Eat This

Mia's Brisket Tacos Are Kinda Kick-Ass

I'm getting ready to embark on a pretty serious brisket taco excursion. The thought is: Trying the same dish at many different restaurants provides context about how individual restaurants interpret a particular preparation. Basically, I'm about to spend an entire day eating nothing but tortillas stuffed with stringy beef.

Before I kick the effort off, I wanted to try a version I knew was pretty popular with the locals: Mia's. I dropped into the Oak Lawn Tex-Mex joint last week and ordered a frozen marg and a couple of brisket tacos. Here are some thoughts on my meal ...

First: I get it. These things pack big flavor, and they really stick to the ribs. I can see how they'd become very popular, in that oh-my-God-I'm-getting-so-fat kind of way. But I have an issue with the redundancy of this plate. It's a bit much.

Pairing hearty, fatty, braised, brisket meat, with oily onions and roast peppers all on a tortilla blanketed with melted Monterey Jack cheese makes for a lot of fatty flavor. I tried to cut things a bit, with what I thought was salsa verde (you really can't see colors in this place) but it turned out to be gravy -- even more fat. This is really one heavy taco.

Not that I complained.

I ate the shit out of those tacos. Then I asked my waitress for an extra flour tortilla, spooned beans into it, sprinkled on some crumbled tortilla chips, and ate the shit out of that. It was pretty heavy, too.

The only acid in sight was unavailable. The lime in my margarita was buried under a mountain of frozen slurpee. I'm still perplexed as to why a frozen margarita needs a lime in the bottom of a glass (unless it displaces booze, and saves the restaurant money) but by the time I retrieved it, it was useless. The wedge had frozen solid. And by then, my unused gravy had coagulated into a clumpy cup of goo.

Next time I'm at Mia's I'll remember to ask for a lime on the side, and squeeze it over my brisket tacos to see if that lightens things up a touch. But that may be a good ways off -- I have a lot of other tacos to try.

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Scott Reitz
Contact: Scott Reitz