Tacos in San Antonio

April 1, 2021 • 11:00 am

I’m writing this after lunch on Wednesday, and I’m still not full, so I may go out for more tacos this evening.

The taco is the signature food of San Antonio, which is heavily laden with Tex-Mex cuisine. And if you Google “best tacos in San Antonio”, you’ll get a gazillion different sites, with very little overlap between the lists. This put me in a quandary, as which should I choose, given that I get only one or two chances?. Based on a recommendation yesterday and one reliable-looking list, I decided to try the “puffy” taco at Henry’s Puffy Tacos, a bit of a slog from where I’m staying. (Texans think little of driving long distances, as their state is so big!)

Here’s the recommendation from Female Foodie:

Henry’s Puffy Tacos is absolutely legendary in San Antonio because no one does puffy tacos better. These puffy tacos have a deep-fried, crisp exterior, a slightly chewy interior, and are filled with your choice of deliciousness. Female Foodie favorites are the Picadillo and chicken fajita puffy tacos. Once you get your order, waste no time in noshing, as the juicy meat will eventually work its way through the crunch of the taco and leave you scrambling to get it all in. The charro beans are house-made and a great side dish if you’re looking for one. Over the years, Henry’s has expanded its offerings into quite an impressive list of cantina items, but there’s no doubt you’re here for the puffy tacos—some of the best tacos in San Antonio.

Here’s the exterior: for my style, it’s a fancy place!

The interior, too, is a bit upmarket, but no worries:

I had the spicy beef and chicken fajita tacos. I ordered only two because the waitress told me that would be enough for lunch. It really wasn’t. With it came chips and salsa and refried beans (I was too addled to order the charro beans).  The tacos were very good, and the texture was great: as the recommendation above noted, you must eat them quickly lest they lose their crunch and become soft. I polished them off within 15 minutes. I should have ordered another, but contemplated instead going to another taco place for dinner. Here’s my lunch plate:

As I said, they were quite good, but hey, it’s tacos, Jake! This ain’t beef brisket or sausages or ribs, so I almost feel that I’ve wasted one day of field work. Tomorrow I’ll go to the Texas Pie Company in Kyle for takeout pie, and then on to the Southside Market in Elgin, famous for its sausages (some say they’re the best in the U.S.)

20 thoughts on “Tacos in San Antonio

    1. I’m trying to think of any naturally fluorescent foods. I wouldn’t be surprised to find any, but I can’t remember seeing the question before.
      I’m just taking a UV lamp to the pantry. I may be gone some time.

  1. Looks like pretty good eating. To me the Mexican gets better down there than up north in the Dallas area. For me the best is in Arizona, I think because that is where I first had Mexican.

  2. Those puffy / crunchy taco shells sound good. I’ve never come across them before.

    I made some pretty good tacos at home a couple of weeks ago. Outside skirt steak, grilled perfectly. The only weak link was the tortillas. I bought the most authentic looking tortillas I could find, but they weren’t very good. There’s a local Mexican kitchen that makes their own tortillas, and they’re excellent (their beef cheek tacos are something special). I need to see if they’ll sell some to me.

    1. Those puffy / crunchy taco shells sound good.

      Not having actually seen a “proper” taco, I’m wondering if a Texan saw a popadom, thought “that looks like a taco shell” … and the rest was history.
      You’ve got me fancying a packet of popadoms now. My eyes will keep peeled next time I go shopping.

        1. Is tasty. You eat!

          Hmmm, I’ll have to get the wife to give me the Russian for that. Imperative case, obviously.

  3. Tacos from a ramshackle family-run roadside stand in Mexico – the father, wife, and daughter. The chicken is hacked up in front of you on a well worn cutting board supported by a tree stump. Cooked up and served. They don’t speak English, and my Spanish was worthless, but everyone is friendly and we don’t need to talk to convey that. I still remember how great it was. And the street cats that were right there in case you wanted to give them some and of course I did.

    1. Is there a level of spiciness that exceeds feline acceptance tests? I see “tacos” on a menu, think back to a “three ring burner” many years ago, and look for something that is actually edible, but I’ve no idea if that is a necessary part of the experience.

      1. In my experience, the taco innards themselves are not necessarily spicy. The toppings add the heat (peppers, salsas, etc). So the kitties should be good with the chicken.

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