Southern Living Magazine - Fresh, Healthy Tacos
Maria Corbalan, owner of Austin’s Taco Xpress, shows us how to get Texas-size flavor without the guilt.
You don’t have to be raised in the South to be called a Southerner. Argentina-born Maria Corbalan, owner and creator of Taco Xpress in Austin, Texas, exemplifies Southern hospitality. “I don’t shake hands, honey. I give hugs,” says Maria as she welcomes me with open arms and a rich South American accent. Her personality is warm and flavored with a little spice, just like her tacos.
But these aren’t just any tacos. They’re the real deal, with authentic ingredients that melt in your mouth and leave you wanting more. After one trip I was hooked. Thankfully, this honorary Southerner shared some of her unforgettable recipes with us. Did I mention they’re also good for you? You wouldn’t expect this from hearty comfort food, but all have fewer calories and fat than typical tacos.
Picadillo Tacos & Tacos Verdes
Picadillo Tacos (at left on plate) are filled with lean ground beef and vegetables. For a vegetarian option, see our meatless picadillo variation or try veggie-stuffed Tacos Verdes.
Tacos Al Pastor
These authentic tacos are filled with a flavorful mixture of seasoned pork, pineapple tidbits, and freshly chopped cilantro. Finish with desired toppings such as chopped jalapeño or crumbled queso fresco.
The Spanish word "migas" translates as "crumbs" and rightfully so. This typical breakfast taco incorporates lightly crushed tortilla chips along with a mixture of eggs scrambled with diced tomatoes, chopped jalapeño peppers and onion. Sprinkle with reduced-fat Mexican four-cheese blend just before serving.
Nutritious, Flavorful Toppings Take your pick of nutritious toppings for your tacos: carrots, avocado, mango, onions, queso fresco, purple cabbage, jalapeños, Chimichurri sauce and Salsa Roja.
Dirty Linen Magazine, June/July 2008 - Gospel & Tacos in Austin, Texas
On any given Sunday, the air around a small taco establishment in South Austin, Texas, is filled with the sounds of gospel music. Maria's Taco Xpress presents a Gospel Brunch, also known as "Hippie Church," every Sunday with a rotating roster of music performers and some of the best breakfast tacos to be found anywhere. The music and musicians change from week to week, covering genres from old-time gospel, to rock 'n' roll, to reggae.
Maria Corbalan started Taco Xpress with her 1997 income tax refund, and from its
meager beginnings in a tiny trailer the business has grown to become an institution in
the funky atmosphere of South Austin. The establishment was painted by local folk
artist Michael Peschka and is adorned with more charm per square foot than one might
believe possible. Maria's small patio stage presents live music several times a week, but
it's the Sunday Gospel Brunch, nicknamed "Hippie Church" by locals, that routinely packs
the parking lot and several neighboring side streets. The line to enter the restaurant and
place an order regularly stretches out the door, while out on the dog-friendly patio,
patrons eat, relax, listen to music, and dance.
Annette C. Eshleman
Taco Xpress has been reviewed in Food Network books, and on the web:
Diners, Drive-Ins, Dives: The Greatest Roadhouse Recipes in America
by Guy Fieri
Watch the Taco Xpress Video here
Best Eats in Town on $40 a Day
by Rachael Ray