food & drink

Here Are The Best Taquerias California And Texas Have To Offer

So, we’re here to define the biggest question in the informal culinary world bar none… where’s the best tacos, Texas or California? The reality is, tacos are totally subjective and therefore impossible to judge who’s better or not, but, you gotta agree that this is one list you can’t miss. Just a piece of advice: keep some napkins handy for the drooling!

These succulent selections are not rated in any particular order, so if you happen to stumble onto any of them, dig in!

1. Petty Cash: California

tacos
CREDIT: pettycashla / Instagram

What would you think if a “taqueria” had a pre-fixe? This eatery on Beverly Blvd. in L.A. is tops on all sorts of treats, and. Well, being L.A., it has to have a good assortment of vegan stuff. And the big plus is the full bar; only drawback, it’s normally packed to the gills, so it’s a good idea to reserve ahead of time.

2. Vera’s Backyard BBQ: Texas

CREDIT: atxfoodguy / Instagram

The best part about this Brownsville tradition is that Vera’s is the only remaining barbacoa venue in Texas allowed by health officials to have whole cattle heads in underground mesquite. It’s so rooted in tradition that the process was grandfathered in. try the “mixta”, a little bit of everything in it. Oh, they only open on weekends!

3. Super Rica: California

CREDIT: Katie T. / Yelp

Delve into reviews of this unassuming place in Santa Barbara and you’ll be floored! Locals may have gone elsewhere, but the tourist bunch still flocks here for their taste, unchanged in over 30 years. Try the chorizo quesadilla… it’ll knock your socks off. Sometimes the wait can be over 30 minutes, but hang in there, it’s worth it!

4. Taco-Holics: Texas

CREDIT: momo3212 / Instagram

Located in El Paso, it’s almost a landmark of the bustling city, deeply rooted in Mexican-American tradition, and this is a local institution. Don’t miss the Carne Asada Fries, a smorgasbord of flavors. There’s even a vegan version with tofu. But, no disrespect, make an exception and top them with any of their signature meats, oh yeah señor!

5. Esther’s Taco House: California

CREDIT: estherstacohouse / Instagram

Placentia normally does not appear in many folks’ radar but get out of your route to savor some good stuff. Catering to a changing demographic, they also offer not-so-Mexican goodies such as fried pickles, but it’s the taquitos that make the detour worthwhile: rolled tortillas stuffed with your choice of meat, then smothered in guac.

6. Restaurant Nuevo Leon: Texas

CREDIT: Laura P. / Yelp

This Fort Worth restaurant pays homage to Monterrey’s signature dish, spit-roasted kid goat, “cabrito”, a Jewish inspired dish from the first days of Nuevo Leon. Weekends it’s jam packed with diners ready to tear into the many parts of the goat, even the head! Of course, for the less adventurous there’s normal Mexican fare.

7. El Gordo Taco: California

CREDIT: tacoselgordo / Instagram

If it comes from Tijuana, you know it’s gonna be good! Operating in Baja since the early 70s, they crossed into neighboring San Diego and swept town with their down to earth typical food; now they’ve also expanded into Vegas with their delectable meats, guac and downright goodiness in the shape of a taco.

8. Taco Deli: Texas

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Originating in Austin, with roots deep in Mexico City’s bustling taco scene, this place is now present in 4 cities throughout Texas and maintains the same standards from its inception in 1999: chicken, beef, pork and, keeping with Austin’s weirdness, there are extremely deelish vegan options. There’s an Akaushi ground beef if that floats your boat!

9. King Taco: California

CREDIT: peetahkoo / Instagram

This taco sanctuary began as a food truck in 1974 and it is now grown to 20 locations, but with awesome taste and strict standards for quality. Select your filling from staples such as pastor – spit roasted seasoned pork, lengua – beef tongue, or suadero – slow roasted brisket. Better believe it… it is good!

