Our favorite thing here at Right On Corpus is when a new restaurant opens up. Recently after months of waiting Cruzy’s, a new taco joint on the Southside, has finally opened their doors. Inspired by Alex Delany’s One of Everything YouTube series, we decided to try every taco on Cruzy’s menu. The menu is an eclectic style of familiar tastes presented in a way to get you to explore the form of the taco; which is something I preach when the topic, traditional vs progressive food comes up. This much needed addition to our city takes some traditional/local food inspiration and asks how can we do this differently? They place in front of you a well-crafted menu full of thoughtfully imaginative tacos and we’re going to dive into every single one!
First taco up is the The Cruzer, a little angus fajita with some roasted corn pico and wild mushrooms. One of the less wild tacos to manage, but the mix of the traditional fajita style with the queso and chimichurri make this one an easy go-to taco if your adventure meter isn’t spiking. What I loved most about this taco was the roasted corn pico, wild mushrooms and the queso. The angus fajita mix was just a plus to a taco that could easily go vegetarian.
My love for buffalo chicken or any combination of buffalo sauce is not extremely high, however, I have a small list of specific items that are buffalo chicken inspired that I tend to really love! And I think the Cruzy’s Valentina has made itself some room on that list. The Valentina sauce is Cruzy’s rendition of a buffalo sauce and it melds well with the Gorgonzola aioli. They julienne some veggies for aesthetic and place it all in a pillowy tortilla… yeah I’m in!
To me this is that backyard taco you make when friends and family are coming over. It’s comfort and always a solid choice that never disappoints. I know it’s named Plain Jane but the cilantro lime aioli argues against that. The chicken thighs are not grilled but fried and not fried with a breading but flash fried so it gives a juicy tenderness to the chicken. All the tacos are topped with micro greens but this one gets a nice bonus from the peppery bite those micro greens add.
With the exceptional list of tacos they have, you would think that a hamburger taco would be the least tempting… But the more I thought about it the more I couldn’t wait to try it. Just like a burger it starts out with ground meat, in this case ground short rib, which they mixed with chihuahua cheese. They also use big chunks of cheese so you get these bursts of that really nice melted cheesiness throughout the taco. It’s topped with your traditional burger toppings, plus what’s labeled as a salsa rojo, but it’s definitely their own touch on ketchup and it works very well.
Pig On A Stick
The pork shoulder is great BUT what you’re going to remember from this taco is the charred pineapple salsa verde and the cilantro pickled onions. That is what this taco is about, the flavors that compliment the pork. Like I said the pork is great but the star is the charr!
Catch Me Outside
This is technically 4 tacos since it includes either fish or shrimp and can be fried or grilled. The toppings remain the same, so the dill caper aioli and malt vinegar cabbage slaw they’re dressed in will go on either choice. The breading was light like a panko and perfectly crisp, the fish was nice and flaky but for us that grilled shrimp worked perfectly with the aioli and slaw.
Remember how I mentioned exploration of form? …you could call this a lettuce wrap but I’m still sticking with a playful twist on the taco form, therefore it is still a taco. The Ahi Scoop uses the lettuce leaf as the form and then they stuffed it with loads of ahi tuna. The quail egg on top is a nice touch and the crispy sticks give it some texture, but the taste that is front and center is from the steak of the sea. Just clean, fresh, meaty tuna!
Here is where we switch from casual taco twists to fine dining! This is just a beautifully made taco, from the color of the hibiscus tortilla to the redness of that buttery lobster that was made to be photographed. It’s not just pretty though, there is serious substance to this taco. The roasted corn pico, queso and truffle all compliment the aesthetic as well as the flavor. They could have stopped at lobster sauteed in garlic butter but they went hard from tortilla to toppings!
Now it’s adventure time, this one will really test those who love to explore food. It’s just soft shell crab right? Yes. But this is still intimidating! Just from a “how do I eat this” perspective you have to plan your first few bites. It has some pickled onions, roasted corn salsa, but I know you’re only interested in the crab, as am I. It has a nice light breading, and even on the first bite it’s still easy to get into. Once the crab legs give way, it’s smooth sailing when you get into the body. Typically soft shell crab has a fishier taste and I didn’t get that from this taco. I will admit soft shell crab is not in my normal diet but the execution of this taco was superb.
Did I just read confit? Yes! And I’m sold. Without even trying any of these I could have told you this would be my pick as my favorite. It’s almost impossible to not love something cooked in confit. The carnitas was tender, the salsa verde jam/applesauce added to the deliciousness but also made each bite a little sweet and full of flavor. It’s a nice subtle spin on traditional carnitas and it shines.
When ingredients are mostly veggies they always seem to be the thing I’m looking forward to the least… And I’m always thrown when they blow me away. I had never seen a more earthy taco. The chimichurri was zesty but not overpowering and the mushrooms, although wild, didn’t have that really earthy taste. The sunflower seeds on top were a really nice touch and altogether this made up one killer taco!