Credit: Stuart Mullenberg
Authors note: I wrote the backpage “Quench” essay for Imbibe Magazine’s Texas issue, the first issue dedicated to the drink culture of a single state. My contribution explores taco and beer pairings. To read more from the issue click here.
After my wife and son, I have two great loves—tacos and beer. For my food blog, Taco Trail, I’ve eaten at hundreds of taquerías and Mexican restaurants in my adopted hometown of Dallas and across the United States. Meanwhile, I’ve logged countless hours at beer bars and craft breweries.
Texas is the land of the San Antonio puffy taco, the breakfast taco, and the fried-to-order crispy taco, known as the taco dorado south of the border. In the Lone Star State, tacos stuffed with lengua, suadero, barbacoa, carnitas and other fillings are sold in gas stations, from walk-up windows, from kiosks, in check-cashing shops, everywhere. And if you insult another Texan’s favorite taco spot, by saying something like, “Fuel City tacos are trash,” you’re spoiling for a fight. Texans are sensitive about their tacos. Yet somehow—in Texas, at least—craft beer isn’t typically found in the best taco joints. While the craft beer movement has been steadily gaining traction in Texas, the last few years have seen a major growth in markets like Dallas. Last December, in a public ceremony complete with bridesmaids and groomsmen, a local cheesemonger even married a beer (Peticolas’ imperial red ale, Velvet Hammer, which is admittedly a great catch). Continue reading
Slices of reflective, maroon-colored pork resting in greasy tortillas are a beautiful sight streaked. Even if I could do without the greasy tortillas underneath the meat. But that’s what you get at a Fito’s Tacos de Trompo, including #3, a walk-up taqueria next to a gas station on Northwest Highway, up the road from La Nueva Fresh & Hot Tortilleria.
While Fito’s #3 can’t compete with La Nueva—and its tortillas can be wrung out to fill a deep fryer—the trompo is stellar. The achiote bit back with mild chile. I had only one other type of taco available to me, bistec. The taquero behind the window counter said they were out of barbacoa, lengua campechanas, piratas, an array of potentially exquisite styles. As for the bistec… Continue reading
It’s a big weekend for lovers of art and culture. When need you breather from the Oak Cliff Film Festival and Craft Cocktails Texas, recharge at some of Taco Trail’s favorite joints. Those in need of a change of pace, drop into the Filipino Fest at the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market. Market director Brandon Castillo tells me there will be a Filipino fusion taco available.
Craft Cocktails Texas
Hermanos Cruz Restaurant, 4525 Maple Ave., 214-586-6778
Up the road from the Stoneleigh Hotel, the cocktail convention’s nerve center, is one of Dallas’ great taco districts. This deserted-looking joint is sparsely decorated, but provides customers with knockout lamb barbacoa, a bit sweet, a bit gamey and 100% delectable. Continue reading
Two days from now, I’m leading an unknown number of taco tourists through the Northwest Highway-Webb Chapel area of Dallas. The region offers some real gems, including my all-time favorite joint, La Nueva Fresh & Hot Tortilleria.
As the establishment’s name infers, La Nueva is not a restaurant. Rather, it’s a tortilla factory that offers some silence-inducing dishes, not just tacos filled with outstanding guisados. La Nueva also offers tamales and gorditas as well as other delights—all of it made in-house. Continue reading
We had come this way before but at the time—approximately one year ago—the wife and I had decided La Nueva Fresh & Hot Tortilleria wasn’t right. The boy was with us and we were unsure of his ability to tolerate the bear-huggingheat and the dearth of seating in the Bachman Lake-area tortilla factory.
Without D, we were free to enjoy the stuff that tacos are made of and recommended by Scott of DallasFood.org. However, we didn’t merely enjoy, we loved the guisados (stews), La Nueva Fresh & Hot Tortilleria’s specialty. They are redolent, substantial preparations best paired with a freshly made tortilla, one that can push back against the mighty guisado. And that’s what done at La Nueva. From the counter can be seen the large kitchen, tremendous pots bubbling away, vessels from which come edible sunrises. Continue reading