10. El Come Taco: Texas

CREDIT: Melissa H. / Yelp

When it comes to tacos, they’re pretty much stuffed with the same cuts, but what sets apart the real winners is how the meats are seasoned and cooked. This Dallas establishment, a relative new-comer, has been steadily winning people’s stomachs since 2013 with its assortment of delicious, well-made and tasty treats that you should try RIGHT NOW!

11. La Taqueria: California

CREDIT: John L. / Yelp

When it’s hard to find a table right away, you know a place is good! And since 1990 this San Francisco Mission district spot is keeping patrons happy – not only with the ice-cold beers, but the savory guisos that stuff their tacos. Some reviewers complain they can’t rate the place higher that the max. By the way, these are traditional (meaning no rice) in tacos.

12. Gerardo’s Drive-In: Texas

CREDIT: Kelly C. / Yelp

A Houston commodity, Gerardo’s dates back to 1977, serving pork carnitas and chicharrones in a grocery store/restaurant/food truck setting that keeps folks coming for more. While barbacoa is only Fri-Sun, that doesn’t hinder people munching on the treats as the walk past the door. Guessing maybe only half of the order will get home!

13. El Matador: California

CREDIT: Randoll C. / Yelp

Rated by many as the “best in Hollywood, if not all of California” this LA place lives up to the expectations, especially with the carne asada and chicken tacos where the beef is fresh off the grill and the bird has been slow cooked in an assortment of spices and veggies. Don’t expect much in vegetarian options here; maybe the salsa. But give it a try.

14. Pico’s: Texas

CREDIT: Picos Restaurant / Yelp

Here, they claim to cover the seven regions of Mexican cuisine and boy, do they ever deliver! Ranging from seafood, hoagies all the way to tacos, and sides, there’s a boatload of options to choose from. Also, the cocktail and bar selections are amazing. Here, you can go from Baja up North, down to the Yucatan, then do it all over again!

15. Pinches Tacos: California

CREDIT: Yuna H. / Yelp

“Pinche” has a lot of connotations in Spanish, but the well-educated option is chef apprentice. Angelinos flock to this restaurant in West Hollywood for their tacos of all sorts, like the nopalitos – cactus paddles, pastor, asada and, of course being California, fish tacos. They round the offering with soups, tortas and sopes, all with Mexican flair bar none!

16. Taqueria Datapoint: Texas

CREDIT: Shawn W. / Yelp

Funny name for Mexican fare but, who cares? They provide real South of the Border comfort food in a San Antonio strip mall. Small tortillas make up their taco supply, always adorned by sides of grilled onions, guac and salsas. Depending on the time of day, it can get pretty hectic and service could be slow. But, hey, don’t complain; just eat sis.

17. Best Fish Taco In Ensenada: California

CREDIT: Ty W. / Yelp

Now that was a mouthful! The Baja style of fish tacos is ever present here with simple options: fish or shrimp, that easy! But they excel with the fixings to add onto your tacos, crema, salsas – including one made with radish, cilantro and most everything you need. They pride themselves in heating tortillas just right between crisp and soft.

18. Martinez Bakery: Texas

CREDIT: Brad F. / Yelp

Midland, in North Texas, has its good taco place at this mainly bakery shop combining well-made treats for lunch and dinner. There specialty are crispy brisket tacos, which people say are out of this world. No frills, easy to get to, but could get troublesome in busy times when the parking lot fills up. The bakery, with Mexican staples, is a definite plus!

19. Fat Fish Cantina & Grill: California

CREDIT: Kristen L. / Yelp

Located in San Diego, this place serves some mean shrimp enchiladas that are simple and plain good! Worthy of mention also is the carnitas in chile verde burrito in a super-size flour tortilla and all the trimmings. It’s California, so expect champagne along with your tacos, especially during the happy hour schedules that abound here.

20. Maria’s Café: Texas

CREDIT: Teofila R. / Yelp

This San Antonio taco place is only open until 2 p.m., so make it a plan to get there early enough to enjoy the best of their offerings. Homemade tortillas are the specialty here, as well as their breakfast sandwiches with beans, ham, egg, cheese and salsa. People from all over the country have sent raving reviews to this simple and unpretentious spot.

