Dude Food Eats Fruit For Once (And Likes It)
Noah W. Bailey
3404 W. Illinois Ave., Suite 100
Dude Factor: 9, or Porky Pig, on a scale of 1 (Miss Piggy) to 10 (Hogzilla)
Oak Cliff's El Tizoncito is not your run-of-the-mill, hole-in-the-wall taqueria. It's located in an old Starbucks for one, so it's a bit nicer than your average taco joint, and they forgo the whole paint-the-menu-on-the-side-of-the-building thing in favor of actual menus. The first time we visited, the manager on duty insisted that we sit down and eat rather than take the tacos to-go, which has never happened to us at Fuel City, El Si Hay and the like, mostly because they have no seating save for your tailgate.
For those of you whose Spanish is not so bueno, you should find El Tizoncito slightly less intimidating than some Spanish-only taquerias, as well--every waiter we've had has been bilingual (not to mention exceedingly friendly) and the menu offers English descriptions just in case you don't know what alambres or sopes are.
Every meal at El Tizoncito starts with a free cup of Frijoles Charros--a tasty, meaty black bean soup with plenty of cilantro--though you might also be interested in the Chicharron de Queso, a giant portion of salty white cheese fried into a sheet of crispy goodness.
The selection of taco meats is smaller than most other taquerias in town, and we'd say the pollo and bistec options are serviceable but not stellar, but after a few orders of their specialty, tacos al pastor, we're willing to forgive the absence of say, barbacoa. We'd say Tizoncito's al pastor is among the finest in the city, cooked slowly on a spit (like gyro meat) before a quick crisping on a large circular grill--sit at the bar and it's almost like a Mexican Benihana. El Tizoncito also takes the extra al pastor step most other taquerias forget about, serving their tacos with diced pineapple, adding a juicy sweetness to counterbalance the spicy pork. They're not the spiciest tacos in town, but they're easily among the most flavorful all around.
Taco fixins, El Tizoncito-style.
Noah W. Bailey
Tizoncito also offers aquas frescas, some good looking tortas and tasty frozen margaritas, which were practically forced upon us in little sample cups on our first visit. In fact, we've had a sample of something given to us on nearly every visit. On our last trip, our waitress even gave us a free piece of Tres Leches cake when we offered to move to a smaller table so a family with kids could sit down. Service like this is a big reason why El Tizoncito is currently our favorite taqueria, though the tacos al pastor certainly don't hurt, either.
So next time you're headed to Fuel City or El Si Hay, head a little further south and give El Tizoncito a shot, bros. We've been there four times in the past two weeks, and considering all the awesome tacos in this town, that's saying something.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.