the respect for durable machines

The last day of July has quickly arrived which marks the last day that I have to squeeze a post in to keep up with my minimum of one personal post per month update that I’ve been managing for a few months now. I don’t have much to update you with here, so I’ll hopefully keep it short this time.

Texas heat has been in the 100+ range for many days straight. We are going to San Antonio today to go to Sea World. I had a delicious barbacoa torta with onions and cilantro added on Saturday morning. I also took a nap that lasted much longer than I wanted.

I have finally caught up on Masterchef. Other TV shows with new episodes that I’m currently keeping up with are: Breaking Bad, Louie, Weeds, Entourage, Ugly Americans, and Hell’s Kitchen.

This month has been pretty redundant. I continue to work 40 hours 5 days a week like many Americans earning their living do. The weekends go by way too fast, but I am still very grateful that I get a two-day moment between the five daily doses of monotony that I consider a job. After each workday, I like to stay indoors like many Texans until the weather cools off a bit.

I have to get some rest now since I have to get up early for our day trip to San Antonio to visit Sea World. I’ve never been, and I hope we have a good time. I know it’s late, but I’m still up since I had that long nap. Until later on in August… Peace out.

the torta lives on

Taqueria Montenegro is a destination that M&I make an effort to visit on Saturday mornings. They make the best torta in the universe hands down. The breakfast tacos, barbacoa, and pastor are also delicious. Their green salsa has right amount of spicy heat and completes the signature flavor of the food. Lazy Saturdays are not the same without a belly filled with the Mexican cuisine brought to this planet by the fine folks of the best taqueria in North Austin.

the saturday morning itis from taqueria montenegro

For the past several months now, Mare&I have a Saturday morning ritual of going to Taqueria Montenegro for the best barbacoa tacos and beef fajita tortas in Austin. The tortas are toasted and filled with marinated beef, cheese, lettuce, and guacamole. The taste and texture is incomparable to anything I’ve ever eaten in my life. If heaven is on a bun, then Montenegro’s torta is a delicious cherub sent from above.

The barbacoa tacos are standard for authentic Mexican cuisine and very mesmerizing. Symptoms of itis from Montenegro’s tasty food cannot be full achieved without consuming their greasy barbacoa in a flour tortilla with their version of pico which is simply diced white onion and chopped cilantro.

The meal isn’t complete without using copious amounts of their signature green (verde) sauce. I’m convinced that it’s just a jalapeño purée, but it completes the mind-blowing flavor of our usual Saturday morning meal from the best taqueria in North Austin.

Taqueria Montenegro is a small taqueria located at 11300 Pollyanna Avenue on the corner of Braker Lane and I-35 connected to a convenient store next to a Money Box. The place has no seating and is busy every time we go. The service is relatively quick depending on how many people are waiting on their order. The staff is friendly, and the quality of the food is very consistent. Their prices are on the inexpensive side, and the menu has many authentic Mexican preparations which include tacos, tortas, and dishes with rice and beans.

They have the best barbacoa in North Austin, the best tortas in the universe, and other dishes you won’t find in a five-mile radius like tripas (which personally I’m not a fan). As long as we live in the North Austin area and our schedules allow, we’ll be stopping by Montenegro every Saturday morning for our usual order of two barbacoa tacos on flour tortillas with pico and two beef fajita tortas, a recipe for the best case of itis ever recorded in the history of man’s existence.

Thanks to GMN to introducing me to the best taqueria in Austin. He used to eat their food all the time when they were just a taco truck in the gas station parking lot where they’re located now. If you’re reading this and know an Austin taqueria that might be as amazing as Montenegro, then please get in touch.

the taco cabana bogos and reasons why this great state pwnz

Tomorrow, Mare and I will be enjoying our half-price taco dinners. That’s what BOGOs essentially are. Taco Cabana sent a promotional flyer a few weeks ago with some irresistible coupons to stimulate the Texan economy.

Last week, we used the BOGO Fajita Cabana Bowl coupon. We went with steak of course. We forgot to ixnay the refried beans, so I ate pinto bean paste for the first time in a very long time. We also ordered some extra tortillas on the side, because they’re the best. When we were done eating, we were stuffed for less than ten bucks.

We used the BOGO Fajita Taco Dinner coupon the week before that. Each plate had two steak tacos, spanish rice, refried beans, and a couple extra tortillas. We substituted the beans for more rice and indulged in two big meals for less than ten bucks.

Taco Cabana is one of the best Mexican chains in Texas. The quality of their food rivals those fancier Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants where you’ll find yourself spending two to three times more for something similar.

We usually go inside to dine, because we enjoy the authentic-style atmosphere. I’ve heard the wait at the drive-thru can be ridiculous, but I think they’ve improved since they became notorious for having the longest wait of chain restaurants with a drive-thru. It didn’t take too long the last time I recall going through the drive-thru, but it was during the wee hours of the night. I’m sure it wouldn’t be in someone’s best interest on their lunch break.

