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Tacostumbras: Tamales!! and more

Posted by YAR 1 Sep 2008 12 Comments

A year ago I might not have believed that I could get something that good lookin at a gas station convenience store.  I know so much better now!

Tacostumbras recently opened in the Exxon “Town ‘n’ Country” convenience store on University Dr. and Dixon Rd.  Based on my limited Spanish, the name is really funny to me.  It seems like it should mean something like “Tacos: Get used to them!” or “You’ll get used to tacos” or something about having a taco habit (which I have).  As the sign says, they serve tortas, tacos, and tamales and a board inside also listed menudo (possibly only available on Sundays).

Both the taco (lengua) and the torta (asada) were good–I can’t complain at all about the meat in either.  The tortillas weren’t freshly made, and I’ve been spoiled recently by Costa Azul in that respect, but I still completely enjoyed my taco here.  The torta was a bit mayo-heavy, covering up the flavor of the nice slab of queso, but the meat and salsas (especially the delicious salsa verde) put up a good fight against it (next time I’ll probably ask for it with no mayo).

The tamales, on the other hand, fully deserve the double-exclamation points they garner on the sign outside.  They come in red and green.  When I was indecisive about which to get, the cashier/cook chose green for me but later brought a red one over to our table, for free (and no, we didn’t tell her we were big-shot bloggers who could make or break her establishment with our pinky fingers.  I totally don’t know how to say that in Spanish, is why).  I recommend getting both colors; DNR, who has more tamale experience than I do, described them as dense but not slimy, and more flavorful than others he’s had.  Even without the blogger hook-up (just kidding) they are only $1.17 each (tacos are $1.87 and tortas $6).  I have not actually had tamales anywhere else in Durham (any recommendations?) but for now Tacostumbras is definitely where I’ll go to get my fix, especially as I can conveniently get gas and a carwash at the very same time.

12 Comments »

  • durhamfood said:

    The tameles at La Vaquita are great, but of a different sort: large creations, filled with chicken.

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  • Tooth said:

    The chicken tamales at La Vaquita are great.

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  • Alex said:

    You clearly have a serious taco habit if you’re eating lengua tacos at a gas station. That’s badass. Also, the tamale photo is top notch. Your recent pics make me super hungry and eager to visit Durham.

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  • AlliB said:

    The taco shack at the corner of Club and Roxboro (used to be El Pollo Loco, now something I can’t remember) has fantastic red and green tamales every Saturday. But the last two times I went–earlier and earlier–they were sold out. I kind of suspect they were just holding out, as they open at 10:00 and one time I got there at 10:30.

    [Reply]

  • Valerie said:

    I don’t know what tacostumbras means, but in the first few days they were open, I heard some young Spanish-speaking guys saying “TacoSTUMbras! hehe” like we might say in English, “It’s the Bomb! hehe.”

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  • Erin said:

    I agree with the poster about the tamales at the taqueria– I think it’s Taqueria La Poblana– across from the BP at club and roxboro. They’re great, and you do have to go early, and wait a little while to get them served up. We like the red best.mmm

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  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    This place? http://carpedurham.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/taqueria-la-poblana/

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  • Lisa B said:

    Hey, I just wanted to add an update that Tacostumbras is now making fresh tortillas, right before your eyes as you wait for your order.

    Also, the Tacostumbras sign is now AWOL from the facade of the Town & Country, but they’re still in there.

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  • nickelby said:

    their barbacoa is a revelation. as are their homemade tortillas. i might like their tacos better than la vaquita now. highly recommended.

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  • Sant said:

    Can you sit and eat inside or is it just to go?

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  • DL said:

    There are some booths inside that are part of the gas station / convenience store.

    [Reply]

  • Sweet Daddy’s BBQ | Carpe Jackson said:

    [...] never hesitated to eat at a gas station-affiliated establishment, but the sign for Sweet Daddy’s BBQ (4611 Hwy 55 N, Jackson), [...]

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