I was hoping for a stellar dining experience on the cold morning when I hopped off the train at Tyler/Vernon Station for a short walk to Boy's Taquería, fingers numb from the frigid temperatures. The new restaurant, opened for just over a month, is owned by a husband and wife from San Luis Potosí state in central Mexico and named for the couple's sons. A rusted red-and-white tricycle and a child's wooden rocking chair stand side by side against the south wall, while a wooden toy wheelbarrow is placed at the base of a wall forming a nook where the used cash register is stationed. The other decorations are sparse, a couple of droopy potted trees, a gurgling tabletop meditation fountain, a plain, fake Christmas tree and day-glo poster board with hastily written menu items (tacos, gorditas, sopes) across it ring the dining room with three long, oilcloth-topped tables that easily accommodate eight diners. To say Boy's is no-frills is pushing it. But when your main clientele are the grease monkeys employed at the surrounding auto-mechanic shops, gilding the lily makes as much sense as detailing a corroded pickup truck with racing flames.
The emphasis is on the grub, especially the simple, irregularly shaped, handmade white corn tortillas enveloping the first-class meats. They were as pliant and strong as a gymnast. They were as limber and resilient as a rambunctious toddler. They were warm, with no trace of grease. They were honest, sincere tortillas, much like the salt-and-pepper coiffed proprietor who sat at the table perpendicular to mine enjoying tamales wrapped in charred husks and huevos rancheros, a cup of coffee, brought by his wife, near his left hand. While we ate our meals, we chatted about family, Dallas, the food. He inquired about my accent and train fare. I inquired about the business -- "good enough to keep us going and living" -- and the tortillas -- "just a little water" -- that made the fillings (with the exception of the drywall-textured fajita) the marquee players.
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One after the other, the tacos made the hour-long journey worth it -- the fajita taco notwithstanding. The barbacoa was veined with rivulets of fat, shining creamy white and just as creamy in taste. The lengua was lubricious, every bite proving that some people are oblivious to how cow tongue ought to be cooked. (I'm looking at you Tampa Taco Bus!) The pastor was mahogany in hue and charred. The pork's hints of citric sweetness bounced around my mouth. The moist pulled chicken was freckled with tomato and chile. The Milanesa was dotted with cubed jalapeño, mellow in piquancy but with fantastic crunch.
A local mechanic entered, asking about champurrado (chocolate-based atole), not on the menu, but made to order for the gentleman. The owner even asked him if he wanted a tamal from his plate. Of course the gentleman declined the generous offer. It was at that point that the fajita ceased to matter. (To be clear, I received nothing gratis during my time at Boy's Taquería.) If the tacos and customer service were this good, how do the gorditas, a Potosino specialty, fare? Right now, I haven't a clue, but I aim to find out. What is clear is that into its second month, the little eatery in the Elmwood section of Oak Cliff is off to an admirable start.
Boy's Taquería 1913 S. Edgefield Ave. 214-946-3738