Tucson taco restaurant removes lion tacos from its menu after threats

Well, that was quick, and rather unsurprising – the Tucson restaurant that planned to serve lion tacos will have to find a different shock meat. After receiving threats, the restaurant owner has decided to pick something less controversial.

After the announcement, everyone involved found themselves on the receiving end of threats – the owner, his family, the restaurant customers and even the vendors.

In our survey, 30.5% of our readers said they’d eat a lion taco, so there is clearly a market out there for exotic meats like this. Still, it’ll probably be a long time till Boca Tacos y Tequila attempts to serve something this controversial.

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk 010: Paragliding, Tijuana, USS Midway, Stone Brewery & surfing the Bruticus Maximus!

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk, episode 10 – Click above to watch video after the jump
Travel Talk has hit double digits!! To celebrate, we have an incredible lineup of adventures from San Diego, California – including a short dash over the border to Tijuana, Mexico!

This week we talk about Kim Jong-Il as a fashion icon, a new great way to hail a cab in NYC, and share a book that covers how to travel by freight ship! We have an answer in the debate of whether or not sarcasm exists in every culture, and of course we’ll show you pictures of the disruptive Eyjafjallajökull (Icelandic Volcano) that has shut down flights throughout Europe this week.

Stick with us as we try paragliding for the first time, learn how to brew beer from the masters at Stone Brewery, and do our best to surf the Wave House’s Bruticus Maximus. We’ll also take a peek onboard the USS Midway and show you how tourism has affected Tijuana in the past 5 years. Enjoy!

If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.

Subscribe via iTunes:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Show directly in iTunes (M4V).
[RSS M4V] Add the Travel Talk feed (M4V) to your RSS aggregator and have it delivered automatically.

CabSense iPhone App – ‘the smartest way to find a cab’.
Amazing pictures of Eyjafjallajökull in action – Boston.com Big Picture.
Kim Jong-Il noted as world fashion icon.
Read the book! Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.
LiveScience article on sarcasm.
Interested in hang gliding?? Check out this movie about the history of the sport!

Hosts: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea
Special Guests: Ken Wright, Bill Liscomb, Bob Puetz, & Vern Jumper.
Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea

Special Thanks:
Torrey Pines Gliderport/ Stone Brewery, Escondido / Wave House San Diego / USS Midway Museum



Stone Brewery
“Got it Made (Burn L.A.)
the Pacific

All other music used in partnership with nonstopmusic.com

The Great Anti-Twitter San Francisco Taco Crawl

A woman in New York once confessed to me that on a recent trip to San Francisco, so many people told her she had to eat at La Taqueria in the Mission District that she eventually wandered down Mission St. looking for this legendary taco spot. “But every place there was called ‘La Taqueria,'” she said, still bewildered, “So I just went into one and ate.”

I had to confess I laughed at her stupidity. But I could sympathize as well. The Mission is crammed with taquerias and if you’re not accustomed to accosting a stranger to ask, then you wind up in the wrong place-though I’m sure wherever she ended up she ate well. After all, she was from New York, where similar hole-in the-wall taquerias, run by Mexicans, patronized by Mexicans, with a menu completely in Spanish, are the ugly, mustached, far-less tasty stepbrother of the California equivalent. I too live in New York and so when I spent five days in the Mission District this week, I felt obligated by my taste buds to make a pilgrimage to the taqueria. Or, rather, several of them.

But instead of just revisiting the my old haunts when I lived here-La Taqueria, El Farolito, Taqueria Cancun-I wanted to try different places. I’ve recently seen a few travel stories where the writer relies on social media like twitter to determine the itinerary. The idea was good, but at the same time (steel yourself twitter fanatics), I’m starting to wonder if social media’s use as a travel tool is overblown, amplified by the travel industry because of its newness.

So I would go on a quest for tacos the old school way: by asking people face to face-yes, turning off my phone and actually talking to a stranger-to determine where I should eat next. I started in front of La Taqueria at Mission and 25th Sts. and accosted a hooded gentleman whose thick mustache suggested he knew a thing or two about tacos. “Right here,” he said, pointing to La Taqueria. When I explained that I wanted to go somewhere different, he said, ah, and pointed down the street to La Corneta.

La Corneta (2731 Misson St. at 23rd St.) is a grand, spacious place with the obligatory 20-foot painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe on the wall. Even though I was about to consume a cart full of tacos, La Corneta’s chaffing dishes soaking with red and orange-hued meats and sauces were too good to pass up. So I ordered three: pollo con salsa roja, al pastor (barbequed pork) and chorizo (Mexican sausage). The ingredients here were a step above, fresher tasting and bolder. And with just one encounter so far, I had a new place to eat tacos the next time I’m in town (or to recommend to someone on twitter!).

When I stepped outside, the rarified San Francisco sun splashing me in the face, I was the one who was accosted. A woman was handing me a pamphlet in Spanish. One that subscribed to the Jehovah’s Witness faith. “I’m only a believer in Santo Taco,” I told her. She tilted her head and I explained. “Oh,” she said, “Then you must go to Taqueria San Jose.”

And, as my mission states, I did go to Taqueria San Jose (2830 Mission St. at 24th St.). When I noticed one wall boasted a huge painting of a woman (or is that a man?) happily shaving off meat from a kabob-like haunch of pork, I knew I was in the right place. I ordered one taco-al pastor-and when it arrived, I just felt like staring at it for a while. Two corn tortillas with a mountain of shredded barbeque pork on top and a glistening layer of red salsa on the very top. I dug in and was rewarded with ultra tender meat that was heavily charred on the outside. I wanted another, but I had to move on.

