We’re not even a week into 2017, and I can almost definitively state that San Antonio Express-News‘ restaurant critic Mike Sutter is having the best year ever. That’s because for the next 12 months he’ll get paid to eat tacos every single day. The food critic is embarking on a taco lover’s dream and tasting the wide-variety of tacos that the city of San Antonio has to offer. Calling it the 365 Days of Tacos, Sutter will head to seven taquerias each week. He’ll then evaluate everything from the tacos, the tortillas, and the salsa in his daily recaps. Each place will receive one of three ratings: “worth a drive” for those places that are killing it, “a solid neighborhood option” for those taquerias that are doing it well but may not merit a drive across town, and “once was enough” for the restaurants that didn’t stand out.
But as a city with a rich taco past, he’ll likely have a tasty meal on most days. “San Antonio’s the perfect city for a year’s worth of tacos,” he wrote. “They form such a part of the city’s history and food cultures, kids here remember going to school with tacos instead of peanut butter and jelly. And because some even suffered a kind of culinary bigotry over it, they turned taco into a badge of honor. No matter what the small-plate, farm-to-table, artisan-crafted restaurant movements bring to San Antonio, the moms-and-pops are still the bedrock of breakfast, lunch and late-night comfort food, and it’s time we recognized them. This series is a step in that direction.”
Unlike The Taco Cleanse – a book that extolled the benefits of eating tacos three times a day – Sutter states that his 365-day taco diet is actually v. healthy. In 2015, he ate a year’s worth of tacos in Austin. He tried more than 1,600 tacos from 365 places and lost weight in the process. “At their core, tacos are lean, efficient fuel: a light carbohydrate shell wrapped around proteins like eggs, cheese, carnitas, carne asada, barbacoa and tripas,” he wrote. “The danger to your weight comes from the chips, queso, beer, full-sugar soda and quart-sized aguas frescas that come with the territory.”
So far, his journey has taken him to El Mirador, Chas Market & Kitchen, Teka Molino, Pete’s Tako House, and Ray’s Drive Inn. Along the way, he’s using Google Maps to create a directory of San Antonio’s taquerias. Check out the map and follow his journey here.