Awhile back, I saw an episode of Bobby Flay's show, Throwdown, where the episode was a "Puffy Taco" showdown. When the show started and his challenge was first announced, I scratched my head, because I've never heard of a puffy taco before. Of course, once I saw the show, I knew I had to have one, one way or the other.
For those of you unfamiliar with this food, it's a part of Tex-Mex cuisine. There's been an ongoing debate where many believe that puffy tacos were invented at Henry's Puffy Tacos in San Antonio in 1978 while others claim that they were originally named "crispy tacos" and served in Austin in 1950s. In the end, it doesn't matter how they came to be, I'm just glad they got invented in the first place.
Basically, a puffy taco is made up of masa that is shaped into a round tortilla and then deep fried. While it's frying, it's repeatedly doused with the oil so that it becomes "puffy", almost like a pastry shell, and than an indentation is placed in the middle to create a taco shape. Once done, it's removed from the oil, drained and filled with the appropriate fillings.
After seeing the show, I actually forgot about the puffy taco for awhile until my niece mentioned this taco joint she used to swing by after dance class and as soon as she said the name of that place, my ears perked up. The taco shop's name was Arturo's Puffy Taco.
A few days later, she took me there and although I have nothing else to compare them to, I thought those puffy tacos were awesome. The taco shells were light, airy and crunchy. The meat fillings were good quality and all the veggies were fresh and crispy. Overall, those tacos rocked and I'm already planning my return trip.
To see pics, go to:
Arturo's Puffy Taco
15693 Leffingwell Rd
Whittier, CA 90604-3314