Indian Tacos In The Time of COVID-19

It’s been about five months since Oklahoma was diagnosed with Covid-19 and, almost as traumatic, it’s been even longer since I’ve had an Indian Taco that I didn’t personally make myself. While mine are merely okay, I’ve desperately missed the homespun camaraderie and homemade frybread from the various Indigenous fundraisers around town.

Glory be, aiming for a safe and secure drive-through situation, the Oklahoma City Pow Wow Club took over the Church of the Open Arms, 3131 N. Penn Ave., on Saturday to make sure this culinary culture of edible godliness wasn’t going to be forgotten in this emerging (and re-emerging) era of viral infection.

It was unbearably hot that day. The sun’s harsh beams reflected off the pavement, giving me a slight burn on my skin. But that radiating heat was worth it, because, if only for one day, Indian Tacos were back in town and back in my stomach.

As a homeless guy spun a handmade sign near the street—“Sorry, I don’t smoke…” I told him when he asked to bum a cigarette—I made my way past the slight handful of parked cars, full of families either impatiently waiting or masking up, all about to place their much-needed orders of comfort eats for the long weekend.

There was supposed to be a craft sale too, but there was only one table bravely selling jewelry outside; a small klatch gathered around her handmade goods as people, too tired to haggle, typically gave her what she was looking for. As much as I valued her Indigenous hustle, there was nothing there for me today. Maybe next time.

Entering the solemn doors of this UCC church—one that had a welcoming Pride flag on its frontage that let patrons know “all people” were welcomed here—I stood off to the side, waiting my turn at a socially responsible distance, as random kids were running various Indian Tacos and Pow Wow Burgers out to cars waiting with the air conditioners on, probably at full blast.

Sitting at the table, a man with sweat beading down his head asked me what I wanted today; I let him know that I’m looking for a couple of Indian Tacos. Within seconds, he had two Styrofoam containers delivered to the table, fresh from the fryer and filed with some good culinary medicine, even if they weren’t doing drinks and a dessert this go ’round.

Seven dollars times two paid in full, I took my cartons and covered them in a crisp plastic bag from an area fast-food joint as more white boxes were stacked on the table, orders to go out immediately.

My facial protection down on my chin for the ride home, the scent of good meat and proud bread tore through the holes on my face (and possibly neck), giving me a prophetic idea of what was coming in a couple of minutes; made by the crack team of elders and their young helping hands, as the church faded behind me, I was so thankful to have this food.

Achieving a comfortable enough spot for mid-afternoon noshing, I used the faux-silverware included and cut right into that pillowed frybread, its heat competing with the sidewalk outside. Bringing the fork to my lips, I gently savored each golden sliver of the blessed bread, knowing full well that could be the last Indian Taco fundraiser for a while.

God, I hope not.


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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14 Responses

  1. Not gonna lie… This made me tear up
    A Beautiful Tribute Sir, A Beautiful Taco Tribute

  2. We went there too. The Indian Tacos were delicious.

  3. Shouldn’t they be called Indigenous Peoples Tacos?

    1. White guy….lol

  4. That would be a good name for the (former) Washington redskins. The Washington fighting Indian tacos.

    1. The Washington People.

  5. Tim’s Drive Inn has a special price on Indian Tacos every Wednesday! NW 50th & MacArthur Blvd.

    1. But they’re not very good compared to others I’ve eaten (my own, my dad’s, the ones at Ocarta, various other places around OK over the years), they were pretty much just average. But if you’re craving one, they’re better than nothing, I guess.

    2. I had wondered if those were good.

    3. I had an Indian taco at Tim’s Drive-Inn. It was good, but felt the bread was measureably small and round, as if a large cookie cutter was used to cut it, and so thick and doughy, as if it were baked rather traditionally fried. I was hoping for something similar to those you would buy at the State Fair, similar to but thicker than a large fried tortilla. The toppings were great and overall it was still good enough to finish. Was a good deal and killed my cravings.

  6. You really should just take your mask off if you’re in your car. Pulling it onto your chin increases your risk.

    Also, I could really go for an Indian Taco right now.

  7. People who don’t wear masks when they are out because of their “freedoms”…

    … are Maskholes. Like some of these folks:

    I just ate lunch, but I could still go for a delicious fundraiser Indian taco right about now. That’s some of the best eating there is.

  8. First American United Methodist Church in Norman has Indian Tacos the second Friday of the month from 11-2. The home made pies and cakes are the perfect ending to this real deal lunch.

  9. my favorite hole in the wall restaurant is Ann’s Country Kitchen – 26020 State Highway 58, Medicine Park, Oklahoma 73507 – their indian tacos are my favorite but split an order or order the small to save room for their home made pie. Coconut cream is worth the trip alone. You should road trip and do a review.

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