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9 Catt. 4: In re Sol Mexican Grill

2012 May 23

JEREMY, C.J., delivered the opinion of the Cart. CATTLEYA, J., wrote a separate concurrence.

We granted cartiorari to Sol Mexican Grill on the questions of three varieties of taco: (1) steak with red sauce (hot), (2) chicken with green sauce (medium), and (3) carnitas with red sauce, each ensconced in corn tortillas and paired with pico de gallo.

Ordering at Sol is a multistep process. First, you must choose (1) three tacos, (2) two burritos, or (3) one bowl. Each costs a reasonable $7.00. We opted for the first choice: three tacos. Second, you must choose your principal filling. We opted for one steak, one chicken, and one carnitas. Third, you must choose your toppings. We opted for pico de gallo in each taco, and paired the steak and carnitas with spicier red sauce and the chicken with the milder green sauce.

The ordering process was hectic, and service was somewhat lacking, but, as a general rule, I care very little about service if the product is decent. Sol’s product was at least decent, and so there will be no more discussion of service.

Sol Mexican Grill

Sol Mexican Grill

As an initial matter, we must decide whether tacos are “street food,” which we have defined as “the kind[] of food[] that can be cooked in front of you and [is] meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up.” In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5 (2011). If a mobile gastronomic enterprise’s dish constitutes street food, we must affirm unless the presumption of affirmance is rebutted. In re Big Cheese, 6 Catt. 2 (2012).

In a recent case, we found that the burrito is properly considered “street food.” In re Pedro and Vinny’s, 9 Catt. 2 (2012). A taco is, in some ways, a small burrito. Therefore, for the same reasons that burritos are street food, we find that a taco is also street food. Therefore, Sol’s tacos must be affirmed unless this Supreme Cart finds the presumption of affirmance to be rebutted. The Cart finds the presumption not to be rebutted and therefore affirms.

Corn tortilla tacos with steak, chicken, and carnitas

All three meats—steak, chicken, carnitas—were well cooked. The steak had a welcome chewiness without being tough. The chicken and especially the carnitas were tender, almost buttery. All meats were well seasoned and sufficiently flavorful, which is more than can be said for similar enterprises in the metroplex. Cf. In re TaKorean, 1 Catt. 4 (2011). You could certainly taste the meats through the sauces, pico de gallo, and corn tortillas, which, again, is more than can be said for other, similar enterprises. Cf. id.

Both sauces—the spicier red and the milder green—were flavorful. Both were rather simple sauces but by no means one-note. The red was spicy, but there was some flavor behind the heat. The green tasted fresh and herby. The red complemented the steak and carnitas, and the green complemented the chicken, adding flavor and complexity without overpowering the palate.

The pico de gallo, which we added to all three tacos, was a standard pico de gallo—tomatoes, onion, etc.—but tasted quite fresh. It paired nicely with all three tacos.

Sol is by no means unique or original or extraordinary. It does what it does—street tacos—fast and well without trying to reinvent the wheel and without unnecessary gimmicks or hype. For these reasons, we find that we cannot rebut the presumption of affirmance and therefore affirm Sol’s tacos.


CATTLEYA, J., concurring.

I concur with my brother’s reasoning in this case. Indeed, Sol makes a decent taco. I tasted no major mistakes. The meats were prepared well, the pico de gallo was fresh, and the corn tortillas weren’t stale. If you’re craving tacos when your lunch hour hits, I recommend giving Sol a try. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a meal that will leave a memory behind, that will surprise your palate with something new and different, that will make you mentally add the meal’s maker to your “must-try foods” list . . . well, then you ought to keep walking when you spot Sol near the curb. Admittedly, there are not many gastronomic enterprises – mobile or immobile – that fit this bill. So, setting the bar a bit lower, if you’re just looking for a meal that will fill you up and keep you satisfied until dinner, Sol’s tacos aren’t for you.

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