| Tacos |

Taquería Tiquicheo Hides Taco Artistry

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Up and down we drove, hungry for tacos after La Carretera Argentina's satisfactory empanadas consumed at Oak Cliff Earth Day. Surely Jefferson Boulevard would produce happy sustenance. It did -- kind of. Jefferson is cluttered with taquerías, some advertised with gaudy neon, others off-putting with their

crumbling facades and adhesive interior surfaces. There is even one set to open soon (more on that with time). Tiquicheo, a sleepy shop named after a city in the Mexican state of Michoacán, offers kind, prompt service and cleanliness -- things not always found at taco joints -- one block north of the commercial strip.

The small one-room restaurant is sheltered by a colorful front that includes a comical declaration of the monarchical supremacy of its offerings. In the case of Tiquicheo, this is not a hollow claim.

As a Mexican soccer game played on the corner-mounted television, we dug in. The sports announcer's shouts of Gol! punctuated by our wows.

The shredded, stewed preparations known as deshebrado offered in chicken and beef meted out brief karate chops to the base of the throat. The shock from the unexpected heat was too much for my wife. Had she waited a bit, perhaps taken a sip from the Coca Mexicana between us, Mrs. Ralat would have found the second bite tolerable, the third downright delicious, the fourth, the fifth, all gone.

The barbacoa wasn't ambrosial, but it was mouthwatering. The fajita tacos were as close to the edge of dehydratingly salty as possible. A wide rivulet of salsa roja cut the sodium enough that the faults was quickly forgotten.

Sealing the deal were the handmade white corn tortillas. The irregular, knurled discs were of substantial size, enough so that with the filling, eight tacos were sufficient to sate two adults and a toddler. Light, fresh and sturdy, the tortillas were also beautiful, not mere vessels for proteins. They made our time at Tiquicheo outstanding and elevated the lengua, which while tender harbored scant flavor, to the level of worthy of a string of superlatives from my lengua connoisseur spouse.

And that, my friends, is what tacos are about. If you experience something akin to what we did at some other taquería, you have experienced taco artistry. Tiquicheo's craftsmanship doesn't accept plastic. So, bring cash and you shall be rewarded.

Taquería Tiquicheo 110 S. Marsalis Ave., Ste. A 214-941-4300

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