My next victim was a woman selling avocados one block down the street. She didn’t speak English, but a man with a big belly came over to help out. They both agreed that I should go to La Altena (2588 Mission St. at 22nd St.). “What should I get there?” I asked.

The man swayed his head back and forth, the nickel-sized medallion hanging from a gold chain around his neck glimmering from the sun, and said: “Vaca … puerco …. pollo…” He’d ticked off a list that made up the canon of meats. And despite his advice, I ordered a fish taco at La Altena. Nevermind the guy at the register didn’t know what kind of fish it was. Lightly breaded and very flaky, the fish was bland, aided by the contrasting texture of fresh, stiff cabbage on top and some tangy green salsa. It was the one miss on my journey so far, but then again, I shouldn’t have deviated from the advice I’d received on the street. I should have stuck to animals that had legs, not fins.

Five tacos in, I was getting full. But I had to carry on. So I asked a twenty-something guy selling ice cream. “Taqueria San Francisco,” he said with such enthusiasm his breath was shooting exclamation marks. He pointed down 24th Street and then shook my hand. This was something that would never happen on twitter. I commenced my journey. I don’t know why, but I’d never been down this way, which is a shame, because the blocks of 24th St. south of Mission St. (SoMi?), were an intriguing yet incongruous mixture of Salvadoran and Mexican restaurants, shops that sold Virgin Mary candles, hipster coffee houses, and restaurants that served brunch. I was so enjoying it, in fact, that I was almost disappointed when I happened upon Taqueria San Francisco (2794 24th St. at York St.).

I was especially disappointed when the interior had a certain stench to it, one that smelled like a bathroom; not necessarily a dirty bathroom, but a commode nonetheless. No one wants to be reminded of such tings in the place you’re about to consume food. But I’m glad I ordered: the al pastor taco was the best yet: unlike the charred pork meat at Taqueria San Jose, the meat here was soft, a little bit chewy and interspersed with cilantro, diced tomatoes and fresh onions.

With my stomach full, my anti-twitter taco crawl would come to a close. Who knows, maybe my twitter friends could have recommended even better places. The fact is though: just as my friend in New York discovered when she was looking for La Taqueria, a visitor to San Francisco can visit in any taqueria in the Mission District and be satisfied.

David Farley is the author of An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church’s Strangest Relic in Italy’s Oddest Town.

Undiscovered New York: Sunset Park

You don’t just stumble upon Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood by casually walking around New York City. It takes effort. And you’re also not going to find any world famous buildings or iconic parks while you’re there – those are elsewhere. But for all the things Sunset Park lacks (like tourists), it still manages to have plenty to offer. This little neighborhood-that-could has been surprising visitors and residents alike with its outstanding city views, rich immigrant communities and unique architecture.

Sunset Park was first founded as a shipping port, set conveniently along New York Harbor in the far Southwestern edge of Brooklyn. By World War II, the area was shipping out more than 80% of all American supplies and equipment destined for the fronts overseas. It was also a neighborhood of surprising diversity, housing one of New York’s largest communities of Scandinavian immigrants. As the shipping industry began to decline after the War, the area began to house a new wave of residents, today composed of a rich swath of Latino communities and one of New York’s three different Chinatowns.

The effects of Sunset Park’s distinct geography, history and immigration have combined to give the area a unique mixture of off-the-beaten path attractions. Want to have some of New York’s most authentic tacos and Chinese food on the same day? What about a visit to a park that might have one of the city’s best views? And why in the world did Elvis make this tiny neighborhood his only visit to New York City? Get ready to step off the beaten path as Undiscovered New York investigates Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. Click below for more.
New York’s best view?

In addition to its location along the Brooklyn waterfront, Sunset Park is blessed with some pleasant green space at the neighborhood’s namesake park. As luck would have it, Sunset Park is also among the highest points in all of Brooklyn – meaning on most days you can see the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, the Empire State Building, Staten Island and New Jersey. They don’t call it “Sunset” Park for nothing – make sure to stop by one evening at dusk for a truly outstanding view. Aside from the heart-stopping vistas, Sunset Park also boasts a swimming pool, volleyball court and plenty of walking paths.

Melting pot of authentic food
Manhattan’s Chinatown might have the best soup dumplings. And Roosevelt Avenue in Queens might have some of the best Latin American food. But Sunset Park has them both beat. It is, after all, hard to compete with a ‘hood where within a few blocks you can eat so well, for so cheap from such diverse immigrant cuisines. Start your trip with one of Sunset Park’s many taco trucks along Fourth and Fifth Avenues. Not full yet? Head a few blocks over to Eighth Avenue, where you’ll find one of New York’s three Chinatown districts. Take a walk past buckets of still squirming fish at the seafood market, have some freshly made noodles, or bite down on a fresh Banh Mi sandwich.

Iconic buildings
As we mentioned earlier, Sunset Park played a pivotal role as a key shipping port during World War II, providing thousands of jobs for the area’s residents. Though not much remains of Sunset Park’s illustrious maritime history, there is one hugely obvious reminder at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. This massive 95 acre complex, located between 53rd and 66th Streets, once served as a staging center for goods and men on their way to battlegrounds in Europe. It is also, through a strange twist of fate, the only place legendary rocker Elvis ever set foot in New York. The King swaggered through Brooklyn Army Terminal in 1958 on his way to his military service in Germany.