Review: Tierra Linda Taqueria

I was driving to South By Southwest (SxSW) last Friday morning and checked out Yelp before leaving Dallas en route to Austin, but I wasn’t planning my drive to the hotel or the Austin Convention Center. Nope, I was heading from my house straight to Tierra Linda Taqueria.

Like a lot of gas station taco stands it wasn’t in the best of areas. There was no roadside signage and the only way to know the Shell gas station has a taco stand is to notice the Taqueria sign on the awning of the store.  What’s inside was a bit shocking. There is a full grocery store inside with a full meat counter, some fresh vegetables, and about 10 aisles of groceries.

I walked back to the Taqueria and ordered a beef and al pastor with cilantro, onions and hot sauce. The tacos are wrapped in foil with a softened corn tortilla; even though, I asked for only onions and cilantro but the the tacos came with some mildly cooked red bell pepper.

The hot sauce was the best part of the taco. It had a great consistency and packed a decent punch. Unfortunately hot sauce alone does not make the taco.

I’m not a fan of fatty meat so it was quite difficult eating here. The cuts of diced beef had thick cuts of fat and some gristly chunks. Even the al pastor meat was quite fatty but not as much as the beef taco.

This was the first time I couldn’t finish the tacos.  I found the unrequested bell pepper and, more bothersome, the fatty cuts of meat made the taco a prime candidate for the round receptacle outside the station’s store.  That’s right, the fan of gas station tacos tossed two unfinished tacos into the trash. It’s unfortunate as the hot sauce was excellent but the meat really ruined the taco for me. I could’ve easily picked out the bell peppers (or just enjoy them as I do like peppers, just not in my tacos.)

If you like fatty meats, the tacos here may work for you. For me, I was ready to head to SxSW and find some better food near the Austin Convention Center.

Gas Station: Shell

Address: Fairfield Drive & Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78757

Rating (1 out of 5 oil drops):

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Categories: Reviews

Author:Chris Baccus

Accomplished marketer, home cook and aspirational bass player.


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4 Comments on “Review: Tierra Linda Taqueria”

  1. Steve Broussard
    March 15, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    Sorry I have to disagree! Best tacos in Austin hands down

  2. August 5, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    I second Steve above. I live nearby and hit this spot up pretty regularly, and have always had great food, from their tortas to their gorditas. Sometimes the meat does have some fatty bits in it, but fat is flavor and hell, you want perfectly trimmed meats, hit up the whole foods taco counter. They’ll set you up with lean, ethically treated tacos and only charge you 2.5x the price. A leaner (and tastier) cut if you ever pass through again is the tongue, or if you have a few minutes to sit while they fry it, the fish tacos. They’re at the top of my list from this spot. Give it another go and you won’t be disappointed.


  1. Review: Casa Grande | Gas Station Tacos - July 29, 2011

    […] Tacos and I never did make it there, but I did stop at a gas station taco taqueria called Tierra Linda Taqueria. It was the only time I couldn’t finish what I started because the taste was so […]

  2. The SxSW Guide to Gas Station Tacos | Gas Station Tacos - March 4, 2012

    […] Tierra Linda Taqueria: I list this one because it gets some decent Yelp reviews and may come up on your radar when looking for ‘street tacos’ in Austin. This full Mexican grocery store with a taqueria inside a Shell station is still the worst gas station taco experience I’ve had in over 40 reviews this last year. I’d avoid it, but perhaps I came on the wrong day. So try it if you want to take some risk. Who knows I could easily be wrong. It won’t be the first time or the last. […]

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