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3 San Antonio food favorites featured in episode of Netflix’s ‘Taco Chronicles’ series

Teka Molino, Ray’s Drive Inn, ‘Henry’ the Puffy Taco part of Netflix culinary series

(Rays Drive Inn Puffy Tacos featured on Texas Eats.)
(Rays Drive Inn Puffy Tacos featured on Texas Eats.)

SAN ANTONIO – A trio of San Antonio food favorites are featured in the new season of Netflix’s culinary series “Taco Chronicles.”

The fourth episode of the second season focuses on the American taco.

Producers traveled to Orange County, Calif., Los Angeles and San Antonio to examine the history and influence of hard shell and puffy tacos in the United States.

The series visited Ray’s Drive Inn and Teka Molino to find the origins of the puffy taco in San Antonio. The puffy taco has been a San Antonio staple for decades.

Ernestine and Arthur Chapa opened Teka Molino in 1937. It currently has two locations in San Antonio.

Teka Molino owner Ben Stratton said in the episode they have kept the Chapa’s puffy taco recipe on the menu for decades and it has always been a customer favorite.

The episode also has an inside look at how the restaurant makes its tortillas from scratch and cooks the meat and potatoes inside the taco.

Ray’s opened in the 1950s and is considered to be the home of the original puffy taco.

The restaurant still has its classic drive-in set up and has been featured in several publications and shows over the years, including KSAT’s Texas Eats.

Ray Lopez’s brother, Henry, opened his own eatery, Henry’s Puffy Tacos Mexican Restaurant, in 1978.

Henry’s puffy taco was the inspiration for the famed San Antonio Missions mascot, which was also featured in the episode.

“Henry” the Puffy Taco was created in 1989 and has been a fixture at Missions baseball games ever since.

Burl Yarbrough, president of the Missions Baseball Club, was interviewed for the episode.

“I used to always tell people, our players come and go, but our mascot has been here for a long time,” Yarbrough said. “We have several generations here in San Antonio that have grown up with ‘Henry’ the Puffy Taco.”

“Tacos Chronicles” writer and producer Hallie Davison was recently part of a UTSA panel that explored the evolution of tacos in the US.

“We are mostly interested in exploring these tacos that already have an identity which is usually tied to a geography,” Davison said at the panel. “But really, we’re using food as this kind of Trojan horse to explore people and and history.”

Seasons 1 and 2 of the “Taco Chronicles” are currently streaming on Netflix.

RELATED: Evolution of tacos in Texas, San Antonio and what trends are next


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