Some of Austin’s very best taco restaurants and food trucks — Nixta Taqueria, Discada, and Cuantos Tacos — are the stars of a new Austin PBS documentary series this year. Taco Mafia will premiere sometime in the fall.
The four-episode mini-series delves into the group’s beginnings, businesses, and friendships. Discada’s Xose Velasco and Anthony Pratto opened their restaurant in May 2018, Cuantos Tacos’s Luis “Beto” Robledo in September 2019, and Nixta’s Edgar Rico (who won the James Beard Award in the Emerging Chef category in 2022) and Sara Mardanbigi in October 2019. The show also explores how they honor and respect their cultural roots through foods and spaces while learning on the fly.
The series will touch upon the pandemic, gentrification, and immigration, as well as how the group worked to feed people for free during the big Texas winter storm of 2021 in the middle of their own power outage. The series' name came from the term the group gave themselves.
The show is produced by Alex Wolff (who has been a camera operator at another PBS show, Austin City Limits) and Joe Rocha (who has had various roles at Austin PBS). The idea for the series stemmed from Wolff visiting the taco restaurant/trucks and seeing how they supported each other and their communities. “So different from anything I’ve ever seen before,” Wolff writes to Eater. “I knew they were special.”
Scope out the trailer below. The show will air on PBS’s Austin channel KLRU-TV and its respective apps.