Category Archives: Taco Ticker

A Snappy History of the Taco: It Happened All at Once

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Last Thursday I gave a presentation about taco history and its place in DFW’s food culture at Four Corners Brewing Co., benefiting Slow Food Dallas. It didn’t go as planned. A storm took about the venue’s power and led me to improvise. Below is what the lecture I would’ve given if Mother Nature had cooperated.

Thank you, Liz and Slow Food Dallas for having me here—at my favorite brewery, no less. Thank you, Rafael and Eduardo and the family of Taco Party, for your wonderful tacos. Those fried potatoes tacos are among Dallas’ best. And lest you think they’re “gringo tacos,” you should know that fried potatoes tacos are traditional tacos dorados (fried tacos), rolled or flat depending on the region. They’re found all over Mexico.

Fried tacos tend to have a bad reputation, stirring up chilling visions of Taco Bell and prefabricated stale, fragile shells. Glenn Bell, Taco Bell’s founder, wasn’t doing anything new or particularly special, when he opened his first fast-food crispy taco restaurant in 1962. Fried tacos are a tried-and-true variation of the reason why we’re here tonight. In Jalisco state, home of tequila, mariachi and the stewed goat preparation birria, and Michoacán, the birthplace of carnitas, tacos dorados are a common breakfast taco. Continue reading

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Taco Internet: Discovery Biergarten, Breakfast Tacos & Walqueria

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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.

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Taco Internet: Canada, Tacos on the Radio and Eating Chicano

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It’s been a week of ups and downs. Taco Trail got the details on Salsa Limon‘s expansion into Dallas directly from the owner and dug the signature taco, El Capitan, a pan-Mexican treat pulling from several regions. However, we had to experience a big bummer in the form of dry pastor (which might or might have not come from a sparkly clean trompo).

Nearby, Rusty Taco beat out Fuel City in the Dallas Morning News‘ taqueria popularity contest. Our compadres at L.A. Taco catch up with Jarrod and Mando from Taco Journalism. A Canadian experiences one of the greatest moments of his life (after the jump). After hitting crypto-Jewish kosher tacos in El Paso, explaining the Navajo taco and visiting the cradle of the breakfast taco, KJZZ in Phoenix wrapped up their excellent taco week with K-Mex. The segments, on the development of tacos on this side of the border, are short and well worth the listen. And before we move on to the roundup, if you’re in Dallas-Fort Worth make sure to RSVP for the taco truck and craft beer festival presented by the North Texas Taco Festival and Four Corners Brewing Company, TacoCon (Cerveza). Admission is free. Continue reading

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Taco Internet: London, Conquest and a Taco Named María

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We’re all over the map this week. Nick filed a two-in-one review of Las Casitas and Ome Calli. He declares the former establishment one of the best taquerias in Oregon and exclaims the deliciousness of corn-flavored dessert (C’mon, America, get with the program!) at Ome Calli. I spent a Sunday lunch at a meat market and found what I expected, damn good meats. You see, carnicerias (meat markets/butcher shops) tend to have better-than-average taco fillings because they’re the source used by surrounding taquerias. Get the barbacoa. Then, get more barbacoa to go.

Elsewhere, the Simpsons go into the lonchera business and OC Weekly is jazzed about an impending taqueria opening.

The Jolly Oyster Kitchen Has A Fried Oyster Taco That Will Haunt Your Dreams (In the Good Way) 〜 Ventura State Beach — L.A. Taco

Restaurant review: Taqueria, London W11The Telegraph

Duffy Brewery, Lard Lad, Bumblebee Man Taco Truck NOW OPEN in the Simpsons Theme Park — Eater

2 Weeks Until Taco María Opens — Stick a Fork in It

And don’t forget TacoCon (Cerveza) at Four Corners Brewing Co. This week, the NTTF released its latest in its festival-related loteria card series. Collect them all.

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Taco Internet: The Bus, Guisados and Failing

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After months of positive experiences at taquerias in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio, I came across a stinker of a joint. Maybe it’s because I’ve been concentrating on an article about a little considered taco (not the breakfast kind) and have stuck to the familiar or sure things. Maybe it’s because there’s so much great stuff out there. Whatever the reason, El Ranchito #3 remains a dud.

Beyond DFW, there is the wonderful (a new Taco Bus!) and the unfortunate (Huffington Post fails at taco fails!). Oh, and Johnathan Gold goes wishy-washy in his review of Petty Cash Taqueria. Without further ado, this week’s Taco Internet roundup:

Vitamina T: Tacos de Guisado at Ricardo Diaz’s New Colonia Taco LoungeLos Angeles magazine

Taco Bus opens Brandon location on Falkenburg RoadThe Tampa Tribune

Taco Fails: When Bad Things Happen To Good Tacos — Huffington Post

El Centro to Host El Grito de Independencia & Taco Cook-OffHoltville Tribune

Taco Bell Announces Next Dorito Locos TacoAd Age

Fusion Taco Forces Me to Admit I Was WrongHoustonia

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Taco Ticker: The South, The Revamped & The Stolen

Another Friday, another Taco Internet roundup of the week’s news. Around these parts, I reviewed the Taco Pronto Cafe, a Tex-Mex diner in the Medical District, and El Pueblo Restaurant along East Jefferson Boulevard. The former trades in top-notch handmade flour tortillas, while the latter serves the best carnitas in Dallas. Alice Laussade, the Dallas Observer’s Cheap Bastard answers taco-related questions of considerable import (to me, anyway) in the latest installment of Lengua Sessions. She’ll be serving her pizza creations (mutations?) at Cane Rosso, Monday, Oct. 29, as part of the restaurant’s guest chef series. Proceeds will benefit the National MS Society.

