Cheap Bastard

Hacienda on Henderson: An Empty Dining Room Means You Don't Have to Wait for a Table

When Hacienda on Henderson was given a one-star review by the Morning News, I knew I had to eat there. In like six months. When absolutely nobody would be eating there anymore. So, this week I checked it out and sure enough: Parking lot was empty and there were zero people there during lunch. To some people, this might send a brain flag up that says something like, "Dude—don't eat here because nobody else eats here." My brain works differently. It said, "No people eating here plus shitty economy equals reduced prices and lunch specials!"

I was allowed to seat myself when I walked inside because, duh, none of the waitstaff works an assigned section when there are zero people to wait on. I kinda felt like royalty. I mean, it was like they were keeping this whole place air-conditioned and clean just for me. My waitress served me free chips (thin) and salsa. (It attempted to be an exact replica of Chuy's, including blue-speckled serving bowl. Succeeded according to my eyeballs. Failed if you ask my tongue.) She asked me what she could get me from the kitchen. I ordered her to have them make me some braised short-rib tacos.

I'm going to tell you right now that the braised short-rib tacos are the only tacos you want to be eating here. I tasted the brisket tacos, and they were bland as hell. Mia's and Manny's said, "Oh, fucking nasty!" just watching me pour the thin jus (which looked and tasted more like pee water) over the shredded meat. I also tried the crispy tacos, and to me those tasted like overpriced Taco Bell tacos without the Taco Bell hot sauce.

On a happier note, the braised short rib tacos delivered. Yeah, they were greasy, but the meat was tender and the ancho sauce they poured on top was really delicious. And it's not like when I order a taco I'm expecting it to be healthy. I'm not that person who dabs my pepperoni pizza with a paper towel (unless I plan on eating the paper towel). Order a salad if you want something good for you, ya Goober. And order it to go—your face is lame.

Note: Tuesdays they offer $3 tapas. Might be a nice side item to an entree of 40 tequila shots.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Alice Laussade writes about food, kids, music, and anything else she finds to be completely ridiculous. She created and hosts the Dallas event, Meat Fight, which is a barbecue competition and fundraiser that benefits the National MS Society. Last year, the event raised $100,000 for people living with MS, and 750 people could be seen shoving sausage links into their faces. And one time, she won a James Beard Award for Humor in Writing. That was pretty cool.
Contact: Alice Laussade

Latest Stories