Good to Go is a column where our food writers explore Dallas' restaurant scene through takeout orders, delivery boxes and reheated leftovers.
At 10:30 p.m., there’s one remaining space — minutes before closing time — as families sit in their cars with open Styrofoam containers on their laps. A kid who looks about 4 years old hangs out the window, waving, surely in the best of moods after eating some tacos.
But tonight’s late dinner from Tacos La Banqueta is more than just one taco. The alambre is calling.
Tacos come in at $1.50, and you can get a torta for $6-7. Alambre is $10 and enough for a couple of people, two meals or one ravenous human.
Walking up to the counter, feeling like an asshole because they close in eight minutes, I order the alambre.
“Tortillas?” You get four corn or flour thrown on the griddle and wrapped in foil.
On the same griddle, an experienced expert throws thinly shaved bistec, tossing it a bit to get warm before including tocino, onion and peppers. He drops a handful of cheese over the top of it all. The minutes fly as the perfect concoction comes together. With ease, a large spatula lifts it all onto a sheet of foil that goes in the to-go container.
He pulls out a sack for the box, two cups of salsa (one delightfully hot green and a milder red) and two packets of salt — the meal doesn't need it, but some of us were raised to keep these in the car’s center console, just in case, so might as well take them.
Now, to race home knowing travel always poses the risk of harming the integrity of whatever you’re going to eat, or sit in the car eating your meal like so many of us are doing these days?
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Eh, if you’re lucky enough to live in East Dallas, the trip home is perfectly fine.
Good God, those tortillas stay hot, and forking the concoction — which is thoroughly cheesy after minutes in the car — into them for a bite is everything you need at 11:10 p.m. Hell, you need this bite any time of day
In fact: It is enough for two people. Or, you could save it for the next day. But better: save some for the next day to go over eggs (maybe go ahead and make a burrito?) and start your workday the best way possible, with protein, flavor, some heat and pure satisfaction.
Tacos La Banqueta Puro DF, 1305 N. Carroll Ave. (Old East Dallas). Open for takeout.