This post started out as a celebration of a rocking taco joint near downtown Austin, Texas.
I fell for the buttercup-cute bungalow house with creaky wooden floors, and after chowing down on a couple of above-average breakfast tacos, I made a mental note to return for the “drowning” flautas — corn tortillas stuffed with meat, rolled tight and deep-fried, and then smothered in chile broth.
As far as I can tell, flautas are the same thing as taquitos, dorados (see Austin’s El Naranjo dorados mentioned here) and also referred to as “El Paso-style” tacos. I’ve also seen them called “rolled tacos” in Phoenix.
But between writing words and posting pictures, I saw a tweet from Kay Marley-Dilworth (@ATXFoodnews on Twitter). She said The Screaming Goat and another independent Austin eatery, Lift Cafe, had closed.
So now this post is a eulogy.
I don’t know why The Goat closed but it wasn’t busy when we visited. I chalked it up to timing — a mid-week, mid-morning breakfast taco run.
Crazy, really, because the breakfast tacos were just as munch-worthy as those from other Austin bellwether establishments like Torchy’s Tacos and Taco Deli. The salsas were even better.
Two layers of moist corn tortillas, generously piled with a choice of two fillings (eggs, potatoes, cheese, beans, bacon or spicy chorizo) for only a buck seventy?
Hard to beat — or so I thought.
So what happened?
Was it the location? Was the food inconsistent? Later I saw comments on Twitter and Facebook that said “Austin is a tough restaurant town.”
Isn’t every town?
It reminded me of a cool little Mexican spot near downtown Phoenix I reviewed for PHOENIX Magazine called Verde.
Verde seemed to have lots going for it. Two talented, dedicated owners, some tasty Mexican food, and a urban-esque hip setting.
Like The Screaming Goat, the only thing that seemed to be missing was a steady stream of customers.