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I posted this in the Taco Bamba thread, but I decided to make it a separate topic because I'm really interested in seeing some of the viewpoints/insight here:

Why don't more taquerias in our area put more thought into the tortillas? Using packaged tortillas is OK, but that's it. It's just "OK". Even if the fillings are incredible, the tortillas are merely "OK." It would be nice to have delicious tacos that were delicious all the way through, including the tortilla.

Many of us here on the East Coast have never had fresh, handmade tortillas from fresh masa. Sure, we've had stale-tasting maseca tortillas, but not ones made from fresh masa. It seems to me that if a taqueria went out of their way to make fresh masa tortillas, and emphasized this point with the press ("the only taqueria in the area with fresh, handmade masa tortillas"), they would be all the more successful. And they would put out a better product.

Is it simply too costly, in terms of actual monetary costs and labor costs? Does it take too much time and effort? We do have a company in Maryland that produces fresh masa on a daily basis; why don't more local businesses patronize them? The only one I'm aware of is Oyamel, and that is a bit too high-end to be a regular, casual (albeit high-quality) taqueria.

Just something I've been curious about.

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The only one I'm aware of is Oyamel, and that is a bit too high-end to be a regular, casual (albeit high-quality) taqueria.

With a bigger bar at Oyamel now, those $2 happy hour tacos might be a more regular thing for me (they're very small, but that's a reasonable price). Though your point absolutely stands.

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They've been "Coming Soon" for what feels like ten years, but the soon to open Impala on H Street NE has had fantastic tortillas in all of their various pop-up iterations to date. Those tortillas are the main reason I'm so much looking forward to their opening.

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I agree that the tortilla really makes the taco for me. I don't eat flour tortillas, fresh corn tortillas make a taco so much better. I would rather have crispy tortillas if I can't have fresh corn ones, even griddling vs. non-griddling to me makes a difference if they aren't fresh. I too am not sure why there aren't more places with fresh ones. I can really taste a huge difference and I don't think I am in a minority on that.

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I posted this in the Taco Bamba thread, but I decided to make it a separate topic because I'm really interested in seeing some of the viewpoints/insight here:

Why don't more taquerias in our area put more thought into the tortillas?  Using packaged tortillas is OK, but that's it.  It's just "OK".  Even if the fillings are incredible, the tortillas are merely "OK."  It would be nice to have delicious tacos that were delicious all the way through, including the tortilla.

Many of us here on the East Coast have never had fresh, handmade tortillas from fresh masa. Sure, we've had stale-tasting maseca tortillas, but not ones made from fresh masa. It seems to me that if a taqueria went out of their way to make fresh masa tortillas, and emphasized this point with the press ("the only taqueria in the area with fresh, handmade masa tortillas"), they would be all the more successful.  And they would put out a better product.

Is it simply too costly, in terms of actual monetary costs and labor costs?  Does it take too much time and effort?  We do have a company in Maryland that produces fresh masa on a daily basis; why don't more local businesses patronize them?  The only one I'm aware of is Oyamel, and that is a bit too high-end to be a regular, casual (albeit high-quality) taqueria.

Just something I've been curious about.

In his interview with Richard Sandoval, Tim Carman asked a similar question, and here's Richard Sandoval's response:

The mention of tacos provides me an opportunity to raise my standard complaint: So many of the new-style taquerias in the District don't make their own tortillas, relying instead on masa rounds well past their prime. Will El Centro make its own tortillas now that it has two locations?

"No," Sandoval says, cutting right to the chase.

"To get a consistent product, it's challenging sometimes. You have to buy Maseca, the corn lour. You cannot buy the real masa. Some places you can, but here it's hard," he continues. "What I'm doing is I'm partnering up with a tortilla company in Atlanta called Ole ... I'm working with them to create the tortilla I want, so that it doesn't have too many preservatives and it's pliable."

The tortillas, Sandoval says, will be shipped to El Centro "every two days. You'll see the difference."

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