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.