If you’ve picked up the February issue of D Magazine—and if you haven’t, you should—you’ve seen my feature, “The Top 20 Taquerias in Dallas.” Unfortunately, between press time and the newsstand date, two of the restaurants listed shut their doors for good, although both cited they have future projects in mind. Each cited lack of customer traffic. Taco Republic, which wowed me with the Thai Chihuahua and use of tortillas made from nixtamal, closed last month and was ranked number 7 on my list. Taco Republic didn’t make to its first anniversary. Owner Ron Guest placed the blame squarely on the fast-casual joint’s location. Taco Republic was a pain in the neck to get to. Café Maya, made it past the year mark before closing in January, but not by much. The loss of Café Maya hurt. When co-owner Sergio Pinto broke the bad news to me, it felt like someone had thrown hundreds of slap bracelet around my gut. It hurt. And not just because it meant I’d be missing the killer cochinita pibil. Café Maya was a family-owned joint that put it all out there. I hate seeing family restaurants shut down. We need more of them.
What follows are additional write-ups that could’ve been on the list for some reason. About the first: Had I visited the truck more than once before I filed my story, the mobile concern would’ve broken the top 10, as the best taco truck in the Dallas. The second, a Dallas institution owned by one of the standard-bearers of Mexican food and Tex-Mex in this city, was edged out by a late entry. Nevertheless, it’s worthy of an honorable mention, as are Birrieria Aguiñaga, Fito’s #3, La Tejanita and Taco Ocho (which I’ve reviewed in the past). Continue reading
Not all great taquerías are hovels found in neglected districts. Some shine white and clean in developing enclaves. Case in point: Revolver Taco Lounge, a contemporary Mexican restaurant awash in white with orange accents along West Seventh Street in Fort Worth.
Opened for more than a year, Revolver offers Mexican standards humble in presentation. Here, the Rojas family offers pipian, a green mole with pumpkin seeds, blankets duck breast. A lobster taco is laced with chipotle butter sauce. In the mood for huitlacoche? Revolver’s got it.
The eatery’s tacos come wrapped in house-made tortillas produced from nixtamal (i.e., the hard way) in a kitchen staffed by—stereotypically enough—smock-wearing elderly women, among them owner Gino Rojas’ mother and aunt. Continue reading
On my way to the airport for a San Diego-bound flight—and unsure about what gastronomic pitfalls or crescendos awaited me in SoCal—I stopped for tacos at one of two Doña Lencha restaurants in Irving.
The Story Road location anchors one corner of a strip mall with a large dining room, but I wasn’t there for a sit-down meal. So, I got tacos needed to gird me through my ride on Spirit Airlines as a to-go order.
To that end, I selected four gratifying tacos. So gratifying that the bizarre ending to my time there won’t deter me from returning. Inconspicuously. Continue reading
“Awesome!” the thought swims around my mind as the cabeza taco’s qualities continue to swim in my mouth. Awesome! But the cabeza, cooked for six hours, isn’t the only phenomenal taco at La Norteña Food Mart in Five Points. The pastor and carnitas options are fantastic. The beef guisada (thick stewy delight), when available is a gem. Heck, even the chicken is good.
The market/taqueria is an oasis in this rough and tumble section of Lake Highlands, a couple of blocks east of Greenville Avenue, and the subject of a previous story. Since that first post, I have returned several times to snack on tacos and for chats with the good-natured owner, Baldemar Martinez. Continue reading