The statue of Liberty has seen better days.
Hunkered down on a poured cement curb, sucking furiously on a Marlboro and chattering angrily into a cell phone, the middle age Black man in a statue of liberty costume bears little resemblance to the giant version astride Ellis Island.
I glance at him as I depart my Econoline and make my way toward La Guera. He doesn’t take kindly to being looked upon and shoots me a challenging stare. I briefly picture us tussling on the blacktop; a man in a cowboy hat beating the tar out of the world wide symbol of freedom and forbearance might not go over that well on South Congress Avenue since it’s been modernized and turned into a respectable neighborhood.
Since there’s carne guisada to be eaten on this day my martial thoughts are scooted to the side in favor of Mexican food.
At the counter my inquiry regarding which of the two styles of tortilla is homemade is met with the standard response of B grade taquerias everywhere; neither.
I resign myself to yet another store bought, pulled from a plastic bag, tortilla and order my taco; one carne guisada on corn with onions and cilantro.
A minute after paying $1.62 my taco wends its’ way out of the kitchen. Two doubled up, grilled without oil, tortillas provide a substantial blanket for the meat.
They’re white corn and though far from homemade, quite good for factory tortillas. The carne guisada has been cooked down, the stew meat dissolving into shreds and pulls of very tender flesh. Mildly flavored of little more than cumin and onion it’s a likeable, reasonably priced taco.
Tacos La Guera has the feel of a chain. I inquire as to whether this is the only location and the counter girl laughs in affirmation. Perhaps the owners have visited the wildly popular Taqueria Arandas chain and are going to model themselves after the local Jalisco favorites.
I make my way outside into the morning sunshine. The statue of liberty clad gentleman is waving wildly at passing cars, his bedraggled, filthy costume blowing in the cool winter breeze.
2510 S Congress Ave
About the Stars:
4 **** Extraordinary, life changing
3 *** Excellent
2 * Very good
1 * Good
0 * Mediocre to Acceptable
Quality, price, service and ambiance are all taken into account when rating