Tag Archives: Rusty Taco

A Brief Post About Rusty Fenton’s Passing

Rusty Taco/Facebook.

Rusty Taco/Facebook.

As many of you know, Rusty Fenton, founder of Rusty Taco, passed away early Monday morning of cancer. When I learned about his condition, I was floored. How could one of the nicest guys I know have cancer? I thought. When I read Carol Shih’s SideDish post about Rusty’s death, I was having a post-work beer. I cried in that beer.

I knew it was coming, but awareness doesn’t soften the news of such an event.

Rusty had been diagnosed with the disease while developing his successful taqueria brand, Rusty Taco, and its first store on Greenville Avenue. Since then, he dedicated his life to his family and Rusty Taco, making sure that his wife, Denise, and his four daughters, would be taken care of when he was gone. All the while, he smiled.

I work across the street from the Greenville Avenue Rusty Taco. It’s my regular breakfast taco spot, and when Rusty was alive I’d sometimes rush down there for lunch in hope of catching Rusty to see how he was doing and to see his smile.

The last time I saw him was during one of those lunchtime pop-ins. We shook hands, talked about a food he fell in love with during a recent trip to Mexico City. He was considering adding it to his menu.

Before that, we saw one another at the North Texas Taco Festival. He and his wife walked up to me in the middle of the madness, they said hi and Rusty, sensing I was frazzled, gave me a hug. It helped.

I can’t say Rusty and I were friends, but he sure made me feel like one whenever we spoke.

Rest in peace, Rusty, and thanks for the tacos. You will be missed.

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The North Texas Taco Festival Is Coming to Dallas

Happy National Taco Day. Great news: Dallas is finally getting a proper taco festival. The North Texas Taco Festival will be a celebration of our area’s taco diversity held in conjunction with the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market and presented by the Taco Trail and Entrée Dallas.

The event will host more than 10 taquerías, restaurants and food trucks, serving some of Dallas-Fort Worth’s favorite tacos. Among the vendors offering classic and unique tacos will be Cafeteria y Loncheria El Padrino, Rusty Taco, Rock and Roll Tacos and So-Cal Tacos. Those curious about Filipino tacos will amble into Zen Bistro & Dessert Bar.

During an Iron Chef-style competition, Dallas chefs, including Brian C. Luscher (The Grape Restaurant), will go tortilla to tortilla for the honor of best taco, as judged by a panel of local writers and discerning taco enthusiasts.

And that’s only the beginning. More exciting announcements will be made leading up to the festival.

The North Texas Taco Festival will be held Saturday, April 20, 2013, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., on the 2800 block of Main Street between Malcolm X Boulevard and Crowdus Street, alongside the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market and its 40 vendors.

For questions and sponsorship or vendor inquiries, please contact José Ralat-Maldonado at 917-854-2917 or ralatMaldonado AT Gmail dot Com or Brandon Castillo at 972-898-9227 or Brandon AT DeepEllumMarket dot com. Visit www.northtexastacofestival.com for up-to-date information.

Now, go eat some tacos.

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Filed under Dallas, Deep Ellum, DFW, events, festivals, National Taco Day, News, North Texas

The Tacos of Southern Methodist University

A version of this post was originally published on MSN Postbox, which until the project was terminated Sept. 1 was my day job. The piece was part of the website’s Campus Guide topic. Now that students have settled into the course load I’d like to share it with Taco Trail readers and recommend several places to get your taco fix near Southern Methodist University.

Pizza fuels many a college town in the Northeast. In Texas, however, higher education finds nourishment in tacos. No other Dallas university campus is as sustained by taco shops and Tex-Mex restaurants than that of Southern Methodist University.

Across from SMU on Hillside Avenue is Digg’s Taco Shop. The fast-casual operation takes inspiration from Austin’s music scene (wall-mounted LPs), but it’s not a dump with sticky counters. The restaurant’s clean orange and white color scheme marks it as acceptable for mom and dad on parents’ day. More than acceptable are the mahi and the carnitas tacos, kicked up a notch with a margarita ice pop. Continue reading

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Filed under breakfast tacos, Dallas, DFW, North Texas, Tex-Mex, Texas

The Great Taco Run Goes the Tortilla Course

A different sort of taco trail is taking to Dallas on Sunday, Sept. 30. The Great Taco Run will give the city another race with another hook, yes, but can you think of anything more rewarding after giving it your all along the streets of the Big D than tacos? I can’t.

Presented by area sports store Luke’s Locker and benefiting the Trinity Strand and Katy Trail, the race will be separated into 5K, 10K and 10-mile lengths, all finishing at the Runners Village at Museum Way and Victory Avenue, near the American Airlines Center, where several taco vendors will be serving up their signature fare beginning at 8:30 a.m. Participants will be able to vote for their favorite taco vendor while a panel of judges will choose theirs. The winners will be announced on National Taco Day, Thursday, Oct. 4. Continue reading

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My Five Favorite “Specialty” Tacos

I lump specialty and traditional tacos in my Best Of lists because the pesky issue of taco authenticity is something I overcame long ago. The breakfast taco (a Tex-Mex classic) is no less legitimate than a taco al pastor (an iconic Mexico City snack appropriated from the roasting preparation Lebanese immigrants brought with them in the 20th century). The same goes for Velvet Taco’s fare or the Taco Bell-Frito Lay chimera, the Doritos Locos Tacos.

Today, I temporarily separate the categories. The specialty/gourmet/gringo/upmarket/whatever you want to call the tacos that do not adhere strictly to a misplaced perception of the uber-traditional deserve as much praise and scrutiny as the liquid fire of the guisado verde from La Nueva Fresh & Hot or the crackerjack carnitas from El Pueblo Restaurant on Jefferson Avenue. This list, then, gives greater  attention to tacos and restaurants who have earned it. And now—with old favorites and double-takes—in no particular order: Continue reading

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