What is a Good Crispy Taco?

This week is Global Taco Week.

At least it should be. At least it is on this blog.

In five years since I have returned to the DC area from the West Coast, I have found it impossible to find a decent crispy taco. This isn’t for lack of trying; I’ve been into pretty much every Mexican restaurant in this city I’ve seen and while there’s a lot of good food out there, I haven’t found that winning crunchy taco yet.

People from the East Coast look strangely at me when I bring this up, but people from California know exactly what I’m talking about.

Here’s a shot of a good-looking crispy taco:


This can also be called a puffy taco. The shells, I think, are generally made fresh in the restaurant, and are fried up so that they are hot, relatively light (with air-pockets), crunchy and flaky.

What you generally find in an East Coast restaurant are taco shells straight out of an Old El Paso box, like these:


Old El Paso shells can be decent, but never great. But most people don’t even bother to warm them up! Strange concept, this – tacos are a warm food, but no one warms up the shells. This leaves a half stale, half soggy creation that is generally only tolerable, but again…never great…and seldom good, really.

If you know how to make a great crispy/puffy taco, and have the proclivity to get into the restaurant business, hop on the first plane to DC. You could probably open up a food truck and make a killing.

I’d be the first in line.

Come back Thursday when I share my recipe for my Chili Tacos; my favorite crispy tacos this side of the Mississippi…at least for now.