Culture

Tejanos Are Pissed Over Austin Columbusing the Breakfast Taco

@tacosoftexas/Instagram

Matthew Sedacca did a very stupid thing…

Bye Bobst.

A photo posted by Matthew Sedacca (@mattsedacca) on

Credit: @matthewsedecca / Instagram

Don’t know him? Don’t worry. I’ll fill ya in.

He’s the New York-based blogger behind the now very controversial piece for Eater Austin, “How Austin Became the Home of the Crucial Breakfast Taco.”

In his poorly misguided — and maybe troll-y? — piece, Sedacca argued that the phrase “breakfast taco” was first popularized in Austin, Texas and, as a result, the capital city could claim ownership. Unfortunately for Sedacca, this isn’t even true. Cue a crap-ton of backlash.

First came the accusations of whitewashing and cultural appropriation.

This was followed by claims that other places in Texas did breakfast tacos better…

And finally, San Antonio residents started a Change.org petition asking Austin to banish Sedecca from Texas…forever.

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So why is everyone SOOOOO pissed off at Sedacca?

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First, Austin prides itself on being different from other Texas cities.

Just look at their “Keep Austin Weird” motto. Also, thanks to its reputation for being the “live music capital of the world,” people — Austinites and non-Austinites alike — see it (rightly so, I might add) as the coolest city in Texas. As a result, cities like San Antonio really resent Austin.

Second, Austin is synonymous with gentrification.

The city’s recent rapid growth resulted in the gentrification of east Austin, the part of the city that’s been historically black and Latino thanks to a 1928 city plan that instituted a “separate but equal” division. By the city’s own admission, the influx of new people has displaced people of color from their historic homes, with Latinos pushed to the outskirts and the the black population dropping steadily.

Wait, what does this have to do with breakfast tacos? EVERYTHING!

Let’s turn to taco expert Mando Rayo, who literally wrote THE book on Austin breakfast tacos.

Credit: @armandorayo / INstagram

“When people think of breakfast tacos, they don’t necessarily associate it with Mexicans or Mexican-Americans,” Rayo, a Latino consulting strategist who is working on another book about the tacos of Texas, told me. “The new Austin, the gentrifying tech bros, are all Colombusing everything, when you think of them, and the guy who wrote this piece, they’re definitely not people of color, and a a large part of what they’re doing is glossing over a culture and traditions that have been here for a long time.”

It’s precisely this whitewashing and cultural appropriation that has rubbed Latinos the wrong way.

Land of tacos and eternal sunshine. #winning ?: @jay.cohen

A photo posted by Torchy's Tacos (@torchystacos) on

And, lbh, it’s also the fact that the breakfast tacos in Austin are mediocre at best, fam.

#Tacodeli #breakfasttacos #lunch #atx

A photo posted by Nick Biasini (@zer0zefx) on

Straight up, I’m not saying that to be a jerk; I’m saying it as a Texas Native who grew up in the borderland region (shout out to the RGV!) and who spent nearly a decade living in Austin. Listen, Austin, no one doubts your obsession with breakfast tacos, but just because they’re everywhere doesn’t mean they’re actually good — especially when very few, if any Austin establishments, make their tortillas from scratch.

It is a well-known fact, outside the 512, that the best breakfast tacos in Texas will be found south of Austin’s city limits.

So Austin, maybe tell your whack mayor to not get you into a war you can’t win.

You’re basically bringing a knife into a nuclear arms race.

Do you believe that people should honor and acknowledge the cultural contributions of Tejanos? If so, click the share button below!

Despite A Video, Mike Pence Attempts To Minimize The Horrendous Conditions In Detention Centers

Things That Matter

Despite A Video, Mike Pence Attempts To Minimize The Horrendous Conditions In Detention Centers

@jdawsey1 / Twitter

After hundreds of organized protests around the country, we would hope the Trump administration would send someone to a detention center in a sincere effort to address the problem. Instead, Vice President Mike Pence was sent in a political move to combat the assertions of Democratic Congress members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib from their visit.

Reporters were allowed into the detention facility for 90 precious seconds. Pence wasn’t able to maintain his initial statement once he saw the unsanitary conditions migrants were kept in.

“What people are going to see is not the situation many Democrats have described,” Pence told reporters on Thursday.

Credit: @VP / Twitter

His full statement was actually this: “What people are going to see is not the situation many Democrats have described, but actually a situation where our CBP agents are providing humanitarian care, health care, shelter, food, sustenance in a way that would make the American people proud.

But afterward, he said, “I was not surprised by what I saw. I knew we’d see a system that was overwhelmed.”

Credit: @jdawsey1 / Twitter

While he wasn’t able to reiterate that the conditions would “make the American people proud,” or offer any hope that he or his administration would do anything about it, he did try to blame Democrats for the conditions.

“The DHS facility in McAllen is a prime example of why we need to secure our borders,” he tweeted out after the visit. “The facility is overcrowded and our system is overwhelmed. It is time for Democrats in Congress to step up, do their jobs, and end this crisis.”

