When I saw the headline last week that Orange County Register food critic Brad A. Johnson was offering readers his 10 best tacos in OC, I immediately chuckled. Would Brad offer tacos with French fries, given he's reviewed papas fritas at Mexican restaurants before? Would he manage to work in a hotel taco, given he's nowadays more prone to reviewing hotels outside of OC than doing his ostensible responsibilities?
Then I clicked on the link, and started to laugh. El Campeón? Roman's Taqueria? Getting carne asada at a birrieria? HA! But then I reread Brad's intro, in which he announced he excluded taco trucks from consideration, and began to fume.
“This year,” Johnson wrote, “I'm not including any trucks or places that otherwise don't provide a comfortable place to sit – at a proper table, with at the very least a covered awning – where I can enjoy the tacos while they're still hot.”
Johnson offers no explanation, so we can only speculate why the lonchera loathing–he had Rubén's Mulitas on his list last year, after all. Probably the Reg's retrograde audience complained to Johnson about including supposed roach coaches, so Brad felt the heat; if so, he's a coward. Maybe Brad feels loncheras just don't have what it takes to take on restaurants; if so, he's a pendejo. Or, if you take his excuse at its face value, maybe Brad feels street food isn't worthy of his consideration because it makes the eater have to sit on curbs, milk crates, or eat standing up. If so, Johnson's a retre-PENDEJO.
Brad: Do all of OC a favor and stick to reviewing French fries, m'kay? Excluding taco trucks from a best-tacos list IS like doing a list of best carne asada spots but not allowing beef products for consideration. Insulting as hell, I swear…