“One Shot” is an occasional series reviewing non-taquerías’ tacos.
The Design District is coming up in the world—the restaurant world. It began with the 2010 opening of the Meddlesome Moth, a highfalutin gastropub from the team behind the Flying Saucer beer-bar chain (Shannon Wynn, Keith Schlabs, Larry Richardson and co.). When Oak opened in December 2011 near the Moth, critics were floored by the fine-dining destination. Taco Stop served its first eponymous offerings in February 2012. The anticipated October opening of Matt McCallister’s restaurant, FT33, will probably top foodies’ Best Of 2012 lists. Also destined for year-end accolades is Nick Badovinus’ Off-Site Kitchen, a casual luncheonette evoking an Alpine beer hall-fast food joint hybrid. Among the menu items is the much ballyhooed Crispy Sloppy Taco.
What impressed me most about the crunchy taco was its marvelous shell. It didn’t shatter like a suburban window baptized by a sandlot baseball upon first bite. Instead, it had elasticity and bounced back after I put it down to wipe the spiky ranch dressing that had been fired from the taco’s ends off my lips, fingers and chin.
The hefty rendition of a child’s Tex-Mex standard oozed not only white sauce but also finely ground beef that remained flat after shell returned to its loose position. Lettuce, tomato and a “Mexican fiesta” cheese blend sprang loose from the munchy. Still, the taco did not disintegrate. It was a wonder. However wonderful the Sloppy Taco was, aggressive sloppy Joe-like seasoning—the taco’s name isn’t based solely on how it eats—especially the cloying tomato wallop, left my throat feeling like a bonobo’s plaything.
I appreciate the novelty, but next time I’m at Off-Site Kitchen I’ll go for the signature burger. I hear it’s a scream. Man, can’t live on tacos alone.Off-Site Kitchen 2226 Irving Blvd. 214-741-2226