“One Shot” is a new, occasional series reviewing non-taquerías’ tacos.
The unpredictability of fire and the variables of environment require a pitmaster to be equal parts mad scientist and wide-eyed child with a natural, boundless sense of wonder. Talent helps, too.
Lockhart Smokehouse Pitmaster Will Fleischman is certainly talented. If you’ve had his brisket, you know that. If you read this blog regularly, you know that. But have you tried his remarkable smoked salsa roja? When he pours apple cider (not vinegar) into the mixture, the result is a triple whammy of sweet, tart and smoky that can improve practically anything.
The salsa, one of the ways Fleischman flexes his creative culinary muscles, recently shared menu space with a pork cheek taco special. Bold, the protein had a similar profile to the aforementioned condiment. However, the pork cheek seemed to better take to those qualities, like bluebonnets to roadsides grass patches in spring, working beautifully and in an abundant manner. The serving, nearly half a pound, my dining companion and I estimated, in a Dallas Tortilla and Tamale Factory flour tortilla, was large enough to save some for a hefty snack later that day and is another trophy on the pitmaster’s taco wall.
Unfortunately, the salsa was lost in the meat. That’s the price, a happy one at that, one pays for such a playful approach to food. I hope Fleischman never loses his tinkerer’s sensibility, because it’s led to fantastic offerings like the brisket tacos, both the Monday special and the one-time breakfast selection, not to mention the pork cheek preparation. Give me more, Will.
400 W. Davis St.