A few blocks beyond establishments like Ellerbe Fine Foods, the Usual, Spiral Diner and the Bearded Lady in Fort Worth’s Near Southside neighborhood, is a counter-ordering taqueria. The business, Tina’s Cocina, which opened in September 2013, offers no-nonsense tacos. They won’t knock your socks off but they’ll do you right.
The deshebrada—spelled without the “h” at Tina’s, probably to help non-Spanish speakers with the pronunciation—is brisket stewed in tomatoes and pepper until it shreds delicately. While there isn’t much in the way of heat, the taco is a homey, warm job in sweet yellow corn tortillas. Barbacoa is another pleasing nosh. Whereas most taquerias and Mexican restaurants employ beef cheek for their barbacoa, the kitchen at Tina’s uses ribs cooked covered in yucca.
The chicken, not surprisingly, was the least supportive player during the meal at Tina’s Cocina. Better were the chorizo and vegetable tacos, especially the latter, a fetching array of squash, zucchini, corn and mushroom.
Other tacos on the menu include fish and fajitas (and there’s also a full menu) but best of the bunch was the carnitas. Don’t believe the overhead menu claiming the carnitas is slow roasted, though. When I asked about the pork preparation, I was told it was cooked in the traditional manner, that is to say, pork simmered in its own fat. And it was a treat. Mellow with peeks of sweetness, the carnitas was straightforward, simple, not flashy—much like Tina’s Cocina.Tina’s Cocina 961 W. Magnolia Ave., Ste. D Fort Worth, TX 76104 817-367-9807