It only takes one layer—gazing at the Davis Plaza storefront—to realize that El Cebolla Taquería doesn’t exist, contrary to what the red and green letters above the door indicate. And don’t bother asking the pregnant woman who stops peeling tomatillos to take your order what El Cebolla refers to. (My research indicates a soccer player.) She only knows that it should get the feminine article. The restaurant is under new management, she’ll say, after explaining you can sit wherever you’d like.
“We’re really Mi Tierrita, now. Who knows what the old name meant?”
What everyone should know is that the simple taquería and pupusería (likely owned by Salvadorans) is as endearing as Tradewinds Social Club across the street. If the off-putting exterior of the diver bar opposite Mi Tierrita isn’t a sufficient barrier to its day-saving stiff drinks, then the shopping strip housing the taco joint, a fast-food Chinese shop, a botanica and a gas station ought not prevent you from fantastic pastor, fatty barbacoa, unassuming bistec and lengua sliced in long fingers and cradled by respectable corn tortillas. The accompanying garnishes of grilled onions and a cilantro-white onion mixture are equally good.
But it’s the traditional pastor and two other south-of-the-border specialties that are the genuine attraction at Mi Tierrita. Each of the latter are served in flour tortillas heated on the griddle to the point where layers of the enveloping flatbread begin to peel.
The taco campechano, referring to the Mexican state of Campeche, is a mixture of pastor and carne asada bound by a web of Jack cheese. Salty, nutty and charred flavors alternate with each bite of the papery—and buttery—taco. It’s only improved by the condiments and the smooth house-made salsa verde.
The taco pirata, a Monterrey, Mexico, specialty of grilled bistec hugged by the same melted white cheese as the campechano, is a simpler nosh. Yet, no less enjoyable.
Each reminded me that we’ll probably never have the diversity of tacos in the U.S. that exists in Mexico. We most likely can’t catch up with thousands of years of history, but we should damn near try. Mi Tierrita serves phenomenal tacos.
When I return, I’ll have the space to sample the tacos al vapor, steamed tacos available few and far between in Dallas. Perhaps I’ll try the pupusas. Let’s just hope they’re as good as the pirata and the campechano.Mi Tierrita Taquería y Pupusería 2838 W. Davis St. 214-333-2300