Food by VICE

11 Ways to Upgrade Your Taco Night

Every day is a good day for tacos.

by Munchies Staff
Feb 22 2018, 8:00pm

Photo by Janelle Jones

Oh, how we love an excuse to eat tacos. All because of the power of alliteration. Taco Tuesday. Or Thursday. Or any freaking day, jeeze, alliteration isn’t binding. But we here at MUNCHIES are willing to bet your taco night game plan has gotten a little stale. We won’t judge you if you’re falling back on ground beef and those little store-bought seasoning packets and—gasp!—crunchy shells like it’s 1997. But tacos can be so much more! Here’s a whole arsenal of recipes to up your taco game, including all our favorite marinades, tortilla secrets, and accoutrements. So text all your friends (especially the one who’ll bring the good tequila) because it’s Taco Night.

San Francisco might be the land of burritos, but the Mission sure knows how to make a good taco, too. These ones came from pro skater and bassist of Bad Shit Tony Trujillo, and they taste like California. (Watch his episode of How-To, where he learns that his v cute six year-old son has discovered the word “bro.”)

When Trujillo makes his Mission-style tacos, he picks up some pre-marinated skirt steak from his local Mexican meat market for his carne asada. But we like to use this version from Mexicali missionary Esdras Ochoa.

Guachinago is a derivation of the native Nahuatl language in Jalisco, Mexico, that refers to red snapper. Any other rockfish or grouper would hold up to this marinade well, too.

You’ve probably never had tacos al pastor quite like these before. But chef Gabriela Cámara has one foot in Mexico City and the other in San Francisco, and that means she sees the rules to Mexican food a little differently than most. We salute her for that.

Taqueria La Cumbre has been making carne asada tacos since 1967, so you can trust that Eddie Duran knows what he’s talking about. You can let him serenade you while you wait for your skirt steak to get that good char, too.

If you ever wanted a good reason to get over your fear of asking your butcher weird questions, this recipe is worth the social anxiety. You probably won’t find tongue wrapped in Styrofoam next to the ground beef, so you’re gonna have to ask for it.

The debate over corn versus flour tortillas will rage on until the end of time, but everyone agrees on one thing: homemade is always better.

Making salsa from dried chilies might be a new experience for you, but once you experience this smoky-savoriness of a salsa like this, you’re going to want to put it on everything.

Tomatillo salsa can provide the bright acidic note you need to balance out your savory protein and other toppings for the perfect taco. And then, you know, just dig in with some chips ‘cause this is too good to waste.

Simplicity is key to guacamole. Beyond a ripe avocado, there are a few core components. Welcome, lime, salt, pepper, jalapeño, onion, tomato, and cilantro. We know, the tomato is debatable, but we have strong opinions here at MUNCHIES. And definitely keep your peas, jarred salsa, and cumin the hell outta here.

We know it’s not likely that there are any leftovers after taco night, but just in case there are—chilaquiles are 100 percent the way to go to use all that good stuff up. And with an egg on top, you could justify eating tacos for breakfast.