21. Tres Hermanas: California

CREDIT: Yao C. / Yelp

Located midtown Sacramento, the menu here is a mile long, and filled with scrumptious options so good that you’ll need a bib just to read through it! Tacos are both hard and soft shell, with chile rellenos – stuffed poblanos, being another savory opportunity to delve into true Mexican taste. They have carnitas, tostadas, combinations plates and more!

22. Orale Super Tacos: Texas

CREDIT: Orale Super Tacos / Facebook

Smack in the middle of the Rio Grande Valley, or RGV, is this hole in the wall taqueria that’s making people come back for more. And more is what they offer; their 14” Super Breakfast Taco is all you need to start your own legacy of returning here time after time. The steak quesadilla will never disappoint.

23. Maya Taco Truck: California

CREDIT: Donovan H. / Yelp

When a taco spot caters to the night owls closing until 2 am on weekends, it gotta be good, and it is! The offer a ton of typical taco meats like asada, birria, tongue, pastor, chicharron and even vegetarian options – it is California, y’know? Not much of where to sit down, but don’t worry, standing up you’ll fit a lot more food in your belly!

24. Manuel’s: Texas

CREDIT: Drew D. / Yelp

Right across the Causeway from So. Padre Island is this Port Isabel tradition where the food is plenty and the vibes are laid back as ever. People staying at the resort across the bridge make the pilgrimage to savor great options such as chilaquiles and machacado. As you seated, you get chips and salsa. Word of caution, though. Bring cash (there’s an ATM).

So, there you have it. Texas and California Mexican eateries worth trying out. If we’d have to pick a winner, well, that’s you folks!

Victoria Cruz Sees Hope For The Future Of LGBTQ+ Rights 50 Years After She Witnessed The Stonewall Riots

Things That Matter

Victoria Cruz Sees Hope For The Future Of LGBTQ+ Rights 50 Years After She Witnessed The Stonewall Riots

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The history of Gay Rights in the country date back to the late ’60s and the epicenter was Manhattan. The core fighters of the LGBTQ community include Marsha P. Johnson, Scott G. Brown, Sylvia Rivera, and a slew of other pioneers. The sad thing is this generation has passed or will very soon, which is why we have to honor their legacy while they’re still alive. One of those people is an inspiring person in our Latinx community.

Victoria Cruz, who is in her 70s, is a survivor of the Stonewall Riots and is still very much a part of the fight for LGBTQ rights.

Instagram/@marinadelbey

Cruz, who was born in Puerto Rico, is one of 11 children that grew up in New York. While Cruz was born a male, she knew since she was in high school that she was a woman. Back in the ’60s, that was no easy thing to admit, yet her Puerto Rican family supported her transition.

While her family and close community were supportive, Cruz faced immense hardships including harassment from the police, and later in the ’90s, she was assaulted.

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Four of her coworkers physically assaulted her, which left her in ruins.

“I was very angry. Very angry,” Cruz said in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2017. “The worst part of it is that I couldn’t feel the ground beneath me, and added that she was “was contemplating suicide,” at the time.

But she overcame that tough time and is recognized as a leader in the movement for Gay Rights.

Yet, despite the hate and violence she faced, Cruz pushed on standing up for her LGBTQ+ family.

“I used to go to St. Vincent’s on my lunch hour…and I would see her,” Cruz told The Advocate. “She called to me, ‘Victoria, come here.’ And she always called me Dickie, you know, so when she said, ‘Victoria come here,’ I knew that she meant business. I sat down, and she looked at me. She said, ‘Try to keep the community together because we are our own worst enemy. And there’s power in numbers.’ And then she said, ‘The world will come up to try to divide us, and when you divide a community, you conquer it. So try to keep the community together.’”

As a trans woman and pioneer of the LGBTQ movement, Cruz said positive change is happening right now.

