Operation "No Tacos" - A 30 Day Challenge

Tacos_Web.JPG
Portrait of a Taco Enthusiast as A Young Man
​That's me up there with my dad, eating a plate full of tacos, the happiest 4-year-old ever. It was there in that one-bedroom duplex in the East End where my love of tacos and all things Mexican originated. Menudo for breakfast? Yes, please. Tamales for lunch? Of course! What about dinner? Yep, you guessed it... tacos!

Even now, 27 years later, in this great city with a million and one restaurants serving a wide spectrum of international and American cuisine, I still find myself eating Mexican food at least five times a week. You know you live in Houston when three of your top five places to eat are taco trucks.

Well, there must have been something in the salsa as I ate dinner at Tacos Tierra Caliente last week, because it was there that I pondered the following:

As a Houstonian, how difficult would it be to survive a full month without eating Mexican food? What if that Houstonian was also of Mexican descent, like me?

no_tacos1.jpg
photo by Marco Torres
​I'm taking no tortillas, tacos, fajitas, frijoles, salsa, tortas, menudo, barbacoa, chorizo, jalapeños, guacamole, or queso. Nothing that is either overtly Mexican or derived from Mexican roots, i.e. Tex-Mex.

I've run the idea past my immediate family and close friends. There's a 60/40 split between the "no way dude, you're crazy" reaction and the "it will be difficult, but yes you can do it" response. My dad, by the way, is in the first camp. Thanks, Dad.

So as of today, and for the rest the month, I will be consciously avoiding Mexican food. Follow me on Twitter @Marco4rmHouston for daily updates. I will mark tweets related to this challenge using the hash tag #30DaysNoTacos.

Leave a comment letting us know how you would fare in this challenge. Also feel free to torture me with TwitPics of tacos that may or may not break my spirit in my time of desperation.



Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords
My Voice Nation Help
57 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Molina's Cantina
Molina's Cantina

De padre a hijo!  Good looking family, and your parents obviously fed you right!  We have raised three generations of Houstonians on Tex-Mex and look forward to your visit soon!  This is how we roll today:  https://www.facebook.com/photo...

361thirdcoast
361thirdcoast

MA'AN...thats tough....i paniced as i was reading the cant haves...no salsa no beans no tortillas or carne guisada......i honestly felt a panic...gotta see whats the first thing you eat after the 30 days

emluvsd
emluvsd

I don't see you surviving your challenge after your first "cruda". Bahahaaaa!!! but good luck with that...smh...

Sandra R.
Sandra R.

No lie, i'd probably be on my deathbed from the internal agony.. Good Luck, i hope you survive! 

Free L.
Free L.

Good luck Marco! I know you can do it! And to show that I care I shall eat some Mexican this evening and take a few pics just for you! #TeamMarco :)

Will The So-Fine
Will The So-Fine

Caution...One drive past a Torchy's and you're going to be looking like Pookie in New Jack City.  Good luck dude.

Daniel de Luna
Daniel de Luna

Wow.. At first, I was with the group that told you "no way dude, you're crazy." In fact, they were the exact words that came to mind while reading this. I like the idea though, and even though I couldn't do it, you got my support. Guess it's gonna be a lot of fried chicken, bbq, pizza, chinese food, and sandwiches in your future.. You'll be fine, good luck homie.

Alicia Zambrano
Alicia Zambrano

Best of luck~ a month w/o Tacos? La Vida no es Vida sin Comida Mexicana! lol :) 

Htwngrl
Htwngrl

I could never do this.   NO WAY!  I lack self-control.  I will openly admit this.

Bodl
Bodl

I think non-mexican/tex-mex restaurants in Houston should sponsor Marco.  Provide him with appropriate choices evry day in return for a mini-twitter-review.  As everyone in AA knows, without sponsors, we will fall off the wagon.  Best of luck, Marco.  Better you than me!

csoakley
csoakley

You can do it, my friend. Luckily for you, you live in Houston. Here we are blessed with a bountiful selection of fantastic culinary delights. Use this month as an opportunity to broaden your palette and learn from friend and stranger alike.

After this is done a month from now, go back to Tierra Caliente and fuck up a basket of tacos like they killed your mom or something.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

"After this is done a month from now, go back to Tierra Caliente and fuck up a basket of tacos like they killed your mom or something." This gets my vote for quote of the day.

Doak
Doak

Man, the tricky part is figuring out what is "derived from Mexican roots."  So much food in this town has some Mexican influence.  Of course, you can steer clear enough.  Sure, you can do it.  There is so much available around here, that you can probably plan your meals out a month in advance.  Dealing with the crowd that wants to go the Mexican place is just part of the deal, too.

Wait.  Do Fritos count???  If so, I would be totally screwed.

ribalding
ribalding

Some might call it cheating, but...

1.  Buy burrito.2.  Chop in half.3.  Re-configure.3.  Enjoy.4.  Label as "two burritos"

ribalding
ribalding

***EDIT***

I misunderstood the challenge. I thought it was "no tacos for 30 days", as opposed to the actual "no Mexican food for 30 days".

Yeah.  You're fucked.

...unless we're being wayciss and counting Salvadoran as Mexican.

