In the Valley, October is typically filled with pumpkin patches, some random days of fall weather (where we go gaga if the temperature falls under 80) and, of course, fall festivals. From church jamaicas to charity galas to the visiting carnivals to (our favorite) beer festivals, there is always something to do in the "956".
Last weekend, we found ourselves partaking in the festivities of the RGV German Club's Oktoberfest in Brownsville.
SIDENOTE: We are very well aware that our title has the word "taco" and talking about an Oktoberfest might seem a little left field but we're getting to it. We just want to give a shout out to perhaps one of the most authentic German festivals in our region. Das Bier was flowing, the brats were sizzling, the hosen were leder, but above all, everyone was having a blast! Bravo to this organization for providing a truly unique experience for the residents of the lower Valley. (No worries upper Valley folks, we here there is something brewing in your neck of the woods.)
As our steins clinked and we shouted "Prost", we quickly found that all the tables around us had been picked up. We, our group of seven, literally shut the place down!
*realizing that there were only a few drops of Kolsch left in our glasses
Trisha: But our last bratwurst was hours ago!
Gaby: No beer, no food. This is how it all ends for us.
*excuse the drama dear readers*
Friend we had recently met: If you're visiting Brownsville, then go visit El Ultimo Taco.
Voted consistently as some of the best tacos not just in Brownsville, but in the Valley, we took a Lyft XL (all of us cramming in) to the promised land. Arriving just a quarter past midnight, there was already a crowd outside the establishment. It might have been our German, felt fedoras that caught our server’s attention, but we were quite happy to be seated at the table rather quickly.
This fast paced taqueria can be quite overwhelming at first sight, but the guys at El Ultimo Taco have simplified things for their patrons. Their menu is short and sweet, or should we say short and savory. There are only 3 main dishes to choose from (Tacos, Flautas and Tostadas) and 2 sides (Frijoles Charros and Frijoles Especiales). While we were at first sad and in awe that a taqueria in the Valley didn’t offer a “papa con todo”, our feelings were quickly shaken off after one spoonful of those Frijoles Especiales with bistek, queso fresco and avocado.
Even though the main dishes may seem limited, the various meat options satisfy the neediest and pickiest of taco-connoisseurs. Choose from bistek, carne deshebrada, barbacoa, al pastor and mollejas. Our favorite part is that everything has an individual price as opposed to a price by order, so you can make your own ‘sampler’ plate, so to say. Two tacos, one tostada plus three flautas and you have it made! All tacos are served with fresh and grilled onions, cilantro, avocado and queso fresco.
We do need to warn you, that while El Ultimo Taco does open at 11:00 a.m. each day, it is not for the faint of heart. These tacos are most definitely a “vuelve a la vida” and so these might be on the heavier side for lunch-but a great snack after an Oktoberfest. wink!
El Ultimo Taco is located at 938 N Expressway, Brownsville, TX 78521. Their hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday 11:00 a.m.-3:00 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m.-4:00 a.m. For more information you can reach them at (956) 554-7663 or follow them on their social media platforms @elultimotacotaqueria.
Gaby Jones and Trisha Watts work hand-in-hand with the service industry. Jones is in charge of craft and imported beer for L&F Distributors-South Texas and Watts is a freelance writer specializing in the marketing of the service industry. Each week they will have a new adventure and provide an opinion on multiple locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.