Battle of the Bean & Cheese features South Side eateries

By Ruben Cortez
Pulse Staff Editor

On April 17, 2018, officially known as #TacoTuesday, the students of Palo Alto College’s COMM 2305 class took on the challenge of deciding which restaurant on the South Side of San Antonio had the best bean and cheese taco. It was an assignment that many of us may end up regretting, but it had to be done, nonetheless.

We chose 16 restaurants south of Highway 90 that we believed could be the possible winner. We covered a good range of restaurants, from hole-in-the-wall to big chain, mom-and-pop to local favorites. The restaurants were Eddie’s, Mary Lou’s, Paulina’s, Georgia’s, Rocky’s, Taco Cabana, El Sol, Bill Miller’s, Judy’s, Culebra Super Meat Market, Patty’s, AV’S, Nicha’s, Mama Margie’s, Taqueria Mexico and Rolando’s.

Unfortunately, Rolando’s was closed on Tuesday, and we were unable to get a taco from them for the competition. Inspired by March Madness, we used a bracket system to decide which taco would move onto the next round, with two tacos going against each other per round.

Critiquing each taco was simple. Sample a piece, judge the beans, cheese and tortilla. Once that was done, we voted on which was best and moved that taco forward.

The first few rounds were easy enough, but as time went on, our widened eyes of hunger soon turned to sickly, tear-filled eyes of pain, as we all struggled to take the next bite of the same combination of legumes, dairy and flour.

We each ate approximately four tacos (consuming one-fourth of each taco from the 15 restaurants) to select the best. The first round couldn’t have come to an end soon enough, and when it was done, we chose the next eight restaurants who would go taco-to-taco for a shot at the Final Four.

The following #TacoTuesday, April 24, 2018, had a huge shadow hanging over it. With memories of how we all felt from the previous Tuesday, the eagerness was not present. Instead, the vibe was filled with an anxiousness for this food fest to just be over.

The second day proceeded fairly quickly, and we had a good balance of big chains and smaller restaurants still in the running. The task wasn’t as difficult, eating eight fewer tacos than the previous round. Before we knew it, Round Two was over, and we had selected our Final Four tacos: Nicha’s, Georgia’s, Judy’s and Rocky’s.

At last the Final Four was here. This proved to be the most difficult round of them all. These were the cream of the crop, the frijoles con queso to end all frijoles con queso. Two mom-and-pop restaurants against two local favorites. What a match!

The judging was even more severe on #TacoTuesday, May 1.  These tacos really had to bring their A-Game. Once the flour settled and we had our fill of the Final Four, it was time. The round for the championship commenced.

It came down to Georgia’s versus Nicha’s. This was our final round, and we did our best to have the most thorough critique we had throughout this whole competition. Once we all had a sample, we cast our votes and chose our winner. Nicha’s secured the crown. Our job was done, and possibly, so was our appetite for bean and cheese tacos…at least for a long while.

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Nicha’s Comida Mexicana

3119 Roosevelt Ave.

(210) 922-3330

Closed Sundays

Mondays-Thursdays, 7 a.m. -10 p.m.

Fridays and Saturdays, 7 a.m.- 11 p.m.

Price with tax: $1.72


Georgia’s Mexican Restaurant

2214 Palo Alto Road

(210) 923-9313

Closed Mondays

Tuesdays through Fridays, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturdays and Sundays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Price with tax: $1.63


Rocky’s Taco House

1302 Cupples Road

(210) 433-2931


Opened 24 hours

Monday- Sunday

Price with tax: $1.40


Judy’s Food To Go

5510 Roosevelt Avenue

(210) 627-2707

Closed Sunday

Monday-Saturday, 7am-3pm

Price with tax: $1.61


Eddie’s Taco House

420 W Cevallos

(210) 222-2400

Monday through Saturday 6 a.m – 2:30 p.m

Closed Sundays

Price with tax: $1.73


Bill Millers Bar-B-Q 

3408 SW Military Drive

(210) 922-1401

Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.–9 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday, 7:30 a.m.–9 p.m.

Price with tax: $1.07


Patty’s Taco House

2422 S. Hackberry

(210) 534-3395

Closed Sundays

Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Price with tax: $1.73


Taqueria Mexico

7167 Somerset Road

(210) 922-1306

Monday- Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday- Saturday, 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Sunday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Price with tax: $1.07


Mary Lou’s Cafe

1002 Pleasanton Road

(210) 924-0478

Monday through Sunday, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Price with tax: $1.55


Paulina’s Mexican Restaurant

1438 W Hutchins Place

(210) 928-2499

Closed Monday

Tuesday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, 8 a.m to 2 p.m.

Price with tax: $1.61


Taco Cabana

9719 Poteet Jourdanton Freeway

(210) 200-7988

Monday through Wednesday, 6 a.m.-1 a.m.

Thursday, 6 a.m.-midnight

Friday through Sunday, open 24 hours

Price with tax: $1.19


El Sol Mexican Restaurant

815 Pleasanton Road

(210) 923-5553

Monday through Sunday, 7 a.m-3 p.m.

Price with tax: $1.69


Culebra Super Meat Market

6060 Old Pearsall Road

(210) 623-2062

Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Price with tax: $1.39


AV’s Food To Go

20110 US-281

(210) 626-0404

Open Monday-Saturday, 5 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Sunday, 7 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Price with tax: $1.78


Mama Margie’s

7335 S. Zarzamora

(210) 923-1600

Monday through Sunday, open 24 hours

Price with tax: $1.18


Rolando’s Super Tacos

93 Shasta Ave.

(210) 927-9449

Monday: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Closed: Tuesdays

Wednesday-Thursday: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday-Sunday: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Price: N/A

Written with assistance from fellow editors in COMM 2305. Thanks to Journalism/COMM Major David Gonzalez-Rojas for his meme skills!

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