This week, Cheap Bastard rolls the dice and finds she loves the crunchy fish taco (heh, heh, she said crunchy fish taco) at Taco Taco, 5954 Royal Lane, 214-750-4420.)
Other diners in the restaurant besides me count: 0 Times I laughed when I realized that I recommend the crunchy fish taco: 2
When my list of cheapo restaurants to try in Dallas gets short, I just drive around the city until I find something. Because the kind of restaurant I'm looking for doesn't have a lot of reviews on Yelp. Once, a concerned editor emailed me after I sent him a post: "Shit, Alice -- this place doesn't even have a phone." What can I say? I like not eating lunch at the places your mom recommends -- and I really don't like waiting in a fucking line at food time.
At Preston and Royal, I found Taco Taco. Their signage boasts "Fresh style Mexican food," there's a neon "open" sign in the window and an additional, giant "NOW OPEN" banner yelling at you. The only car parked out front is the owner's. Perfect. At noon, I was the only diner in the restaurant. Instantly weird. The owner asked me if my order was going to be "For here or to-go?" For here. He seemed surprised:
Owner Guy: Oh. Are you meeting someone here?
Owner Guy: Oh, wonderful. Please, come sit at this table.
(Owner Guy is really, really nice. So nice, it's kinda strange. Even stranger when you're alone in his restaurant with him and "Can't Help Falling in Love" starts playing.)
Owner Guy: Are you cold?
Me: Naw, I'm good. Thanks.
("As the river floooows, something about the sea, Darling, so it goes ...")
Owner Guy: I can turn on the fireplace.
("Some thiiiiiiings were meant to beeeeeeeee...")
Me: No fire, please. (scopes out exit)
It was like that jacked-up dream scene from Labyrinth when David Bowie's being all nice, singing her that song about "I'll be there for youuuu -- whoo-whoooo" or whatever, but it's still creepy at the same time because he's wearing tights and has better hair than her.
I ordered the taco plate ($7.49), which comes with two tacos (chicken, beef or fish) plus rice, beans and chips and salsa. I chose chicken and fish. "Soft taco for the fish and crunchy for the chicken?" Sure, nicest dude ever.
The salsa was similar to Chuy's salsa (the good one that's spicy and chunky, not that shit that tastes like marinara), maybe a little milder. The rice and beans were super bland -- skip them. The crunchy taco was fried fresh and delicious, but I liked the spicy tilapia filling much better than the chicken. That's right. This is one time that getting all up on a crunchy fish taco is a good time and a safe bet.
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