Within seconds of being seated, our waitress at E Bar Tex Mex boasted, “our taco de carnitas is an award winner.” It won best taco at the Great Taco Run, a Luke’s Locker-hosted race with a parking lot full of taco vendors at the finish line, I was invited to judge.
The taco that day in September had the characteristic roasted flavors and seared edges of standard carnitas: non-traditonally prepared (read: not fried in fat). It was an approximate facsimile to the real thing, much like modern barbacoa (read: not pit smoked). The carnitas was given a shot of cheese, providing a pleasing pungency.
I was at the restaurant, which opened in August from Eddie Cervantes (Primo’s Bar & Grille), to determine if it held up to the honor my fellow judges and I unanimously gave it.
My family likes to hike, even the cantankerous three-year-old who pretends to lead a platoon (his mother and I) through Texas’ hilly wilds. Whenever and wherever we can, the three of us take to trails in search of animal tracks and “clues”—to what, the boy won’t tell us—in step behind our son who periodically commands us to “keep your eyes peeled, soldiers” or stop so he can take a picture with his toy Vtech digital camera.
After an easy hike at Cedar Hill State Park, we stopped for lunch at Plato Loco Mexican Cafe. The boy’s reward for behaving well was a crunchy taco—“no lettuce or cheese or chocolate”—while the missus and I grubbed on a trio of Tex-Mex standards. Aluminum piñata lamps and strands of Mexican folk art cut-out paper, papel picado, hanged from the ceiling. Continue reading
La Gaviota Taquería, a tiny restaurant—really, just a covered, unfinished patio with an attached kitchen—abuts an auto mechanic’s repair shop. More spacious is the outdoor covered seating area adjacent to the taquería. To the south is Interstate 30. Across the street in this industrial section of Oak Cliff is the city’s main post office. Only the delivery and dump trucks roaring past and area workers—letter carriers and grease monkeys—notice La Gaviota. It’s almost impossible to see from Beckley Avenue.
Yet, it was from Beckley that La Gaviota (Spanish for seagull) was spotted as my family approached the Commerce Street Bridge. I returned alone ready for garage tacos. Continue reading