As Good as Carne Guisada Gets at Mi Celayence

The carne guisada at Mi Celayence on Fredericksburg Road is exceptional. - BEN OLIVO
Ben Olivo
The carne guisada at Mi Celayence on Fredericksburg Road is exceptional.

Reposted with permission from The Tacoist.

Sometimes you don’t need to ingest all the tacos to know whether a taqueria is legit. At Mi Celayence on Fredericksburg Road, all it took was the carne guisada.

This is what carne guisada is supposed to taste like: Stewed meat that is tender and complex in flavor, and not too fatty. Without watching it being made, I can’t be certain — but my taco companion and I agreed that the greatness of this carne guisada probably has something to do with not skipping steps. Too many times you'll be served carne guisada that is barely seasoned meat in a watery sauce type of thing. This carne guisada is definitely not that. We thought it might have something to do with the use of tomato paste after the beef chunks have been browned — as the cook begins to compose the dish. Somewhere after the flour, onions, celery and jalapenos (perhaps) have been added, but before the spices and stock. It's made as if it were homemade, with proper care and attention, rather than with shortcuts that other restaurants might tempted to take. And it was put in a perfectly cooked and soft flour tortilla.

The other tacos weren’t at such a high level as the carne guisada, but good nonetheless.

I really enjoyed the egg and bacon. Mi Celayence’s version mixes in bits of bacon with the scrambled egg. For some people this represents a proper bacon and egg taco. For others, this is sacrilegious — an untouched bacon strip placed in an egg taco as being the only acceptable treatment. Me? I’ve never taken a side in the great egg-and-bacon taco debate. I don’t want to get political. Either way, this was a fine taco and with an excellent corn tortilla.

click to enlarge Mi Celayence, 2903 Fredericksburg Road, has good tacos across the board. - BEN OLIVO
Ben Olivo
Mi Celayence, 2903 Fredericksburg Road, has good tacos across the board.

The bean in the bean and cheese was undeniably homemade and very good with cheddar cheese. The machacado was slightly burnt, the beef slightly bland, but all other ingredients (including diced ham) lifted the taco to respectability.

On Mi Celayence’s list of tacos you’ll find “pancake.” I asked about this, because how cool would a pancake taco be — whether the pancake be wrapped in a tortilla or the pancake is the tortilla? (If you’re mind was just blown then we’re on the same page.) Turns out it’s just a $1.99 pancake that was misplaced on the menu with the tacos.

Mi Celayence is spacious and semi-dumpy with excellent service. Cube-shaped wooden bird cages in red and yellow hang over the dining area. A painting of the Last Supper hangs near the register. Also near the register is the family-orders menu. Topping the list is cabrito — one pound with all the sides and tortillas for $23.99. Yeah, I'd say this place is legit.

Mi Celayence, 2903 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 732-1122

Visit The Tacoist for more snapshots of San Antonio taquerias.

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