Everything is better with a taco, especially the young but formidable Oak Cliff Film Festival, which calls the Texas Theatre home. Within tortilla-flinging distance (and all over the neighborhood) of the historic movie house are scads of notable taquerias and restaurants. Once again, we offer our recommendations.
Los Torres Taqueria, 1322 W. Clarendon Dr., 214-946-3770
This mom-and-pop shop is something special. It’s the only Dallas restaurant specializing in Sinaloan-style meat preparations, and where you go when you want excellent tacos. The Torres family has never failed when it comes to serving northern Mexican dishes like cinnamon-spiked birria de chivo, luscious cabeza (a mix of beef cheek and tongue) and barbacoa roja estilo Sinaloa, which has pork and beef in every exquisite bite. True to the state of origin, order your tacos in handmade flour tortillas. But if you insist, at least request the handmade corn tortillas.
La Tacoqueta, 2324 W. Clarendon Dr., Ste. 100, 214-943-9991
On a strip of Clarendon dominated by auto shops and faded concrete, cheekily named La Tacoqueta is a sepia, wood and tile haven offering hit-the-spot tacos of carne asada, chicken and al pastor.Alas, there is no spit. The breakfast tacos come with handmade tortillas but others don’t. The service is always on point and the salsa is always fiery.
Fito’s Tacos de Trompo #2, 3113 W. Davis St.
This joint is hard to miss. Just look for the painting of Monterrey’s geographic landmark, the Serro de la Silla mountain, and the restaurant’s name is big red letters. Order the signature menu item, tacos de trompo—the northern Mexican cousin of tacos al pastor seasoned with paprika, not a chile, achiote and citrus adobo, and roasted on the vertical spit called, you guessed it, a trompo. But bring cash. Fito’s doesn’t accept plastic.
I’ll be giving a fun little chat about tacos at the next Slow Food Dallas event. The cross-posted shindig info is below.
Slow Food Dallas is proud to present a Taco Talk with José R. Ralat at Four Corners Brewing Co. on May 8th from 6pm-9pm. José will share the story of the taco, from its humble Mexican beginnings to its place in Dallas food culture today.
As José puts it, “the story of the taco is one of religion and sacrifice, of conquest and reconquest, of multiculturalism and nourishment, both dietary and spiritually. It doesn’t recognize borders, but it is specific to time and place. The taco in Oaxaca is not the taco in Los Angeles or Gutherie, Oklahoma, and at its base is corn: a food that transformed the way humanity eats and lives.”
In addition to José’s presentation, we’ll be enjoying food from Taco Party, featuring some of Dallas’ best tacos al pastor.
Tickets are $15 and on sale now. Tickets include admission to the presentation and two tacos, one al pastor and one fried potato. Beer will be available for sale before, during, and after the presentation.
This event has limited availability, so please purchase your ticket in advance at http://tacotalk.eventbrite.com./
6:15pm- 7:00pm: Tacos + Beer
7:00pm- 8:00pm: Presentation and Discussion
8:00pm- 9:00pm: Beer + Conversation
Get your ticket today and join us for an evening of history, lore, and most importantly, tacos!!
The corporate-manufactured holiday National Taco Day, October 4, offers us a greater opportunity to share our love of tacos and the taco life. Today through Saturday (when we’ll offer our Taco Internet roundup), the Taco Trail will feature interviews with culinary professionals, bloggers, writers and a documentary filmmaker. We’ll offer a grandote taqueria list, drop some tacos illustrated, post a review and make an announcement. Of course, we can’t forgot the Oct. 2 Tacos & Beer Dinner at Urban Taco Uptown (RSVP here) as well as deals from your favorite taco shop (Taco Cabana’s Oct. 1 offer comes to mind). Taco Day’s got nothing on Taco Week.
Catch up on Taco Week posts.
Myriad restaurants and bars have hosted highfalutin beer dinners with sticker shock price tags, but rarely have they offered affordable dining events, especially locally. (The Common Table’s Pour Man Dinner series is one exception.) Lobster and Dogfish Head Noble Rot are a fine and dandy coupling, but who eats like that everyday? Beer, like the taco, is for everyone. The two belong together. That’s why I hosted taco truck and beer extravaganza TacoCon (Cerveza) at Four Corners Brewing Co. And I’m not done yet. Now I’m partnering with Urban Taco and Deep Ellum Brewing Co. to present a proper tacos and beer dinner.
The five-course “Tacos + Beer” dinner at the Uptown Urban Taco is a one-night-only event showcasing beer-inspired dishes, among them Urban Taco classics and new items created specially for the event, alongside DEBC’s local craft beers. The latter includes Holy Mole Brew, an exclusive release that pays tribute to Urban Taco owner Markus Pineyro’s mother’s mole poblano recipe. That delightful concoction will be served with the Churrnut, a churro-doughnut filled with housemade cajeta and topped with chocolate Abuelita. Also on the menu—and this one I’m really jazzed about—it is the Double Brown Stout six-hour braised barbacoa matched with Dallas Blonde ale. The contrast works beautifully. A salsa and beer trio kicks off the meal.