Returning to good things about Taco Cabana: their salsa bar is awesome. You can choose from five different salsas: rojo, verde, fuego, pico de gallo, and a new pineapple chipotle. The quality has been fresh every time I’ve visited, and it’s help yourself to however much you want. The salsa tastes authentic like the food, so I get down on their salsa when I dine in. This is another perk to dining in versus using the drive-thru.

They also serve breakfast tacos in the morning. Coupled with their homemade-style flour tortillas, these tacos hit the spot after a late night of drinking or satisfying an early bird’s hunger. The barbacoa breakfast taco is delicious and wrecks your stomach in that good way signaling its authenticity.

For you readers who are unfamiliar with barbacoa, it’s seasoned greasy cow cheek. It’s extra juicy, tastes delicious, and does a number on your gut like you’d never imagine but worth the consumption. Their other breakfast tacos are good, too, but I’m devoted to the barbacoa. It’s not the best I’ve had, but Taqueria Almeida is 250 miles away;)

I was just going to write a quick post about their BOGO coupons stimulating people like myself to go out and spend money on eating out, but this post turned into a long rant about why I like Taco Cabana. Well, if you’re not from Texas or haven’t enjoyed food from this Mexican chain restaurant, then you’re missing out. I’m not going to overhype it, but it’s damn good food. Peace out.

the free burritos from chipotle

One of the added bonuses to seeing the midnight premiere of Watchmen at Alamo Lake Creek with the Capstone Comics crew is that they handed out these free paper bags for free Chipotle burritos. Anyone who got one of these bags could walk into Chipotle by March 8th to get a free giant, gourmet burrito. Score!

Since we were sitting on the end of a row and the received the rest of the bags being passed down, we had the double bonus of getting multiple bags. Mare and I got four bags total. We used two on Friday, and the other two on Sunday at two nearby locations.

Chipotle burritos usually go for eight bucks (plus tax) each, so we scored over $32 worth of free food. Quadruple bonus! Their food is delicious and a carnivorous health nut’s wet dream. They do have some stiff competition here with Freebird’s, but both types of burritos are very different. I’d say most of Austin prefers Freebird’s over Chipotle, but I’m down with either but would sway a little closer to the Bird.

The first burrito I enjoyed was made with the barbacoa. I don’t think it’s genuine barbacoa, because the barbacoa I’m used to getting at Mexican taco shacks (and Taco Cabana for breakfast) is much greasier and does a number on my gut once it’s made the journey to the end. The meat is still delicious though.

I prefer the fajita burrito, because I don’t like pinto beans. Put some pico de gallo, some of that roasted chili-corn salsa, cheese and romaine on top of the juicy meat, sautéed green peppers and onions on a layer of cilantro-lime rice and wrap it up in a big tortilla for a tasty meal. My second burrito was the same setup but with the carnitas which are very tasty as well.

I rarely ever go to Chipotle to dine, but we couldn’t pass up the free meals. I’m sure they ran this promotion to stimulate some business with the weak state of the economy and Lent going on. We weren’t total mooches. We bought sodas and tipped them the change.

the summer

The heat is back, and I haven’t been posting much at all lately. Let’s just say I’ve been living blog-free for a little bit. I can’t leave you hanging for too long, so I felt obligated to write up a quick post on this lazy Saturday. My internet connection was out, since Thursday and they finally got it running again today so hooray from them (*sarcasm*).

I fired on my twin machines earlier this week, and they are running great. Neil and I picked up the materials yesterday to build a custom case for them tomorrow. Since it was early in the morning, we had some barbacoa tacos for breakfast that were bomb.

Last night, we saw Rancid at La Zona Rosa. They played an excellent show. I was surprised by how much they played off …And Out Come The Wolves. Check it:
(This is in the order of the album, not in the order they played them.)

  • Maxwell Murder
  • Roots Radicals
  • Time Bomb (first encore song)
  • Olympia, WA
  • Lock, Step & Gone
  • Ruby Soho (last encore song)
  • Journey to the End of the East Bay
  • Old Friend
  • The War’s End
  • The Way I Feel

They also played a bunch from Let’s Go:
(Again, the order’s from the album, not from the show)

  • Nihilism
  • Radio
  • Salvation
  • Tenderloin
  • Gunshot
  • St. Mary

Rancid – St. Mary – La Zona Rosa, Austin TX – June 13, 2008

They played Hyena and Rejected off their second self-titled album and Hoover Street and a couple others from Life Won’t Wait. I can’t remember what else they played, but they played so many songs. Neil and I got to show just in time to enjoy a beer and then see Rancid. The show lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes, and they didn’t do any bullshitting between songs. They just played them one after the other. We definitely got our money’s worth plus Neil scored himself the shirt he was looking for with the …And Out Come the Wolves cover on it.

I also enjoyed the visuals they had coming from a projector. This sold out show marked Neil and I’s first time to see Rancid which was at Vans Warped Tour ’98 in San Antonio. Their new drummer, Branden Steineckert, did an amazing job. The rest of the band was awesome as always.