Terry Alexander
Terry Alexander

I love my wife dearly and enjoy our "us" time. But I really do believe I would rather give up sex for a month than even think about no Tex Mex for that long.TA

Kelli
Kelli

I believe sir that you have gone nucking futs #justsaying

Jmtz65
Jmtz65

Completly stupid, I've gone moths not eating mexican food. Try going a month not drinking a coke.How about next month we see if a blk guy can go a month with out chicken

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Not eating Mexican food...when you live in Houston...and are Mexican yourself...is a little different from not having a Coke for a month. Is Coca-Cola a daily staple of your diet? If so, you may want to re-examine that lifestyle choice before the diabeetus sets in.

Early Cuyler
Early Cuyler

Not to mention the racist dig at the end.  H_E_X_ where you at?

Liana
Liana

Thank goodness you're doing it this month and not DEC!!!  You'd really crack at Xmas!!!

Riosmark45
Riosmark45

MARLA YOU WONT MAKE IT YOU ARE USE TO EATING TACOS ITS IN YOUR BLOOD JUST LIKE ME.BUT GOOD LUCK TRYING YOUR CUZ MARK

Ed T.
Ed T.

Sounds like someone needs to head to Feast everyday!

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I'm the whitest white person ever to spend an entire afternoon in Restoration Hardware, and even I can't go for 30 days without Mexican food. I can't bear the thought of it. Best of luck, my friend, and try not to sob uncontrollably in public.

Ali
Ali

Considering that "TACO TUESDAY" is a mantra in my house and that we visit Chilisos every weekend for breakfast tacos and that the fine folks at Spanish Flowers know us so well that they know my husbands order, I'd say pretty freakin' difficult.

Early Cuyler
Early Cuyler

I will never, ever, ever, ever, understand why people think that Chilisos makes good tacos.  I used to live two blocks from there on 22nd, and ate there twice before deciding never again.  Spanish Flowers I am with you, but Chilisos, I guess it is the cute little house, because there are better breakfast tacos to be had at just about anywhere else in town.

ec
ec

Chilosos is bad as is Spanish Flower.

Ali
Ali

It's not the house because we actually hate going in there. They've remodeled a bit and fixed the air so it's better now. But I really enjoy that big fat taco. I can only eat one and sometimes I can't even finish it because it's so stuffed.

I also like their bacon. I reminds me of my grandmother. She cooked bacon a lot and it was always super crispy - almost burned and crumbled like they served it. It smells like her house, which I know is barfo-rama, but she cooked all the time so the smell of frying grease was permanent. Like, full on meals breakfast, lunch and dinner and her house just always smelled like food. I'd die a thousand deaths if my house smelled like that, but it brings back great memories in small doses.

cwc
cwc

why would one even attempt such a thing? tacos are one of life's simple pleasures. i for one will have no part of this silly challange.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

I would eat Mexican food 27 hours a day, 8 days a week if it was possible. Can I have lunch with you for your Dec. 1 taco?

Craigley
Craigley

Double down and try to avoid Mexicans.  It's unpossible.

Love,

Ralph

rfarr
rfarr

Good luck, Marco!  You can do it!  I can't wait to hear about your first Mexican meal after the challenge. This would be next to impossible for me.

123
123

As a hispanic from the Rio Grande Valley I can assure you this will be extremely difficult, but I wish you the best of luck.  One year for lent I decided to give up tortillas and it was was quite the challenge.  I can't imagine what a month without any mexican food would be like, especially during the holiday season, heck my family even includes tamales and charro beans with our Thanksgiving spread.

ArchieLeach
ArchieLeach

As an Italian Mexican, I once, very stupidly, gave up pasta for Lent. 

Uramos4
Uramos4

I support u 100%.. like I said freeze it all and have a Mexican feast December 1st..

Kelli
Kelli

There is absolutely no way I could do this challenge. 

Boerf
Boerf

Go back to Russia, pinko.

Ginny Braud
Ginny Braud

Holy crap, best of luck! You can totally do it though. I'm sort of the same way with Asian (Vietnamese, Chinese and especially Thai...) food. For me, it would be super difficult to do 30 days no Asian because I put Sriracha on my oatmeal.

Feldman
Feldman

I see a lot of sandwiches in your future. 

Megan
Megan

Here's the solution for you.  Move to somewhere in the Midwest or Great Plains for the next 29 days.  I'm thinking North Dakota.  Their idea of Mexican is so horrible, you'll be able to do it.  (Example: My mother-in-law's bean and onion burritos.  Do you know how LONG it took me to convince my husband that Tex-Mex and Mexican is really good food because of her?)    The binge at December 1 will not be pretty, though.

I feel your pain, man.  A year in Kansas City and Des Moines, and I still can't find good Tex-Mex.  (Mexican is a better situation.)  Did you know that the only Tex-Mex place in Des Moines CHARGES for a basket of chips and salsa?!  Sacriledge!!

H_e_x
H_e_x

True that. The Midwest does know know how to do bland and generic, though perogies are pretty delicious.

ShitThrowingMonkey
ShitThrowingMonkey

Unfortunately a lot of texmex places outside of the Southwest charge for chips and salsa.

Megan
Megan

It's a stupid cash grab.  Chips and salsa at this place are $6.50 for a basket and three salsas.  That's ridiculous.  Guacamole is $10 (mashed tableside; the price is on par with Escalante's).  A friend that lived in Dallas and now lives in the DSM thinks it's stupid, too.  (Something that Houstonians and Dallasites can agree on!)

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...