Before Tacos La Banqueta changed its name from Tacos El Guero, and before it moved to its current location on Bryan Street, the tiny taqueria was even tinier. Alberto Neri opened his first restaurant in South Dallas more than a decade ago. His restaurants have come a long way since then.
See also: This Week's Review: Raising La Banqueta
I stopped by his old place on the corner of Harwood and Hickory streets to see where Neri got started. It's shuttered now. A woman sitting on the stoop eating a slice of pie said the building used to host a hamburger place before it was a walk-up cigarette store. She'd never heard of suadero tacos.
I've had tacos all over Dallas, and La Banqueta's continuously draw me back. It's not just the suadero; it's the feel of the place. The small kitchen and dining room are quaint and give the place the feeling that something special is going on. It's the same reason I think Taqueria El Si Hay is popular, but the tacos here are better.
If you haven't visited the Bryan Street spot, you should go soon. Neri just signed a lease on a building across the street and in a few months this tiny taqueria will be no more. The new space will resemble the restaurants he's opened in Arlington and Fort Worth, featuring table service and menus and an expanded menu.
I hope the chicharrón served in the locations to the west make it to Dallas at this new location. I've had chicharrón that I've been able to tolerate and chicharrón that I've absolutely hated. What Neri is tucking into his tortillas and gorditas in Arlington and Fort Worth is chicharrón that I crave.
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4500 Bryan St, Dallas, 214-823-1260
7233 Gaston Avenue, Dallas, 214-324-4445
1021 East Pioneer Parkway, Arlington, 817-459-1122
2621 Hemphill St, Fort Worth, 817-923-8846