Do you operate a food truck in Dallas? Have you ever patronized a Dallas food truck? Well, you need to thank Veletta Forsythe Lill. The outgoing executive director of the Dallas Arts District, home to internationally renowned arts institutions and free public events that she’s helped foster, fought to have food regulations reformed so that you could enjoy Dallas’ best-smelling truck and the whiz-bang of K-Mex, not to mention ignite the celebrity of at least one area blogger. So, thank her. Lill is a hero, a champion of arts, culture and cuisine and someone who knows what she likes in a taco.
What is your favorite taco-related childhood memory?
I confess that I grew up in the Midwest in the 1950s and ’60s so tacos were not a staple. Besides the standard casseroles and Jell-O dishes of the period, our ethnic food was more European Union than Latin American. My taco, Tex-Mex, Mexican food addition was born in the 1980s when we moved to Dallas. I am thrilled to say that our city and America has become far more sophisticated about our food over the years.
What is your favorite taqueria/taco joint?
Fuel City for barbacoa. Brisket tacos at Mia’s. A lot of things I like about Fuel City tacos—freshness, the white corn tortillas, meat that is seasoned just right, fresh cilantro, lime wedge and price. These are tacos that I can dream of and the dream is attainable. It seems the food I miss the most when I have been out of the country—tacos.
What would your dream taco be composed of?
I love fish tacos, but you can taste many without finding just the right flavor mix. My favorite fish tacos in Dallas are Taco Diner’s. But I am a true fan of the Baja style and without breading. The white, flaky fish should be well-seasoned without being overpowered, fresh shredded cabbage and the sauce should be light and creamy with flecks of cilantro. Fresh cilantro, chopped onions and lime on the side. Reminder to all taco purveyors—no taco should be served without fresh lime. The best fish taco places are usually little shacks in coastal cities. The most shocking place I ever had a good fish taco was an airport vendor in Indianapolis. Unfortunately, when the airport relocated the restaurant didn’t come with it. Now it’s only chains.