Dallas Is Getting a Serious Taqueria

Last week I put up a post pointing to an article on Culture Map that claimed the second Meso Maya, opening in the old Luna's Tortilla Factory on McKinney Avenue, would be serving a menu nearly identical to that of the first Meso Maya in Preston Hollow.

I was disappointed. When I first interviewed Nico Sanchez, the chef responsible for both restaurants, he was excited for the second location, hoping it would give him an opportunity to work with more adventurous ingredients.

A few hours after my post went up Sanchez gave me a call. "I don't know where these blogs get their information," he said.


Sanchez went on to wax poetic about the new menu items he was excited to feature at the new place. He talked flautas, ceviches, taquitos, grilled ribs, "and we'll be setting up a taqueria in the take-out window in the back."

Say what?

Sanchez is installing a patio behind the restaurant's back window and will offer authentic tacos on tortillas made from freshly ground corn. He expects them to run around $1.80 each, and is planning on offering barbacoa, carnitas, pastor, lengua, bisteck and a vegetable taco he hasn't decided on yet. I proceeded to grill him on some of the preparations.

"Are you going to use whole cow heads for the barbacoa?" I asked. "No, that would freak people out," responded Sanchez. He plans on using cheek meat exclusively.

"What about the pastor? Are you installing a trompo?" Sadly, no. But he's using a horizontal spit to roast marinated pork instead the traditional vertical spit, which is just about as good. The carnitas are getting fried in pork fat after marinating in Coca-Cola and citrus and all of these are being offered in some stellar tortillas.

Needless to say I'm pretty excited to watch this one open this December. If Sanchez's descriptions match what comes out of that window, Dallas is about to get another really impressive taqueria.

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