I love Taco Deli. It is one of those places that I regretfully didn’t try for a long time. We take our dogs to the Spyglass greenbelt access point sometimes and I had seen Taco deli for years but I didn’t stop in until a couple years ago and then I was soon hooked. The whole place has kind of a summer camp at a strip mall kind of feel to me. Maybe because we sometimes hike there but also because there are tons of trees around it and on summer days everyone is sitting outside looking active and happy with their dogs.
I noticed the breakfast tacos seemingly everywhere around town but they were always eggs, bacon, & cheese so I didn’t think that they would have a lot for me. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Taco Deli is one of the most veg friendly taco joints in Austin. They have 5 vegetarian tacos on the menu and most can be easily veganized. The black beans are vegan so you can choose the Frontera Fundido Portabella (no cheese) it comes with roasted poblanos, sautéed peppers, and onion strips or the Florentino which comes with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, and peppers or the Veggie Taco which is their veggie mix of shredded cabbage, carrots, zuchini, mushrooms, peppers, celery, and onions sautéed in olive oil and sherry. They also use the veggie mix in the burrito and the tortas.
The most fun part is that they have a secret vegan taco. I heard from someone somewhere that this off menu item is called “The Freakin Vegan” and now this is what I typically order. At first I was a little hesitant. What if I ordered the freakin vegan and they looked at me like I was just making shit up? So far, that has never happened so I happily get my black bean, avocado, verde sauce, and pico taco on a corn tortilla.
I also highly recommend the chips and guacamole. You get a ton of chips for only a few dollars with some of my favorite guac in town. You can also get rice, beans, guac, or roasted peppers with any order. I wish that every place had the options of Taco Deli. They really only have two things that I wish I could change. One disappointment is that they don’t use tofu, tempeh, or seitan which, for me, is kind of sad. The non-vegan menu is really creative and I think it would be so easy to sub fake chicken or pressed tofu in any of the chicken tacos with fantastic results. Also, they close at three every day and that can be pretty early for us to make it there on the weekend but that isn’t really a problem since most people aren’t that lazy. So the next time you sleep over at your favorite south Austinite’s house and you are cruising up mopac stop in for a taco. Studies have shown that it only takes 5 minutes and your happiness factor will enlarge by approximately 67 percent. And 67 percent isn’t the kind of number that you can laugh off.