If anyone doubts the importance and popularity of tacos in Dallas, then I ask them to look at the growing number of taco bloggers. I'm not referring to everyone with an opinion on Fuel City's picadillo and an Internet connection. I am referring to those individuals who have dedicated large amounts of time seeking out the best and worst of tacos in town and sharing the information.
Most of the local taco bloggers, myself included, have read each other's work but had never met until this past Saturday, when with the organizing of Joe Flowers (Dallas Taco Bracket) we converged on In & Out Tacos in Garland. The taco stand was chosen for three reasons: because Daniel Vaughn of Full Custom Gospel BBQ had told me about it, because none of us had eaten there and because of its name. Dallas already has an In & Out. We don't need carpetbagging left-coast hippie burger peddlers.
Aside from four types of tacos (pastor, chicken, lengua and fajita), In & Out vends hot dogs, burgers (see!) and all manner of gringo eats to be consumed at uncovered picnic tables. But we were there for the tacos, and so BigChalupa, Barbaracoa and PequeñoPicadillo of Taco Sense, David and Alison Thompson from TacOCliff, Chris Bacchus of Gas Station Tacos, Flowers and I gobbled meat wrapped in flimsy flatbread.
If not for the company, the experience would have been a complete letdown. The chicken was tough and as dry as the weather has been for most of the spring. The pork also lacked moisture. Moreover, it was underseasoned, saved only by the inordinate amount of salsa verde we were given. The fajita was worthy of only a "meh."
Then there was the lengua. The juicy, delicate, lacking-for-naught lengua. It was a gorgeous specimen of tongue. At least I thought so until I bit down on something hard -- twice. The second time, I gave the hard, white substance a better look, presenting it to the others. It looked like bone. Yes, bone in the tongue.
The poor tacos at In & Out Tacos didn't put a damper on the conversation, the laughs and the new friendships being formed. If there are other dedicated taco bloggers in the metroplex, be on the lookout for future meet-ups. Tacos are taking over!
In & Out Tacos 413 S. Garland Ave., Garland 214-703-8188
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