“General Tso, you were a blood thirsty tyrant, but your chicken is delectable.” – Mr. Burns
Welcome curious readers to the Pot and Pan Handlers first annual Taco Tuesday Take Down. Where we’ve taken Chapel Hill/Carrboro’s drunken frat boy taco row (more often referred to as Franklin St.) and pitted them against one another, Food Fight fashion, in an effort to discover who has the superior take out chicken soft taco.
Today is the last of the regionals as Lime Fresh Mexi grill took out Cosmic Cantina, Armadillo Grill sent City Bus packing, and Carrburrito’s introduced Chipotle to the loser’s bracket (coming soon). Today we get diverse when Lucha Tigre takes the con out of Asian/Mexican fusion cuisine, and Bandido’s brings the competition with their more typical frat boy tacos. So let’s go prying readers and stuff our collective faces with tacos and then get all snotty and judgmental while gauging the results, and would it kill ya’ to get me a beer?
Thanks for the beer. First we started at Lucha Tigre where a couple of lead based Chinese Tsingtao beers and some old school Kung Fu on the TV behind the bar would ease the wait for our General Tso’s chicken tacos (told ya’ it was fusion). Once we collected our tacos and finished our refreshments we floated down the block to Bandido’s. Then we began the descent into the dark tunnel of misery, where however uncomfortably, rests the restaurant Bandido’s. Once there, we ordered two orders of chicken tacos and two Negra Modelos, because nothing makes a wait more comfortable than watery Mexican beers, except maybe old school Kung Fu.
Again we eagerly downed our beer, grabbed our bag of chicken tacos, and took the ten minute journey to the patented taco tasting facility, more commonly referred to as the crib. Once there, we tore into the tin o’ Bandido’s chicken soft tacos. Where we found ourselves looking at this…
Once we stopped eating with our eyes and began eating with our mouths we were rewarded with exceptionally well-seasoned chicken, not quite able to hide behind the small geyser of sour cream and mountain of typical taco dive, melted, white, shredded cheese and limp, sad lettuce that didn’t handle the logistics of the 10 minute trek very well. Though these tacos would never qualify as authentic, they are an outstanding representation of drunken frat boy tacos and hold their own quite reasonably.
Then there was Lucha Tigre, never having had a General Tso’s chicken taco before, we were looking forward to these tacos. Once we opened up the cardboard container we were greeted with an appetizing array of tyrant chicken soft taconess.
Delightfully crispy fried chicken lightly dressed in a scrumptious not quite spicy, yet, not quite sweet, however, somehow not, not spicy and not, not sweet sauce, typical of General Tso dishes. Each taco is garnished with a couple of florets of blanched broccoli and a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds. They are delicious indeed and I can imagine that blood thirsty tyrant or not, General Tso himself would happily tear into a couple of these while cheerfully tying on a Franklin Street frat boy buzz, born of too much alcohol.
And the winner is…
Bandido’s… Look both of these tacos were delish, however if you were to have a taco craving, whether authentic, or the Americanized dairy filled Tex-Mex, equivalent, the General Tso’s tacos would never satiate such a craving. Those tacos, on the other hand would quell even the strongest craving for the Americanized Chinese food staple of General Tso’s chicken. Delightfully, fried, sweet spiciness they were good, but Bandido’s tacos were better.
So goes the finale of the apples to oranges regional finals, coming soon: the semifinals begin… Same time, same channel… Whose chicken soft taco will reign supreme? Also coming soon we investigate the time honored tradition of Meat+Smoke+Tortilla=Yummy.