NACOGDOCHES — Tucked away inside the Shell gas station at the corner of North Street and West Main in Nacogdoches is a hidden gem serving up generous portions and bold flavors for prices that are practically a steal.

Taqueria Carlos is a must-try for fans of authentic Mexican food, offering daily specials and a full menu that includes some American favorites, too. Although I’ve dined inside the gas station twice, the taqueria is largely a takeout venture, as the lone tiny booth is just big enough to accommodate two diners and probably sees its fair share of competition from coffee-drinkers and scratch-off ticket fanatics, as well.

Brie Bradford is a pseudonym for the food critic of The Lufkin News. Her email is