La Mexicana Tortilla Factory supplies taquerias and Mexican restaurants across North Texas, including El Come Taco. And for large-scale production, the tortillas the Duncanville, Texas, operation has been selling for nearly 20 years are dependable and respectable Rarely has the use of La Mexicana tortillas resulted in a poor taco for me. Occasionally, even though the tortillas aren’t fresh-off-the-press job, their application can push a mediocre taco into the realm of admirable nosh.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the case when I lunched at the seven-year-old restaurant attached to the tortilleria, Sabor a la Mexicana. The kitsch factor was turned up to 11, though. In the desolate Sunday afternoon parking lot, rusted sculptures of banditos and musicians adorned in spark plugs welcomed us.
While we ordered, the server told my wife that the restaurant is known for its enchiladas. That’s all she needed to hear to request the spinach enchilada platter: fresh spinach (Sabor’s website makes it clear it doesn’t use frozen or reheated ingredients) cozy in corn tortillas topped with silky sour cream sauce, not the magic shell stuff. They were excellent examples of a Tex-Mex specialty. My wife went so far as to call them the best spinach enchiladas she’s ever had.
The tacos—ordered a la carte, not as a combo plate, which is what I received at a steep upcharge—were not the best I’ve ever had. Of the three tacos I ate, the taco potosino, a crisp envelope of shredded chicken that flirted with dryness salvaged by the net of salty melted cheese, was the choicest. The taco’s golden color and snap was a result of a few minutes spent on a flattop griddle before plating. Tacos dorados (“golden tacos” in English), as the little beauts are called, are among the first tacos to carry the name taco. They’re also among my favorite style of taco. When one is on the menu, the counter worker or server probably won’t have enough time to finish his/her first sentence before I blurt out, “¡un taco dorado!” To make matters worse, the ho-hum rice and beans were not worth the five dollars tacked on to my order.
Meanwhile, the taco al carbon, described on the menu as a Mexican favorite, was a small parcel of dull fajita cubes in a gummy flour tortilla. My brisket taco arrived in a tepid corn tortilla with pale cuts of fatty beef that disappointed more than the al carbon.
There could be a good reason for this unfortunate experience. La Mexicana is closed on Sundays, so the tortillas weren’t fresh. They were at least a day old. But I expect a tortilla factory, especially one that has been in operation for so long, to know how to coax the life out of day-old mass-produced discs of corn and flour.
Perhaps the fish and shrimp tacos are better than the selection of meat options I ordered. Maybe I’ll find out. I’d consider returning to Sabor a la Mexicana for more enchiladas—a possibly those seafood tacos.Sabor a la Mexicana 715 Skyline Dr. Duncanville, TX 75116 972-572-5900