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“I’m optimistic, and I’m hopeful that it will change for the better,” she told The Advocate. “There’s power in numbers. If we unite and keep united, we can make the future different, and what we want it to be. By galvanizing one another, we galvanize each other. And with the same frame of mind, the same frame of thought, we can change what’s happening.”

Trans rights are the new frontier in the LGBTQ+ movement. Despite the contributions made to the movement by trans women of color, cis members of the LGBTQ+ community ignore their plight or add to the harassment.

“There is so much hatred directed toward queer people, particularly transgender women of color. For what? Why? I think it may be about people’s own insecurities about their own identities and sexualities. And further, people don’t know their history,” Cruz told BC/Stories. “The transgender experience isn’t new. It’s as old as the human experience, and anyone who does their research would know this. I think society needs to be educated, and maybe after being educated, empathy will follow.”

READ: Zuri Moreno Made Sure The Trans Community In Montana Remained Safe

Keds Latest Designs Proves That Avoiding Cultural Appropriation In Fashion Is Totally Possible

Culture

Keds Latest Designs Proves That Avoiding Cultural Appropriation In Fashion Is Totally Possible

Keds

It’s always really cool to see a big name brand embrace the art of our Latinidad. It’s like a nod to all of the great Latinx artisans who add beauty and color to our culture. In fact, seeing consumers enthusiastically welcome these goods feels like further validation. With this in mind, it makes this new collaboration all the sweeter for us art and fashion lovers.

Keds is collaborating with designers Thelma Dávila and Lolita Mia on a line inspired by the Latina-created brands.

Instagram / @Keds

In what the shoe company is calling a “collaboration fiesta,” Keds released three fun and vibrant new designs.

Some of the shoes borrow inspiration from Thelma Dávila’s colorful Guatemalan textiles. Alternatively, other pairs utilize Lolita Mia’s festive fringe as embellishments. These touches combine with Keds’ original platform shoes to make a unique product.

Of the partnership with these new brands, Keds’ website says:

“It’s so rewarding to be able to be a part of the professional and personal growth of women who decided to follow their dreams. Entrepreneurs (especially female ones) are always brave, they’re risk-takers that believe strongly in themselves. And we believe in them too. We’re so excited to introduce you to our latest for-women-by-women collaborations.”

The Thelma Dávila brand is named after its Guatemalan founder.

Keds

The company specializes in designing and crafting unique pieces by hand. Furthermore, their products utilize Guatemalan textiles, leathers and non-leather materials. Obviously, this collaboration is built on a solid relationship between the two brands. Since last year, Keds retail locations have carried Thelma Dávila bags and products in stores.

On their website, Keds said the design collaborations were intent on “taking geometric design and color cues from [Dávila’s] native culture, our classic Triple Kick gets transformed into a fiesta-ready standout.”

Founded by jewelry artisan and entrepreneur, Elena Gil, Lolita Mia is a Costa Rican accessory brand.

Keds

While studying abroad in Italy, Gil made a significant personal discovery. She realized that ethnic crafts and traditions were very alike across regions. Specifically, they were similar in cultural importance. In light of this, she decided to start her own brand. Lolita Mia’s handmade products embrace what Gil has coined a “Universal Ethnic Luxury.”

Of the collaboration with Lolita Mia, Keds’ website reads:

“[The] aesthetic shines through in these playful renditions of our platforms in the form of fun, festive fringe and punchy tropical shades.”

The Ked × Lolita Mia collaboration has two designs while the Ked x Thelma Dávila collab is made up of one.

Instagram / @lolitamiacr

“Triple Tassel” is a multicolored platform with purple, pink, orange and white tassels attached to the laces. “Triple Decker Fringe” is an off-white platform slip-on with multi-colored fringe and golden embellishments on top. The “Triple Kick” features a neutral platform with Guatemalan textile accents around the bottom.

Each design is priced at $70 a pair. Moreover, they are available exclusively on Keds’ website. Be sure to order yours today and add a little extra Latinx flare to your summer looks.

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