White House pool reporter Josh Dawsey was only allowed in for 90 seconds, and this is what he saw.

Credit: @jdawsey1 / Twitter

Dawsey said “the cages were so crowded that it would have been impossible for all of the men to lie on the concrete. There were 384 single men in the portal who allegedly crossed the border illegally. There were no mats or pillows—some of the men were sleeping on concrete.”

Agents were seen guarding the cages wearing face masks.

Credit: @jdawsey1 / Twitter

That’s likely because Dawsey reports that “the stench was overwhelming.” After talking with some of the people, they told him that they hadn’t showered in weeks. They wanted toothbrushes and food. In response, CBP said, “They were fed regularly, could brush daily & recently got access to shower.” Dawsey followed that up with asserting that “many hadn’t [showered] for 10-20 days.”

Reporters didn’t feel any air conditioning in a room where the outside temperature was already 97°F.

Credit: @passantino / Twitter

CBP said it was air-conditioned but Dawsey reports that the “heat was sweltering.” The facility doesn’t have a shower, but CBP says they all showered the day before “in an outdoor trailer.” What CBP told reporters directly contradicts much of what the migrants themselves had a chance to report to the outside world.

For example, CBP told reporters that nobody had been there longer than 32 days, but this man told reporters he had been there for 40 days.

Credit: @jdawsey1 / Twitter

He wasn’t the only one who told reporters that they’d been there longer. The migrants told reporters they wanted to brush their teeth and were hungry. CBP told reporters they brush their teeth daily and are fed three times a day. In Dawsey’s own words, the “stench was horrendous. CPB said it was cleaned 3x a day.” 

This is the scene that Vice President Pence saw.

Credit: @jdawsey1 / Twitter

When migrants told reporters they were thirsty, CBP said the water was outside the fence and that they could leave the barrier to get water after the press left. 

But this is the image he tweeted out to his followers.

Credit: @VP / Twitter

Conveniently, this image seems to have chairs. What Pence was directly staring at much of the time was human beings sleeping on concrete, in an environment so foul CBP agents were wearing face masks.

Dawsey reported that the children’s facility was “new and relatively clean and empty.”

Credit: @VP / Twitter

“There were cots & medical supplies & snacks,” Dawsey tweeted. “Children watched TV and told Pence through translator they were being taken care of. But at least two said they’d walked for months to get here.”

Is America proud yet?

@jdawsey1 / Twitter

The people in this image allegedly crossed the border illegally. We don’t know if they claimed asylum. We don’t know if these are people who have broken the law because they are effectively jailed without trial, in conditions worse than jail

Trump is the man behind it all. It was he who decided to enact a policy that, instead of allowing asylum seekers to set up roots in American society while awaiting trial, to detain them in facilities that are overcrowded with a judicial system that is backlogged.

Watch the video below of migrants letting reporters know what has happened to them in detention.

READ: Woman Pays The Bond Of A Woman Being Held In ICE Detention Center And The Internet Is Living For This Moment Of Kindness

If You Are Looking For A Vegan Taco Crawl In Los Angeles, We Just Created It For You

Culture

If You Are Looking For A Vegan Taco Crawl In Los Angeles, We Just Created It For You

fatveganguy / Instagram

There might officially be more veganos than vegans in America, but nobody is really keeping track of Latino-American diets. For all the veganos out there looking for their next food-tour vacation, forget Portland. Los Angeles is where all of the best vegan tacos and Mexican food calls home.

Almost every taco truck would be able to accommodate you, and, yes, know whether their frijoles are vegan, because we’re everywhere in L.A. In such a competitive market for hungry vegan Latinos, we’ve generated a list of the top vegan tacos in Los Angeles. If you’re not hungry now, you’re about to be.

1. Cena Vegan

@grubshots / Instagram

Cena Vegan’s fame is all in their homemade vegan meats. The meats are so good that you can order them in bulk to use at home. At the truck, you can get carne asada, pollo asado, al pastor and a gluten-free carnitas meat option. Then, you add it to tacos, burritos, nacho boats, etc.

This Instagram reviewer puts it bluntly, “literally how are these vegan HOW. @cenavegan you’re magic.”

They’re a winner for obvious reasons.

@veganthisweekend / Instagram

You can try all four taco meats and get four tacos for $11, without having to worry if the beans are cooked in lard, or if the crema is really vegan. It’s all vegan and so good.

2. Vegatinos Food Truck

@vegatinos / Instagram

They love to serve up their vegan shrimp tacos. The few times we can find vegan shrimp are usually at all-vegan Asian restaurants. Shrimp tacos?! Only in Los Angeles.

At Vegatinos, you can get suadero and chicharron tacos before enjoying some vegan flan. 😭

@vegatinos / Instagram

Quintin L. had some interesting things to say about Vegatinos in his Yelp Review. “I’m so in love with these freaking rockstar tacos… it feels like cheating on someone because everything tastes so good that it feels like you’re doing something naughty.”

