I’ve taken up to five buses and a DART rail line to get to a taquería. Several, including La Nueva Fresh & Hot and Tacos La Banqueta, are worth more than that. But not all the businesses I visit are tried-and-true Mexican joints that impress with south-of-the-border signature antojitos. Some are gourmet food trucks and fast-casual counter-service concerns that deserve as much kudos as the aforementioned treasures. Adding to my previous assembly of favorite non-traditional tacos, here are five more.
Latin Love at Taco Ocho
One of two remarkable Richardson fast-casual taco joints, Taco Ocho cruises into pan-Latino territory. Among the eight tacos available, the Latin Love is hunk. Its threads of salt-tinged beef lead into the sweetness provided by slice of fried ripe plantain, accented a by smear of refried black beans, a drizzle of salsa verde and a sprinkle of cotija. And to wrap it up, the corn tortilla withstands the heft of the fine contents.
Daeji at Ssahm BBQ
Sweet, salty and caliente, this K-Mex selection is a triple changer of a taco, when it comes to its flavor profile. While each component—kimchee, a sesame-soy vinaigrette-dressed slaw, required garnishes of cilantro and onions and a gochujang-based salsa—takes an endearing whack at your palate, they coalesce into a zippy wallop at the sloppy end. If you want to talk food pairings, go with a basket of kimchee fries. It kicks you in the throat and kicks you later, too.
BBQ Pork at Nammi Truck
Bành mì sandwiches are amazing by themselves. The bành mì at Nammi, Dallas’ most popular food truck, are more so. Tweak the traditional dish’s contents before throwing them into a couple of decent corn tortillas and what you get is a bang up job of taco, with sautéed red cabbage, cucumbers, pickled daikon and carrots as well as a helping of jalapeños and cilantro.
Steak Frites at Taco Republic
Simple, straightforward steak with fries, a dish that has warmed the hearts and bellies of generations of bistro dwellers. In Richardson, this meat-and-potatoes platter is given the shrink-ray treatment, tucked into a handmade corn tortilla and capped with a blue-cheese cream sauce.
Honey Bear at Good 2 Go Taco
Good 2 Go. It’s where Dallas goes for good—strike that—great gourmet tacos. One knockout at the East Dallas locavore taco spot is the Honey Bear, a salty, happy parcel of honey-chile bacon with a fistful of spinach, scrambled eggs and goat cheese. While you’re there, grab a cup of Cultivar coffee, the smoothest Java in town.