Desperados Reaping Rusty Tacos' Leftovers

The popularity of the bite-sized $2 tacos at five-month-old Rusty Taco on Greenville Avenue has had a direct effect on business next door at Desperados, the 34-year-old Tex-Mex landmark. "Our business has gone up since they opened," Desperados' manager Alberto Gonzalez told me the other day. "Some people don't want to wait an hour for a taco, so they come over here. They see our prices and that makes them happy. Over here you get a big plate of food for $8. You don't have to wait long for it and you don't have to sit outside to eat it."

Critics,including our own, have not been kind to Rusty Taco. Among the knocks on this duded-up gas station turned taco stand: Cold tortillas, chunks of gristle, long lines and a buffet of posers and SMU frat-house boys clogging the communal tables.

I'll vouch for the biz and the food being good at Desperados. It's jammed for the $1.99 margaritas on Wednesdays (them's strong margs, thank you). Sundays bring in a steady flow of families packing their jaws with the build-it-yourself Tex-Mex combo plates ($6.55). Chips and salsa are gratis. Those cost a buck for a small basket at Rusty Taco.

There's only one thing bugging the old taco joint about the new one. "They use up our parking," said Gonzalez. "Wish they wouldn't do that."

All together now: "Desperado...these things that are pleasin' you can hurt you somehow."

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