First Look

Frezko Taco Spot: One Man's Disdain for Chipotle Brings Authentic Mexican to Southlake

See if you can count the red flags in this sentence: A Detroit native wanted to clue Texans in on authentic Mexican tacos, so eight months ago he opened a joint in Southlake called Frezko, where 80s rock and pop greets the lunch crowd alongside an Aztec Sun Stone mural and bedazzled Dia de los Muertos decor.

When I moved to the Mid-Cities and began hearing about this place (from white folks) that served the best tacos around, I thought I'd be walking into a knockoff Chipotle or Fuzzy's. But owner Eliazar Salinas views the success of his suburban taqueria experiment -- go before noon at lunchtime to avoid the madness -- as Step One in building his anti-Chipotle empire.

In fact, Salinas said it was his antipathy toward the commercial taco throne that led him to open Frezko.

The spot is equal parts taqueria and Southlake, which is weird to type. It's surrounded by a few office buildings, an ophthalmology office and a Kinder-Care at 114 and Southlake Blvd., but it's still in a deceptive little location. There is quite a bit more seating on the ample patio, partially shaded by palm trees, than inside, but with all this rain lately, lunch indoors would do just fine.

The stucco building yells Southlake, but what's going on in the kitchen brings the taqueria feel. To Salinas, who uses recipes that have been in his family for over 100 years, it's all about authenticity and fresh ingredients. Each Mexican state has its own quirks and offshoots from what Texans know as Mexican cuisine, and Frezko serves it up Nuevo Leon style.

There is no freezer at Frezko, nor is there a can opener. Two days' worth of Angus beef rests on ice for making carne asada, and everything is made to order. There is no food line, ensuring everything is piping-ass-hot when it reaches the table.

The corn tortillas are nixtamal, which is hand-ground corn without preservatives. The flour tortillas are thin and shipped from an independent source in South Texas, unlike the thicker tortillas seen basically everywhere else (think Mission) due to their longer shelf life and the related monopolistic tendencies of the Mexican tortilla trade.

All tacos (they come in orders of four) are packed with 2 ounces of meat per, and customers can choose between asada, barbacoa, carnitas, pollo asado or vegetariano.

You can't get cheese dip (invented in Arkansas) on anything; here, queso means shredded cheese on top of your taco (queso fresco crumbles are also available). No chips and salsa are delivered to your table pre-meal. The free appetizer that does come with every meal is frijoles charros, a small cup of soupy pinto beans with diced carrots, jalapeños and bacon that delivers a nice kick of spice at the end of each spoonful.

Papa Asada, a baked potato filled with choice of taco meat and toppings, I'm coming back for you.

Frezko Taco Spot 3105 E Southlake Blvd., Southlake, 817-251-4836, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday

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Matt Martinez is a DFW-lifer who handles the Observer's editorial social media channels when he's not waxing cynical in our news, food and music verticals. Rest assured, he hates your favorite team. Matt studied journalism at the University of Texas and then again, for some reason, at UNT. He has written for the Austin Chronicle, the Denton Record-Chronicle and currently writes sports for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Contact: Matthew Martinez