the march of the tortas

Unwrapping the foil to reveal a carefully sliced roll filled with bliss continues to be part of our Saturday morning routine. The tortas from Taqueria Montenegro remain the best tortas on this side of the universe.

The magical combination of marinated fajita beef, sliced onions, lettuce, guacamole, the trademark green sauce, and a twist of fresh lime juice inside a lightly-toasted sandwich roll will turn any average Saturday morning into an itis-filled average Saturday m0rning. If you are seeing one of these sandwiches sent from heaven for the first time, then you have discovered one of Austin’s best kept secrets.

the iron stomach

Shortly after I posted about EZ’s Brick Oven & Grill this past Sunday, I decided to fill out their comment card online. For the feedback section, I just copied the section of my post about my undercooked burger. I received a voicemail the next day from the general manager of that location. He was apologetic and wanted to make everything right. I returned his call, and we set up a meeting time for the next day which was convenient for me since I was going to be in the area around that time.

When I stopped in on Tuesday, he shook my hand and offered me food on the house. I told him that I had already eaten. We sat at a table, and he reiterated what he said on the phone the day before. I explained from my perspective that burgers should not be pink when ordered from a restaurant. I also mentioned that my brother had ordered the smaller size of the same burger and the patty was pink as well. He asked me about everyone else’s food. I took a short moment to recall and told him that it was OK which really meant no big complaints from them. He then gave me his business card with four Be My Guest complimentary entree cards. Score.

Before I started writing this post, I decided to skim through the Yelp reviews. One of the reviews actually mentioned an undercooked burger patty, so that issue must be part of their reputation. I’m iffy to return but most likely will. I can’t pass up on a complimentary meal for four. I told myself that I’d order a burger to give them another chance at burgers, but after reading that review, I may just go with a pizza.

EZ’s was actually our second choice to dine in since the amazing Thai place up the street was packed to the gills (as usual), EZ’s was nearby, and I’ve never eaten their food before. I noticed that they weren’t busy at all between 8-9pm on a Saturday night, and when I stopped in at 6pm on Tuesday, they weren’t very busy either. I guess the word has made its way around that EZ’s is overall subpar food, and the nearby competition is just stomping them. Sigh.

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.