Located on East Cesar Chavez St. is Veracruz All Natural, a food truck, which according to many Yelp reviews, has been cranking out some of the best tacos in Austin for about the past four years.
Story and Photos by Skyler Wendler
I am a taco aficionado. Of all the foods I love in this world, I can never resist trying a new type of taco. I prefer traditional street tacos, or even something with a fusion twist, but please do not ever bring up the words “Taco Bell.” That is not in my culinary vocabulary.
Naturally, after reading multiple claims online that Veracruz makes the best tacos in town, I had to try it out for myself.
I went to Veracruz on a Saturday around 11:15 a.m. I decided to try the lunch menu, so I ordered one taco al pastor and the special of the day: a chicken mole taco. I ordered my tacos regular (with cilantro and onions) and on a corn tortilla: just how I like it. I would be a fool to completely ignore the breakfast selection, so I was happy when my friend decided to get the highly recommended migas taco and a bacon egg and cheese taco. While sharing food is always the best part of any meal, purchasing an array of menu items with drinks for under $20 dollars isn’t too bad either.
The wait was about 30 minutes, which I have to say is pretty lengthy for the average food truck, so I spent some time just taking in the surroundings. The atmosphere was laid back and no one appeared to be in a rush. I liked how the outdoor dining area was more than just a few picnic tables and a trashcan. Simple details like the artwork for sale on the fence and the multi-colored specks of smoothed glass in the gravel were little touches that gave a soul to Veracruz, something I don’t find with many street vendors.
When our order was called and it was finally time to feast, the taste of my lunch revealed why the wait was so long. You just cannot rush the delicate process of making fresh food from scratch, especially in a portable kitchen the size of a walk-in closet. I tried the chicken mole taco first. The creaminess of the queso fresco balanced the taste of the spicy sauce on the chicken. With a dash of salsa verde and a fresh squeeze of lime juice, it was quite satisfying. However, tasting my second taco, I was not too impressed. While the al pastor was flavorful, it will not find a place on my personal list of the best in town. I have yet to find an al pastor meat that can compete with the crispy red pork of Rosita’s on East Riverside. Rosita’s is damn good, and I’ve eaten my share of tacos al pastor to say that’s the cold, honest truth.
As for Veracruz’s breakfast tacos, they are definitely some of the best I’ve tried. The migas were full of vegetables, not just eggs and tortilla bits. I’ve never had a migas taco with a large avocado slice in it and that only added to my satisfaction. They were so good that I made a second visit the next morning. The wait was still about 15 minutes, but still worth it.
I think Veracruz has done something quite unique with their business. On one hand they are making fresh and delicious traditional Mexican dishes, but on the other, this business is marketing affordable street food in a way that is appealing to the young East side hipster crowd. Slap the word “all natural” on anything and you’re going to have curious health and vegan fans trickling in like ants.
That is the irony of this place. While the truck serves fresh squeezed juices, fruit and uses quality ingredients in the food, you just can’t overlook the humor in the fact that tacos and tortas are some of the biggest pig-out foods in the southern United States. While this truck isn’t going to be my go-to destination to fulfill my every taco desire, I don’t see any signs of the place slowing down. Veracruz All Natural definitely has a loyal following and is onto something.