This past Saturday, Feb. 23, three other men and I—with at least one casualty to National Margarita Day—set off for Fort Worth and its tacos. Our first stop was the Swiss Pastry Shop, a local institution opened in 1973 and owned and operated by Hans Peter Muller, son of the founder. Servers were scurrying about slammed after the first of two days of Cowtown races. Racers and their friends and families were grubbing down on hearty breakfast and lunch fare, while those waiting for a table were ogling the pastry cases, where Hans’ specialties including Swinkies and the Black Forest Cake waited for the likes us.
We were there for a day of tacos, among them the dessert tacos that I joked on Twitter Hans should create. A month later, the several of cajeta cheesecake cream, applewood-smoked bacon and candied jalapeños in a chocolate-dipped almond praline shell gems were ready. Rich and messy, kicking and sweet, the dessert tacos were as far from the Klondike Choco Taco as you could get—and fantasti! I had two at the shop, some mind-quieting flourless Black Forest Cake, as well as a Fort Worth Cheese Steak sandwich—sliced and grilled smoked ribeye with Hatch chiles and queso blanco—with three dessert tacos to go. Some chorizo and egg breakfast taco in a hand-rolled flour tortilla was thrown in for good measure. It was 11 a.m. Roadrunner Eats, Robert and Hans were off.
From the Swiss Pastry Shop, we set off for Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant, another Fort Worth landmark and the reason I went crosstown. Roadrunner Eats wanted my take on the food there. Food he doesn’t much care for, to put it politely. The sliver of enchilada I had was terrible. Its red chile sauce tasted like it had turned. The crispy taco with a shell fried earlier that day was decent but a few more minutes and the soggy bottom would’ve succumbed to weight of the mild beef and sweet tomato salsa wedged inside the yellow envelope. Continue reading
Alice Laussade laughs in the face of bar soap. The James Beard Award-nominated columnist for Dallas Observer’s food section likes to write using dirty words and doesn’t care about your delicate constitution. You either get the joke, or you don’t. That’s what she’s like on paper and on the Internet. But if you know Alice, you’ll see that, yes, she has that saucy quality, but she’s also a kind person, happy to help friend or stranger.
Case in point: Meat Fight, an annual barbecue competition benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This year, the smoked-meats soiree is going big, moving from Laussade’s backyard to Sons of Hermann Hall. The Deep Ellum venue will host some of Dallas’ top-dog chefs competing in teams for plaudits handed down by an intimidating panel of judges, including pit wizards Justin Fourton and Aaron Franklin as well as BBQ writer Daniel Vaughn.
If you haven’t already purchased your tickets to Meat Fight, you’re out of luck. The fundraiser is sold out. However, there is room at Cane Rosso, where Laussade will be making face with the oven on Monday, Oct. 29, as part of the pizzeria’s guest chef series. Her turn with the paddle will also benefit the National MS Society.
Did I just blow your cover, Alice? Whatever. You already answered the “Lengua Sessions” interview questions. Speaking of which: Continue reading
I’ll never be cool. Cool people keep their cool. Eating great tacos makes me want to shout and dance. The selection at the Tacos La Banqueta in Arlington, the largest of the area chain’s outposts (two locations in Dallas, one recently opened in Fort Worth) make keeping my composure impossible.
All five tacos my wife and I enjoyed were clean—except when they weren’t supposed to be, in the case of the cabeza, which had pulling beef and nuggets of fat clinging to the meat kept tidy within bantam oil-free tortillas and no sign of cracking under the pressure of its filling. Continue reading