A friend sent me two texts last week:
“Del Sur tacos”
I didn’t ask questions about the cryptic messages. I just held down on the taco text for the thumb’s-up response and decided to make a quick stop in over the next couple of days. What I assumed would be a new taco place to add to the rotation of destinations (this friend is a qualified source) ended up being one that outdoes most others on my list.
Del Sur Tacos sits on East Jefferson Boulevard, quietly serving tacos that shatter expectations.
Let's start with breakfast — the chorizo is all it should be. Plenty of places in town offer chorizo that lacks flavor and is rubbery. (If it’s going to be that way, then they should really just buy chorizo.) The chorizo at Del Sur’s is deep in flavor and perfectly soft. Plenty of grease flows from the housemade corn tortilla, but it’s a fresh kind of grease — the kind that comes from intentionally preparing meat before throwing it in its new vessel to be consumed by some fortunate customer.
There’s a list of simple tacos (those that come with cilantro and onion) with options of carnitas, barbacoa, asada, pollo or al pastor ($2.57-$2.67).
Your selection will be a safe one. The meats across the menu — in this list and in the more creative tacos — are solid and made in-house.
After looking for some superb barbacoa in Dallas, I’ve found some here. It’s excellent in the del sur taco, which you can get with your choice of meat topped with grilled jalapeño slices, onions, cilantro and avocado ($3.97). But the meat they’re making is really good enough to be served in a little bowl by itself, comforting every little bit of your soul.
There’s the cochinita pibil taco, with baked pork topped with anchiote sauce and pickled red onion ($2.75). This meat also stands on its own, reflecting great care in its seasoning and preparation. You'll revel as the tender shreds deliver warm seasonings with a hit of acid.
The highlight of our preliminary endeavor at Del Sur was the santo taco ($3.77). Admittedly, we didn’t order this one: It came out as a gift when one taco we ordered wasn’t available. Note: All mistakes could be forgiven if people attempted to fix them with this taco.
This baked and grilled pork is topped with radish, cilantro, red onions and Del Sur’s guajillo sauce. The meat is tender but grilled to have a delicate, crisp exterior. This preparation thankfully doesn’t fear fat, as the whole taco is gloriously flavorful because of it. The sauce has a lovely pepper flavor with zero spice, and the entire taco comes together as well as anything possibly could.
Under the quesadillas section, we tried the mulitas with carnitas ($4.15). This little quesadilla comes with your choice of meat, beans and Oaxaca cheese topped with avocado, cilantro and crema. It’s a fine small dish; it has plenty of flavor, but it didn’t have us swooning like the tacos did.
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The staff at Del Sur is passionate about what they do. They all seem to have an ownership stake, as each is excited and knowledgeable about the food.
The space is appropriate: simple, filling up on a Sunday around 1 p.m., voices complementing the music played overhead. After this meal, we got a couple of micheladas with Mexican lagers and never wanted that moment to end.
Del Sur Tacos, 720 E. Jefferson Blvd. (Oak Cliff). 972-982-0004. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.