Discover the unexpected in Austin. Explore All of Austin
Restaurants & Bars 1

Taquería Alayna's on Manor Road

MPH | Jan 12, 200803:31 PM

I'm starting a new thread on Taquería Alayna's, which is located in a small shopping center at 2611 Manor Road, at the corner of Cherrywood. Alayna's chow has also been discussed in older threads, including these two contributions by scrumptiouschef:



According to their posted menu, their hours of operation are 7 to 4 Monday-Saturday and 8 to 2 on Sunday. To place a take-out order or make an inquiry, their phone number is 495-9155. Breakfast tacos are $1.75 each. Fillings include eggs plus one (potatoes, bacon, chorizo, ham, or nopales); beans and cheese, and migas with salsa. Lunch tacos ($2 each) include beef fajitas, chicken fajita, chicharron, carne guisada, picadillo, barbacoa, and pork. . . something. [There was just a blank space after the word "pork" on the printed menu.] These fillings in plate form are $5 each; in burritos, they are $4 each. Extra items are 25 cents each. Note: This information was current as of my last visit in early December. I'm just now writing up and posting a backlog of chow reports from the end of the year.

All tacos were sampled on flour tortillas. I personally didn't see anyone hand-rolling them, but they did not taste mass-produced. I took some of my tacos to-go, and they got pretty soggy by the time I ate them. However, I ate most of my tacos in my car or standing in the parking lot. Of these, I'd say that the flavor was decent, though the consistency was gummy. The thickness of their tortillas was medium-thin, by which I mean slightly thicker than the ones at El Rinconsito but thinner than the ones at the now-defunct Don Luis (and definitely thinner than the homemade norm in San Antonio). On the MPH homemade-flour-tortilla scale of deliciousness, I'd say they were okay or decent.

Taco fillings sampled:

Bacon and egg—This came with eggs plus too-small and too-few bits of dry, crunchy bacon (as opposed to the barely-cooked kind that scrumptious likes). I'll grant you that they serve a very generous amount of filling on a decent tortilla. But I didn't think this taco was all that great, as it mainly consisted of rubbery, over-scrambled, and tasteless egg.

Bean and cheese—Shredded jack and cheddar cheese on top of dark refried beans made with a decent amount of pork fat. Not bad. This taco was good for Alayna's offerings, but these were not the best refried beans in town.

Chicharrones—The texture was very smooth, with a slick or wet mouthfeel; the flavor was pretty spicy. These seemed to be stewed in a mostly red-chile-based sauce, but there was no real flavor from the chicharrones. (That isn't always the case.) Instead the filling was dominated by the red-chile salsa. I thought this taco was more or less inoffensive, but not actually good.

Picadillo—This was probably the best filling that I tasted there, though they've got nothing on El Rinconsito's version [called carne molida]. Alayna's picadillo was wet and loose, with large chunks of soft, boiled potato that seemed to have steamed while being cooked with the lightly-browned ground beef and a few spices. Their very basic version delivered a basic satisfaction.

Chorizo and egg—This was just awful. There was way too much rubbery, tasteless egg and not nearly enough chorizo. What chorizo there was, was overbrowned and not very flavorful. In my opinion, the chorizo could have used more seasoning from spices and/or vinegar. Bad source of chorizo + bad eggs = bad taco & an outraged MPH.

Egg and potato—Sigh. With this taco, I got still more over-fried, broken-up eggs that masqueraded as "scrambled." This time, they were mixed with soft chunks of boiled potatoes [they seemed to be same type used in the picadillo]. This taco was not great on its own. It's safe to say that their version has got nothing on El Rico's sublimely delicious one. With lots of Alayna's orange salsa, and a generous pinch of salt, though, this taco wasn't too bad. If you prefer "filling" to "unbelievably tasty" when it comes to your potato-and-egg tacos, then you'll be all set—here, and at most other places in town.

I liked—but did not love—their orange salsa, though it seems to have some sour cream in it. I'm guessing it's also made with garlic and habañero, to judge from my handwritten notes. Their green salsa did not make much of an impression on me, except insofar as it seemed to approximate a sort of Mexican-style pesto.

The one taco that I didn't get to try was the chicken fajita, which I believe has gotten raves in the past from other 'hounds. They were out of this filling when I inquired. While I'm not a huge fan of chicken tacos, I intend to give it a try at some distant point in the future. The rest of Alayna's chow reminded me of mediocre-taco-truck fare, like that of Taquería Rodriguez on East Riverside (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/38933... ), but with better flour tortillas. Taquería Alayna's seems to have the right idea, but something gets lost in the execution. Maybe they're getting a touch complacent because they have a built-in customer base of folks who do their laundry next door. If, for some reason, you can't get off that section of Manor Road, or you live/work/launder nearby and want a quick bite, then Alayna's is a good bet. For just about every type of taco on their menu, however, I personally would rather go elsewhere.

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›
Log In or Sign Up to comment

Recommended From CH