I never liked Tin Star Taco Bar. From the get-go, the concept seemed like an M Crowd restaurant’s annoying, “pat-on-the-head” clever stepbrother. Besides, at this point, the chain’s signature noisome cheeseburger taco is hackneyed. Mark Brezinski, owner of Velvet Taco, had a hand in Tin Star, and now his unfortunately named Henderson Avenue gringo taco house offers a cheeseburger taco. It’s terrible.
So, when I learned that the Tin Star was jumping the food-truck bandwagon with something called a “Taco Taxi,” the first thing I thought was, “someone already has that name.” Jorge Salvans, owner of the Taco Taxi Company, is a native of Veracruz and works the private event circuit with a trailer—but he should get into the truck biz. My next thought was I’ll wait till I stumble upon the likely treacherous fare of “Paco,” the Tin Star truck. I’m not going out of my way for their pabulum. Then I drove past the truck. It was stationed in the Sigel’s Greenville parking lot on an usually winter-like day. I was a little impressed. That quickly melted away.
The young man who took my order didn’t see altogether with it. When I asked what taco he would order if he had a choice between the Tin Star grilled fish or the chicken—I was already getting the steak—his response was flabbergasting. “We have chicken or fish. The fish is grilled.” I repeated my question. “Well, you could have both.” The two other individuals in the truck seemed content to allow the frustrating exchange to continue. One was at the griddle. The other stared blankly toward the DART rail tracks.
Finally, I said, “If there were only two tacos on the menu, the fish or the chicken, which would be the one you’d recommend the most to your customers?”
“Oh. The fish.”
The grilled tilapia, flaked like a credit-card statement through a paper shredder against the minuscule pressure of my index finger. What flavor the fish emitted—and it did little—was muted by the birds nest slaw and the two-teaming chipotle cream, sweet quickly followed by spicy.
The steak was no better. Some bites of the protein were mashed-potato mushy while others were super-bouncy ball tough. The greasy onions gave off some sweetness. However, it was squashed by the cold avocado chunks weighing down the filling.
The tortillas were gummy, cold flour jobs. And like them, Tin Star’s new four-wheeled vessel is a flop.
Facebook: Tin Star Taco Taxi