I have long believed that heading out for "really fast" tacos, like from Taco Bell ® should only occur if one is either terribly desperate and far, far away from anything else (like Jack in the Box and their 2 for $0.99 tacos) and/or in some state of intoxication. Otherwise, gastronomic "jeopardy", or total aghastness, and some rank burpage, perhaps. Neither of these is a "real" taco in my book, I just find one more palatable than the other. Real tacos are not made with boxed crispy shells, or yellow cheese - this is a bastardized American concoction. Should I find some cheddar or american cheese on my order of tacos, I will not turn my nose up at it. Cheese remains one of my favorite food groups, after all.
I have a soft spot for Taco Cabana, and I have their soft chicken tacos at least bi-weekly because I can't help myself. I only have my car washed at the place by my house that has a taqueria on premise (this is sheer genius). I found a couple of groceries and "meaterias" that have in-house food counters that serve some mean al pastor tacos that I now make groceries at. Apparently, there's a trend toward authentic tacos in the fast food world. Taco Cabana has introduced the "Street Taco" for a limited time, it's comprised of two corn tortillas, grilled marinated steak, chopped onion and cilantro. I will have to try one and report back, perhaps a "Taco Smackdown" is in order. The hangup I have is the name "Street Taco" which just sounds, wrong.
Houstonians seeking some authentic and delicious tacos should patronize just about any taco truck parked and cooking (don't be scared, if it sucks, it's not going to be a high dollar screw-up). To find out where the best taco trucks are, bow to the "men" - Guns & Tacos and Robb Walsh. In Southwest Houston, hit up El Rancherito on Chetwood (behind Holy Ghost Catholic Church), the El Ahorro, Bellaire Car Wash and Auto Salon, on Bellaire Blvd, or the La Michoacana @ Bissonnet and Bonhome (7501 Bissonnet). On a side note, if you venture to La Michoacana, duck across Bonhome to Caribbean Cuisine and get some meat patties to go.
Me? I'ma hit Spanish Village and try to order something other than the fried chicken (which is fab) or the chile rellenos......maybe some of the Special Enchiladas-a-la-Taylor.
If you do hit the El Ahorro, the red carts are for "in the store, only" and the ricketyass rusted ones, you may use to haul your groceries to the car. After you squeeze the damn cart through the pylons. This explains why I saw a bunch of people with those tiny hand baskets and very few carts, or buggies. Bonus, nobody hollered "Gringa on Aisle Four"! I like that place for tacos and staple groceries, a lot.