3. Plant Food for People

@plantfoodforppl / Instagram

PPFP isn’t making high-protein vegan meats like Cena, but they’re keeping it classic in a different way with signature jackfruit tacos made four different ways. Plus, you can also get their breakfast tacos made with tofu and potato scramble if you get there early enough.

4. Hijo De Su Madre

@vegnews / Instagram

From left to right, we have a beer-battered avocado, chipotle crema, and pepita slaw; soyrizo, potato hash, and guac; Beyond Meat cabbage, avocado, secret sauce. That’s not even all their options because Hijo is all-vegan.

5. Dear Mama LA

@dearmamala / Instagram

You definitely want to check out this Latina-owned taco spot when you are in LA. Her caption reads, “This hood inspired traditional flavor is just what summer needed. Our citrus marinated chick’n or Hood Chick’n will have you reminiscing on the days you were a kid and you had carne asadas with the family. This hood staple of yellow looking chicken was what most kids enjoyed! So I’m bringing it back to you with a whole lot of love. We marinate it to perfection with oranges and bell peppers and of course love 🥰🙆‍♀️🔥”

6. Trejo’s Tacos Fried Avocado Tacos

@trejostacos / Instagram

Danny Trejo has outdone himself with a chain of authentic Mexican tacos all around Los Angeles. Danny knows his clients well by offering the only version of an avocado toast we want to have for breakfast: Fried Avocado Tacos.

You should also check out their Cauliflower Chorizo Tacos.

@trejostacos / Instagram

Listen, his taco game is on point. Trejo’s alway has at least three vegan options on the menu. As of June 2019, he has Young Jackfruit with avocado crema, Mushroom Asada with pepita pesto, and Cauliflower with cashew cream.

7. Doomies Home Cookin’ and Doomies NextMex

@plantpoweredchica / Instagram

Doomies is best known for replicating America’s favorite meat dishes (like fried chicken, and Big Macs) but vegan. The reviews are in and Next Mex is where it’s at.

8. Gracias Madre

@gmweho / Instagram

This restaurant is reserved for those special nights out. It’s LA prices, but it’s outrageously delicious. You can expect to enjoy all your vegan favorites from sopes to pozole, flautas and tamales. Their jackfruit carnitas tacos are rico. top it off with flan or pineapple upside down cake and you’ll be happy as a vegan clam.

9. Olga’s Naturally

@olgasnaturally / Instagram

All their taco tortillas are handmade using organic blue maiz from Oaxaca. They always strive to source organic and also offer vegan chicken as a protein option, alongside vegan cheese quesadillas. Yup.

10. Sage Vegan Bistro

@thekindsage / Instagram

It isn’t a taco joint but they do have great tacos. Plus, they know to call them street tacos. These are “made w/ marinated jackfruit, garlic aioli, cilantro and onions on an organic corn tortilla are served all day on weekdays and after brunch on the weekends! 🌮”

11. Organix LA

@organixla / Instagram

They take Taco Tuesday very seriously with $2 vegan tacos and 20 percent off all vegan burritos. All their food is vegan, and you can enjoy anything from deep-fried vegan fish filet tacos to classic carne asada style grilled mushroom tacos like the ones you see above.

12. Chica’s Tacos

Charmaine L. / Yelp

Chica’s vegan tacos are made with spicy cauliflower chorizo and topped with a slice of marinated mushroom, avocado, and cilantro. You know they’re good because Chica’s stands by using only organic, never frozen ingredients to represent an authentic Méxican dish.

13. Un Solo Sol

@unsolosol / Instagram

They essentially offer a vegan version of almost everything on their menu ranging from nopalitos tacos to pinto bean pupusas. You know when you order veggie tacos at a non-vegan taquería and it’s just onions and pico de gallo? These guys load up their veggie tacos with actual veggies ricos.

14. Tacos La Tehuanita

@tacoslatehuanita / Instagram

Follow @tacoslatehuanita to get all the updates on where they’re parked tonight. “Yum! Come one, come all, come with hearty appetites,” are the types of rallying calls you can expect from them. You want to try the butternut squash tacos.

15. Taco Zone Truck

Alex V. / Yelp

Yelp reviewer Helen J. Puts it best. “VEGAN AND VEGETARIANS WELCOME HERE. The tacos are cheap but full of flavor. We came down here after the Griffith Observatory and these tacos hit the spot! Great food truck, friendly service, and fast at that.”

16. El Chato Taco Truck

@_malibudream_ / Instagram

Folks rave about how you can feast and still have a pile of money leftover at El Chatos. While reviewers aren’t posting pictures of the vegan option, there are a dozen reviews about how delicious the veggie tacos are. It can never hurt to check it out.

17. Guisados

@guisados / Instagram

Above are the two vegetarian options listed on the menu. We bet you could ask for it sin cotija, but the off-menu vegan accommodation is reportedly spicy. One Yelp reviewer said, “My friend who is vegan, was able to be accommodated at this place as well! He ended up getting the chiles correados taco. BEWARE!! It is extremely spicy ! But he really loved it !”

READ: 19 Dessert Tacos That Will Make Your Mouth Water

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