Restaurant in his very own home. Viola! Chez Lazibônnez Mexican Bistro.

lassez

All this Taco Talk has gotten Greg off subject as well. He’s thinking about another Mexican treat. Cemita. What is a Cemita? Well, a Cemita is a sandwich originally from Puebla, Mexico. Making it a type of Torta. What distinguishes it from other more generic Tortas is its place of origin within Mexico and the roll it’s made with– also called a Cemita. You can learn more about the sandwich here.

cemitaLS-858x429

Oh, and there’s that blue and white check deli paper Greg likes so much. So much that Andy bought some too. Just in time for dessert. Un Choco Taco.

unchoco+taco

Have we sold you on Taco Tuesday? I bet we have.

Leave a Reply

14 comments on “Taco Tuesday

  1. Joachim Lothe-Rikenberg Apr 11, 2014

    Thanks for sharing your love for food. I’m gluten intolerant, and you guys really fulfill my bread fantasy too life. Thank you.

  2. Joachim Lothe-Rikenberg Apr 11, 2014

    I hope you still keep this podcast up. I’m a avid listener and would really like you to continue.

    • Glad you enjoy the show! We are doing our best to get one episode a month to you! :)

  3. tiatara Apr 12, 2014

    Thanks for the recipes! I really enjoy your podcast.

  4. Sarah Apr 14, 2014

    Great episode! My mouth was watering over the Dr. Pepper bbq sauce pulled pork frito pie. WHAT!? Tacos for lunch I think :)

  5. Now you’ve got me craving La Super Rica!

  6. Having a new episode of The Table Set to listen to while walking the dog almost makes up for the fact that it snowed several inches last night. :)

  7. Aww, guys. I’m a loooong time listener/jerk who has never left you a comment. The best tacos I ever had were in Mexico at a sketchy taco stand where they carved the meat on the spot and had communal topping like onions and cilantro, lime, etc., SO DAMN GOOD.

    I LOVE your podcast and if you ever make it to Baltimore, I’d love to give you the scoop on the best places to eat. Although The Wire presents one side of the city, it’s really an amazing, eclectic, artistic, place with a great up and coming food scene. Our own Spike Gjerde is a finalist for the Mid-Atlantic James Beard award. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the crab cake 😉 Highbrow/lowbrow edition?

    • Thanks, Kelci! I’ve ALWAYS wanted to check out Baltimore, ever since my first John Waters flick. :) We’ll be sure to hit you up! Thanks for listening!!!

  8. Gosia Apr 15, 2014

    I cannot get Dr Pepper anywhere where I live now, and this Sauce sounds awesome. Is there anything you would suggest to replace it with? Does it make sense at all to replace it? hmmm…

  9. I love how you only need to make refried beans twice in your life. That’s how many times I’ve made them!

  10. I blame you guys for making me crave hard tacos out of a blue box. Actually went out and bought them, ate 3 and then suddenly started worrying about what GMO corn was being used to make the shells with. Ugh. They were still satisfying.

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