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A tent beyond the Fair Park esplanade bore an unexpected treasure during the underwhelming Taste of Dallas, 3 Men and a Taco, a gourmet taco truck concern at the time without a truck. What the operators, an enthusiastic group of chefs, former bartenders and die-hard taco fans, had was an ambitious roster of grub separated into regular— though far from original—and walking—rolled and fried, AKA dorados—tacos.
Especially delightful was the beet taco, one of my top tacos of 2011. Sadly, it’s no longer on the menu. Also relegated to the menu hereafter are the Ethiopian-inspired doro wat chicken with traditional niter kebbeh (seasoned clarified butter) and berbere (an Ethiopian spice mixture), the gator with okra as well as beef goreme, another African turn, topped with a feta sauce.
The menu has been tightened and two clever tacos have been rotated in their place, when I visited 3 Men and a Taco at a Shops at Park Lane Food Truck Fridays event.
The coconut chicken curry taco was composed of huge cubes of yellow curry-coated chicken mixed with a mango pico de gallo. Refreshing with only peeks at heat, I was glad I ate it before digging into the second taco.
Carolina BBQ, hit with a sprinkle of pico de gallo, nailed the regional style’s pulled pork presentation and reminded me of the backroad ’cue shacks I frequented during my North Carolina college years. The meat’s vinegar kick was cleanly cut by the robust heat of the pico. The garnish contributed a nice textural counterpoint to the strands of protein.
The probiotic tortillas, produced by El Lago Foodsin Austin are acceptable, nobly used vessels that take a back seat to the memorable fillings.
I have mixed feelings about the new development from 3 Men and a Taco. The crew has branched out from tacos into meat pie territory. The chef, Cameron Bonfield, is British and he’s given customers one heck of a minced meat pie, handmade from filling outward to the flaky and buttery crust. It’s a fantastic option, worth entertaining, regardless of taco availability. Other meat pies on the menu when I visited the truck were the pork roll stuffed with shredded pork and jalapenos and the Asian job, dim sims (deep-fried pork wontons). However, I’d like to see Bonfield and crew focus a little more attention on the tacos. A third selection, ideally vegetarian, would be welcome.
Everything comes in threes.
And everything is enjoyable at 3 Men and a Taco.