From the streets of Mexico City, through a home kitchen in Dallas and then a food truck, Tacos La Gloria has landed a permanent home in Oak Cliff’s Tyler Station after getting off to a chilly start.
The owners of the former food truck opened the location Feb. 6 only to be shut down a week later when Winter Storm Uri coated North Texas in ice, snow and darkness. Now it’s going full-steam serving taco lovers dishes crafted by Maria Gloria Serrato, the business’ namesake and head of the family behind it.
Serrato started selling food in the streets of Mexico City in the 1980s to provide for her family. When she came to the U.S. in 1986, she worked various jobs in restaurants and the food industry, preparing items for food trucks and catering events on weekends. Tacos La Gloria started when the family began selling dishes made by Serrata in her kitchen. The business soon outgrew her home, and the family moved operations to a truck.
“When she wasn't working in the kitchen at her job, she was in our kitchen at home preparing our dinner,” said daughter Daisy Wall, the restaurant’s operations manager.
“Her dream has always been to own her own business, and as her children, there are five of us, we've always recognized how hard she's worked to be able to provide for us. We all have one goal in common — make her dreams come true. My brother Mingo called me one day about three years ago and came up with the idea of buying a food truck for our mom.”
They purchased the food truck in 2019, and things were clicking along until the pandemic hit last March, forcing it to close for several months. The family reopened in October doing pop-ups and event catering before settling in Oak Cliff Brewing’s beer garden, which offers plenty of outdoor seating with tables set up for social distancing.
Serrato prepares all the food, though the entire family decides what goes on the menu. Most items are what Serrato cooked for her kids when they were growing up. They offer street-style tacos ($1.85), quesadillas $4.75/$7.75), sopes ($4.50), gorditas ($3.50), huaraches ($7.25), flautas ($8) and menudo ($12/$20). The proteins available are fajitas (beef and chicken), birria, pastor and chicharron (pork skin). They also offer breakfast tacos ($2.50), burritos ($3) and breakfast plates like chilaquiles verde or rojo ($9.50).
On my visit, we ordered the quesabirria, a beef taco with cheese added, which Wall says was put on the menu when they started seeing it trending on social media. The quesabirria tacos had great flavor and just the right char or crunch. We also tried the gordita, available soft or fried; we choose soft, and the masa was cooked just right so it didn’t break apart when bitten. The well-seasoned tacos de pastor came on a handmade corn tortilla. The star of the show was the carne asada fries, served hot and crispy topped with your choice of protein, a mound of cheese and pico de gallo.
Tacos La Gloria does not have any veggie/vegan options now, but it‘s set up next to OG Vegan, another truck that operates at Oak Cliff Brewing. Also on the menu are homemade aguas: horchata, limon, pina, sandia and Jamaica.
You can find Taco La Gloria on Instagram (@tacoslagloria), Facebook (Tacos La Gloria), and Snapchat (@Tacoslagloria)
Tacos La Gloria, 1330 S Polk St (Oak Cliff). Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.