It’s a big weekend for lovers of art and culture. When need you breather from the Oak Cliff Film Festival and Craft Cocktails Texas, recharge at some of Taco Trail’s favorite joints. Those in need of a change of pace, drop into the Filipino Fest at the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market. Market director Brandon Castillo tells me there will be a Filipino fusion taco available.
Craft Cocktails Texas
Hermanos Cruz Restaurant, 4525 Maple Ave., 214-586-6778
Up the road from the Stoneleigh Hotel, the cocktail convention’s nerve center, is one of Dallas’ great taco districts. This deserted-looking joint is sparsely decorated, but provides customers with knockout lamb barbacoa, a bit sweet, a bit gamey and 100% delectable.
Taquería Mezquite, 4628 Maple Ave., 214-650-2783
Across from Ojeda’s Mexican, there is a hole-in-the-wall hovel dishing out complex carnitas and barbacoa that sings with a healthy amount of fat in a handmade white corn tortilla. Also, recommended is the chorizo. Mezquite only accepts cash.
Wild Salsa, 1800 Main St., 214-741-9453
If you should find yourself downtown, grab a bite at Wild Salsa. Kelly Hightower’s home to Mexican foodways. Tacos range in price from $2.50–$3. My favorites are the roasted mushroom with rajas and the barbacoa with chipotles.
Oak Cliff Film Festival
Café Maya Mexican Kitchen & Cantina, 1001 Jefferson Blvd., 214-948-9900
This restaurant in the former Ojeda’s space is around a block away from the Bishop Arts Theatre Center, one of the venues participating in the OCFF. Ask for the habanero salsa and order the cochinita tacos, achiote and blood orange marinated pork stewed in banana leaves and topped with punchy pickled onions.
Cool & Hot, 930A E. 8th St., 214-944-5330
This converted gas station and car wash makes their corn tortillas in house and serves the best breakfast tacos south of the Trinity. Before taking on the Lee Harvey Oswald bike tour.
Mesa, 118 W. Jefferson Blvd., 214-941-4246
Although Raul & Olga Reyes’ Jefferson Avenue restaurant doesn’t trade in tacos, it does dish out some of the finest regional Mexican cuisine in Dallas. It’s a ideal brunch spot, a trompo’s throw from the Texas Theatre, HQ for the film festival. Duck leg in house-made mole and a ceviche that will cure the deepest of hangovers are what I would order. But let’s get one thing straight, going wrong at Mesa is damn near impossible.
Taquería Tiquicheo, 110 S. Marsalis Ave., Ste. A, 214-941-4300
This small, cash-only joint serves fierce pollo deshebrada, chicken stewed and shredded. Tiquicheo’s version is prepared with tomatoes and chilies. Temper the heat with a Mexican Coke.
La Nueva Fresh & Hot Tortilleria, 9625 Webb Chapel Rd., 214-358-7261
It’s far afield but La Nueva offers the best tacos in town. Period. One bite of the guisado verde, the cheek barbacoa or the mole and the world around you slips into insignificance.