Seating and the commemorative custom pilsner glasses are limited. So make your reservation for the $45 dinner by calling 214-922-7080 or visiting the Eventbrite page.
WHEN: Wednesday, October 2, 6:30—9:30 p.m.
WHERE: Urban Taco Uptown, 3411 McKinney Ave., Dallas, TX 75204
COST: $45 per person. Reservations required
While we recovered from the smash hit that was TacoCon (Cerveza) at Four Corners Brewing Co., Taco Trail visited Taco Wagon‘s new incarnation. We also began planning TacoCon Fort Worth. Entree Dallas has news that our friends at the aforementioned brewery will be the exclusive beer provider at the Texas Discovery Gardens during the State Fair of Texas. City of Ate ran a post about Taqueria Conin, the joint that took over the original Tacos La Banqueta space on Carroll Street, when the latter operation was evicted. Fans of the longtime Dallas favorite shouldn’t have to wait long (depending on your level of patience) to once more relish excellent suadero and slurpy, fatty cabeza. There are whispers East Dallas will soon have a new taco spot and, yes, TacoCon is rolling into Cowtown.
Elsewhere, Julia Child’s favorite taco spot has long lines, Chicago Tacos goes for tinga, steamy DF has its place in Santa Barbara and more.
As recognizable as the calaveras of Dia de los Muertos, loteria cards bearing archetypal figures drawn by Don Clemente Gallo in a Tarot-esque fashion are fixtures of Mexican popular culture. The cards, employed in a bingo-like game of chance, have inspired countless designers and artists. La Luna (the moon) adorns a switchplate. The wall concealing the bathrooms in Fito’s Tacos de Trompo #2 on West Davis Street is painted with a loteria card mural. Four Corners Brewing Company in West Dallas models its beer labels after the cards. And since we’re partnering with them to present TacoCon (Cerveza), we’d thought we have a little fun with them too.
In the run up to the festival, we’re releasing our own loteria cards, created by Alexander Flores. Print them. Collect them. Bring them to TacoCon (Cerveza) and use them to vote for your favorite taco truck. The first one, El Taco, is being released here. The rest will be available only on the North Texas Taco Festival Facebook page. ¡Buena suerte!
Because one taco festival a year isn’t enough, the North Texas Taco Festival and Four Corners Brewing Company are hosting Dallas-Fort Worth TacoCon (Cerveza), the area’s first celebration of the lonchera, or taco truck. The Friday, September 6, event will be held on the grounds of Four Corners Brewing Company at the foot of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, from 6 p.m.–10 p.m.
And it will truly be regional, with five trucks and trailers from Dallas and Fort Worth. They are: Chile Pepper Grill, Holy Frijole, Ssahm BBQ, Taco Heads, and Taco Party. Each lonchera will be selling their unique take on your favorite food. Four Corners will have its bar space open for beer by the pint, including a one-off special brewed for TacoCon (Cerveza). Of course, there will be live musical entertainment.
There will be plenty of free parking and no admission charge. All you have to do is show up hungry for tacos with beer.
RSVP at www.tacoconcerveza.eventbrite.com, and check out TacoCon (Cerveza)’s Facebook event page.
Wow. Wow again. You made the first North Texas Taco Festival a success beyond our wildest expectations. Thank you, and thank you for the feedback on our inaugural taco celebration. A special thanks to the vendors, special guests and all who made the NTTF a fantastic event. The producing team promises to make the second annual NTTF even better, with more vendors and shorter lines. Before then, though, take a look-see at some photos from Taco Trail’s design honcho, Alex Flores.
If you’ve been watching Top Chef Seattle, you know of the three Dallas chefs competing on the reality TV cooking show. Week before last, John Tesar, one of those toques, was voted off the show, but was given a chance at redemption through a text messaging and a social media campaign. The latter counted the number of times the #SaveChefJohn hashtag was mentioned on Twitter versus that of his opponent. During the popularity contest’s run, I tweeted to Tesar that he’d have my #SaveChefJohn vote if he agreed to offer a one-night-only seafood taco special at his Preston Center restaurant, Spoon Bar & Kitchen. He did agree, and will have the taco available tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 15.
Before I share the type of taco, I’d like to tell you. Tesar knows his way around a taco. The chef John helped develop the Wild Salsa menu and concept before handing it over to Kelly Hightower. I’m expecting a solid taco born of his familiarity with the food and his expertise with seafood. The man knows his stuff. Continue reading