Every so often, Dallas gets a day in December that actually feels like winter. Many of us rejoice in the air feeling like the proper season before we realize we’re underdressed and the car’s heater just doesn’t work quickly enough.
It’s days like those when we need a spicy guiso.
No matter the weather, a taco de guisado verde from La Nueva Fresh & Hot is a bite worth having.
This small spot sits in Northwest Dallas, in a strip with a convenience store that seems to always have passers-by waiting outside. Inside La Nueva is a menu of tacos served in fresh, hot corn tortillas. Try a smattering of options for $2.15 each.
Get the guisado that heats you from the inside out. The pork is stewed with salsa verde before sitting in a fresh tortilla. The first bite will hit you with heat, and the spice that hits afterward will linger for a while. (It might make a spice wimp pass out; whether or not you handle heat, make sure your lips aren’t chapped.)
As you eat, the double tortilla may fall apart. This is a good reason to eat straight over the Styrofoam container (our visit was on a rainy day, so all of this mess happened inside a parked car). At that point, just look at it as it is — guisado — and tear off parts of your tortilla to scoop up the stew into the perfect bite.
The fajita (add 25 cents for that one) or asada (add 35 cents) is fine, and the carnitas is memorable.
A good carnitas doesn’t just have that crisp, salty top above a greasy mess of pork butt — which can be perfectly satisfying at times. What’s better is when the flavor of the lard and salt is throughout, something that can happen when the meat is slow cooked for five to six hours as it’s done at La Nueva.
Call ahead and order or step inside to stand in a line that has been well-distanced on multiple visits recently.
While some may feel the need to eat these as quickly as possible, right in the car outside the restaurant, you’re close enough to some Dallas parks to have a picnic on a non-freezing nor rainy day.
Bachman Lake is nearby (don’t freak out — it has gotten much better and safer in recent years). These days, covered outdoor seating is our ideal setting for a meal out, which makes a nine-minute drive smelling these tacos worthwhile. Head up to Webb Chapel Park, which has plenty of covered picnic tables.
La Nueva Fresh & Hot, 9625 Webb Chapel Road (Northwest Dallas). 214-358-7261. Open 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.