In what can only be described as a moment of extreme ignorance, we — Justin and Norberto, two BuzzFeed writers — decided it would be awesome to try to eat 35 tacos from 35 different places in one day. Why take on such a Sisyphean task? Well, since both of us are from Los Angeles and are Mexican, we thought the strength to complete a feat like this was in our DNA.
However, there were two things we didn’t take into account: First, the fact that we were doing this challenge on the same day Mexico was playing a vital game against Croatia in the 2014 World Cup. And two, the fact that eating 35 tacos from 35 places in the same day is damn near impossible.
Here’s what happened.
1. Each must eat their own taco. Meaning 35 tacos each.
2. Each must finish their taco.
3. We must ask the cashier what the best taco is and order at least one of them.
4. If the taco comes with two tortillas, one may be removed.
11:01 a.m. — Fish Grill, grilled fish taco and fried fish taco
Justin Abarca: Mine is awesome. But it’s huge!
Norberto Briceño: This is fucking good! I’M PUMPED! We got 34 more tacos to go.
11:32 a.m. — Escuela, two pork rib tacos
JA: These are way more expensive than they need to be. At least they’re small.
NB: These are some super “L.A.” tacos, like in the gimmicky way. White people would love this.
12:10 p.m. — Frida Tacos, cochinita pibil taco and chicken mole taco
NB: These are dope. But they have enough meat in them for, like, three more tacos. Generally, that’s cool, but not ideal for our current situation.
JA: I think we’ve — no pun intended — bitten off more than we can chew.
12:48 p.m. — #1 Cactus, asada taco and al pastor taco
JA: This is what a taco is supposed to be. Fresh, simple, cheap, and delicious.
NB: Uhhh… The Mexico-Croatia game is starting!
JA: Oh shit!
1:05 p.m. — Calle Tacos, fish taco and al pastor taco
NB: ::visibly dismayed:: This fish taco is ridiculous. Look at this thing. IT’S HUGE.
JA: Mine is normal.
NB: I’m starting to feel some slight acid reflux. Also, nothing is happening in the first half so far.
JA: Let’s try and get to our next place at halftime. Hopefully they have the game on.
2:10 p.m. — Yuca’s Tacos, asada taco and cochinita pibil
NB: They don’t have a TV.
JA: THEY DON’T HAVE A TV?
NB: THEY DON’T HAVE A FUCKING TV!
JA: ::eats taco as fast as humanly possible:: Let’s go!
::Both rush back to car and get in as the radio announcer goes crazy since Mexico just scored its first goal::
Both: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! ::banging on dashboard with joy::
NB: YUCA! GET A FUCKING TV!!!
2:46 p.m. — Mexicali Tacos, al pastor taco and asada taco
NB: These are…like…dope.
JA: And well-plated.
NB: The freshly made corn tortilla adds to the awesomeness of the tacos. Mental note: I’m definitely coming back here. Like, for real.
JA: Me too.
3:30 p.m. — Guisados, cochinita pibil taco and steak picado taco
JA: I can’t believe I’ve never been here.
NB: Me either. Everybody working here is wearing a Mexico jersey. That’s what’s up!
JA: This is the best taco I’ve ever eaten.
NB: This might actually be the best taco spot…EVER. These tacos are legit. Like, I don’t feel like we just ate eight tacos.
JA: Yep, and we aren’t even halfway done yet.
::Both get sad::
3:40 p.m. — King Taco, al pastor taco and asada taco
JA: We came upon this place sooner than I wanted to. I really don’t see what the fuss is about this place.
NB: I don’t get why people love King Taco. I feel like I’m at a McDonald’s right now. This al pastor taco is just like, meh. I’m gonna give them the benefit of the doubt and just say that we caught them on a bad day.
JA: I’m starting to feel full. And bad. Fully bad.
3:58 p.m. — Cemitas Tepeaca, cabeza taco and lengua taco
NB: This lengua meat is REALLY tender.
JA: And small.
NB: But, like, even though they taste great, my body still doesn’t want to ingest them. I might be feeling a tad bit like shit, but like Mexico, we will soldier on.
4:06 p.m. — Los Cinco Puntos, two tripa (fried intestines) tacos
NB: LOL. Look at that sign. Voted one of “Rachel Ray’s best tacos in all of the U.S.!”
JA: It must be good, then. Plus, there’s a little old lady making tortillas by hand.
NB: She looks like my grandma.
JA: She looks like my grandma.
NB: The tortilla is a little too thick. It’s really good! But one bite is equivalent to three. Not helping our situation. ::burp::
JA: I think it’s safe to say that at this point, I’M starting to feel like shit.
4:45 p.m. — Tacos Baja, fried fish taco and fried shrimp taco
JA: Damn! Whittier Blvd. is bumping right now!
NB: That Mexico win was huge, yo. ::bites into shrimp taco:: Ugh, I can feel the grease course through my veins…like sludge.
JA: Oddly enough I actually don’t feel full, just…terrible.
5:30 p.m. — Mariscos Linda, two fish tacos
NB: NO MORE FUCKING FISH TACOS! That being said, these are delicious.
JA: I need some Tums. I feel like there’s a Dementor following me.
6:04 p.m. — El Parian, asada taco and birria (slow-roasted goat) taco
NB: The birria is off the hook, but I’m depressed for some reason.
JA: Probably because we’ve eaten 14 motherfucking tacos.
NB: And these are FUCKING massive, like a goddamn fucking burrito.
JA: This day is making us say “fuck” a lot.
6:36 p.m. — Random taco stand outside of a Smart and Final, al pastor taco and asada taco
NB: I’m feeling lightheaded.
6:51 p.m. — Leo’s Tacos, two al pastor tacos
NB: This is my favorite taco spot. They’re parked at a 76 gas station. That’s how you know it’s legit.
JA: Those big chunks of pineapple are phenomenal.
NB: For a fraction of a second, my hunger was revived, but then I realized that we just ate 16 tacos. I also have a burning sensation in my throat.
7:10 p.m. — EK Valley, two asada tacos
::Both sit and stare at the tacos for what seems like an eternity::
NB: There is nobody in the world stupider than us right now.
JA: Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
7:34 p.m. — El Gallito, lengua (tongue) taco and cabeza (head meat) taco
NB: How you feeling?
JA: I feel like shit! I hate tacos! I hate myself! I hate this whole fucking thing!
7:54 p.m. — Taco stand outside of the Signature Cafe, chicken taco and asada taco
NB: Remember when I suggested we do 50? ::begins laughing maniacally::
JA: There is no way we are eating 35. Is 20 respectable?
NB: I think so. That means Tito’s Tacos will be our last.
JA: Fuck. Tito’s.
8:15 p.m. — Tito’s Tacos, two hard-shell ground beef tacos
NB: Any other day…I’d be down for Tito’s… Today…I’m not down for Tito’s.
JA: These are disgusting.
NB: These are…not… DAT CHEESE!
JA: Can we call it a day?
NB: Wait…I think I can maybe — no. We’re done.
So, that was it. Twenty tacos was all we could each do. There are some challenges that are best left unchallenged, and this was one of them. It will probably be quite some time until either of us consumes another taco, which is unfortunate because tacos are delicious. Eh, who are we kidding? We’ll probably have tacos tomorrow. Just not 20 of them, that is.