Due to connections at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (see? the federal gummint ain’t all that bad!), I was introduced to Valentina’s before it was discovered by the eaterati. And whoo-boy, was it good. Mere months later, Valentina was getting love from Texas Monthly and everyone else for its bbq, its tacos, and its bbq-filled tacos. This success allowed Valentina’s to move from its convenience store parking lot to its own space on Manchaca without losing the charm of trailer service and outdoor seating.
I’m not sure who Valentina is (a daughter?), but the food comes from the able hands of Miguel Vidal, his wife Modesty, and his brother Elias. It all starts with the brisket, which is some of the best in the state, and then gets enhanced with touches of Mexico in sandwiches and tortillas.
The most memorable dish I’ve ordered is the Real Deal Holyfield (pictured above), a huge breakfast taco with a choice of smoked brisket or pulled pork [I went with brisket], bacon, fried egg, potatoes, refried beans, and tomato serrano salsa all stacked on a housemade tortilla ($9). Trust me, you only need one! The brisket is so good here that the chicken and pork pale in comparison. The tacos aren’t cheap, but there are as delicious as they are enormous.
– meh [think twice]
* OK [it’ll get the job done]
** good [solid neighborhood joint]
*** damn good [we’ll definitely be back]
**** yippity-yikes that was amazeballs [fantastic; one of the best]
***** holy sh!t [transcendental; best of the best]