The dish of the day was brought on by local comedian and all around good guy, Peter Barerra. Barerra will be appearing at the El Paso Comic Strip Wednesday through Sunday, and posted the good news on Facebook along with a side note that he would be avoiding Chico’s Tacos. He even went on to issue a “yuck” to top off his disdain for the El Paso taco chain.
OK, I get that these tacos are not the superb street tacos found just across the border in El Paso, but they are a long time tradition. I spent plenty of time in my youth in El Paso, bouncing across the Río Bravo del Norte into Juárez nearly every night for cheap beer and a floor show. But late at night I would always make a pass through Chico’s Tacos. They are legend in this border city, but possibly best taken in at 3am.
Consider this taco which is hand rolled and rested into a very soupy tomato sauce. The sauce is nearly void of flavor, this is true, but it is best to soak up some of the greasy goodness the taco emits. The tacos are then topped with what could be nothing more that shredded Velveeta cheese, or an even cheaper substitute. The tacos are sold three to an order, but Chico’s offers a six pack. However, most locals buy a duo of three in order to get the perfect cheese to taco ratio. The green sauce served on the side is totally legit and must be used judiciously.
Chico’s sells more than just the flauta-like taco, there are also some tasty split and grilled hot dogs on the menu as well as a very good grilled cheese that is often referred to as a ‘grillo’.
Chico’s first opened in 1953 by a local boxing promoter, Joe Mora. He opened the first Chico’s on Alameda Avenue on El Paso’s south side, but went on to open five more locations before his death in 1992. Chico’s is indeed a true Texas tradition in its finest regard.
Check out the video from our friend Aaron Sanchez at the Food Network. And as for Peter, bring us back a six pack of those wonderful Chico’s Tacos.
Update: Barerra has promised to bring me a three pack of Chico’s next week. Not sure day old tacos are a good thing.