Taco Joint Gets the Love It Deserves

Breakfast tacos are as Texan as Waco's unofficial status as Austin and DFW's bathroom break along Intestate 35. Breakfast tacos are as Texan as football and the state's other top sport, historical revisionism. I love Texas. I love breakfast tacos.

Love led me to Taco Joint in East Dallas. The much-loved restaurant is the Tex-Mex equivalent of heroin to junkies for neighborhood residents. A friend of mine moved from the area precisely because Taco Joint was a dangerous addiction for him. The restaurant, owned by Corey McCauley and Jeffrey Kowitz, is known primarily for two things. The first is breakfast tacos, chief among them, the MT, or migas taco. It was one of the two breakfast tacos I ordered that morning, fresh from a bike ride. The MT was a gnarled tube of chewy flour tortilla and a yellowish blob whose only flavor profile was salty, overly so.

The first bite of the chorizo, egg and cheese (all breakfast tacos come with cheese) was rich, earthy, enjoyable, a refreshing reward for my ride. It was all downhill from there. Each successive bite worsened like a relationship that should've ended long ago, but sex, societal perks, or simple psychodrama keep getting in the way.

The Lester, a Quasimodo of a taco, composed of a crispy taco stuffed with ground sirloin, lettuce, tomato and cheese, a flour tortilla lathered with refried beans wrapping it all, is the other Taco Joint signature item. It is frightening. Aside from the slap for initial freshness, it had no taste. It was all texture.

Unlike Quasimodo, the Lester -- and Taco Joint -- seem to have little under the surface. It's superficiality perhaps sufficient for a short thrill, or for those who loved on bottles of this or that the night before.

Not all was disappointing. The house-made jalapeño ranch salsa was lovely. Unfortunately, love isn't enough.

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José Ralat Maldonado