Nearby, Teresa Gubbins shares her thoughts about Tacos & Avocados in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram review. She says the tacos at Jason Boso’s upscale taqueria concept are “generous without being unwieldy.” City of Ate, shows us photos of the Taco Cabana re-design. Central Track takes one for the team, spending an entire day at Fuel City and discovers with gas station tacos comes gas station fashion.

Elsewhere, we have the intersection of Mexican and Southern foodways, Brad Pitt and free tacos for everyone. Continue reading

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Taco Ticker: Exoticism (Sort of ), Stolen Bases and Tacos in the Desert

Another Friday, another Taco Internet roundup of the week’s news. Around these parts, I reviewed Taco Party—a Mexico City-influenced lonchera serving up a couple of gems, including fried potato tacos—and the fish tacos of new Oak Cliff sports bar PhD – Pour House Dallas, baby sister of the 17-year-old Pour House in Fort Worth, that finally secured its liquor license. While tacos as a whole were pretty good, they were oversauced but wrapped in terrific, locally-produced tortillas. James Scott of DallasVegan.com took time to chat with me about tacos and the third annual Texas State Veggie Fair, a free, outdoor festival he founded in part because even after going vegan, he pined for the State Fair of Texas’ fried food.

Nearby, Dallas Observer food critic Scott Reitz, stops into Monica’s Nueva Cocina and shares how to cut off hangovers at the pass (hint: it involves Velvet Taco’s breakfast tacos and crazy-good elotes). Teresa Gubbins calls out bully Tex-Mex-for-rich-people chain Mi Cocina for suing family-owned Honduran restaurant Mi Cocina Hondureña in Garland. Kim Pierce at the Dallas Morning News sings the praises of queso, while restaurant critic Leslie Brenner calls them awful. You know what’s not awful? The Arizona Taco Festival, going down this weekend. The producers are an inspiration who have lined up a wonderland of tacos, tequila and awesome for two days of required attendance for anyone in the vicinity of Scottsdale. And then there’s this: Continue reading

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Taco Ticker: Julia Child, Hangovers and Xoconostle

After taking last week off to let the big news about Dallas’ first bona fide taco festival sink in, Taco Ticker is back with a roundup of this week’s taco news. On the Taco Trail, I reviewed rare—for Dallas—tacos al vapor, steamed tacos hawked by myriad street-side taqueros in Mexico. Veletta Forsythe Lill, the outgoing executive director of the Dallas Arts District and driving force behind the success of food trucks in town, took time to answer taco-related questions. Finally, the week’s second review hit up Mi Fondita, a new restaurant owned and operated by natives of Michoacán state, Mexico. Yes, regional specialties are available. And, yes, it’s worth multiple visits.

Elsewhere, on the Taco Internet, we follow in Julia Child’s footsteps, put the entire Tacodeli to the test and oh so much more: Continue reading

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Taco Ticker: Underground, on the Hill & Free

Friday on the trail means Taco Ticker, a selection of light, taco-related reading from around the web. This week’s pickings include free tacos, tacos on film and one town’s culinary transformation. Around these parts, I reviewed two amazing San Antonio breakfast taco joints as well as Mi Tierrita in Oak Cliff, where I found regional treasures (in flour tortillas). Over at Nation’s Restaurant News, Ron Ruggless announced Chili’s is testing a taco pizza in the Dallas market and Teresa Gubbins gave us a pre-opening look at Soleo Mexican Kitchen that will specialize in tacos and food from Jalisco, Mexico. Before we take in jalisciense cuisine, let’s take a trip to the Garden State.

Blueberries to tacos: South Jersey town’s shift de cuisine — Philly.com

Documentary Filmmaker Chronicles the Lives of Local Taco Truck Operators — Columbus Underground

Taco Cabana Celebrates Free Taco Day With 30,000 Chickens — QSR Magazine

Taco Bell expanding Cantina Bell menu — The Orange County Register

Taco Bell thrives inside a Cobble Hill hospital — New York Daily News

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Taco Ticker: Breakfast, Torched and the Best

Friday on the trail means Taco Ticker, a selection of light, taco-related reading from around the web. This week’s pickings include hipsters, Canadian television and lighting a fire under the rear of an Austin-import in Houston. Closer to home, it’s been great for tacos. Tacos La Banqueta and Tortilleria La Nueva Fresh & Hot, my top two taquerías in town, were given Best Of nods by the Dallas Observer. Cafe Maya, my go-to restaurant for tacos de cochinita pibil was listed as having the best queso. Also, the weekly’s food critic, Scott Reitz, added a barbacoa de cachete taco to his 100 Favorite Dishes of the year. Goghee re-opened in a larger space and will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow. Farther afield, in Roanoke, Chef Jason Boso unveiled his new concept, Tacos & Avocados, giving the suburbs a taste of the specialty taco craze that is running its course in cities. Taco Bell’s popularity, however, is unwavering.

Passion Pit Address Taco Bell ‘Take A Walk’ Controversy: “It’s An Amazing Opportunity” — Fresh 102.7  FM

Tepid Torchy’s: A beloved Austin food truck goes corporate, and while much of the charm is lost, the breakfast tacos still deliver — Houston Press

‘Taco Wars’ Is Coming to Tuscon — Tuscon Weekly

What to Eat in Austin: Breakfast Tacos — The Daily Meal

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