All week at City of Ate, we celebrate the magic of the taco. Check back for more interviews, essays and maybe a list or two. Or maybe four?
There aren't too many places you can drop buck and change these days, and end up with something as satisfying as a well-made taco. The best ones come on handcrafted tortillas and are stuffed with carefully cooked fillings that are fatty, warm, savory and soothing. Freshly blended salsas are available for squirting, to excess if you like, and the only thing that never seems to be sufficiently plentiful is the napkins, even though you're surrounded by crumpled pile of them.
You've got no excuse. There is enough money for a stellar taco or two tucked into the folds of every couch in America. Flip those cushions if you must, and get ready to enjoy the best tacos Dallas has to offer.
El Come Taco (Pictured above) This colorful taqueria on Fitzhugh Avenue proves that the best tacos don't always come from run down restaurants with money stapled to the walls. Only a few months old, El Come Taco has quickly become one of the most recognizable taquerias in the taco-making business. Start with the suadero or the pastor that's spinning on the small trompo behind the counter, and don't stop until your sides split. It's hard to go wrong with any of the taco fillings here.
La Banqueta (Multiple locations) The suadero is the most popular order here, but the tripas belong on every plate of tacos your order. Request they be cooked extra crispy, and revel in the most mild and delicious calf's intestines you can find served in Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth across four locations.
Revolver Taco Lounge At any given time there are three or four cooks working in the small, open kitchen in the back of Revolver Taco Lounge, and one of them is always devoted to tortilla-making. Her specialization shows in tortillas that are unbelievably soft and tender and the perfect compliment to all sorts of taco fillings. Barbacoa, pastor with hunks of pineapple and even huitlacoche, the funky Mexican corn truffle, are ready for your taco indulgence four tacos at a time. Since you can't mix and match, bring three friends and work through as many of the tacos as you can. You'll seldom be disappointed.
La Nueva Fresh and Hot When you walk through the front door of La Nueva Fresh and Hot, you're immediately greeted by the scent of freshly toasted masa as a large machine to your left churns out an endless procession of tortillas. Order yours filled with guisada verde, a green pork stew that slowly simmers in the back kitchen. The tortillas are so soft and fluffy they almost absorb the mixture, turning the tangy stew into finger food, which is good because there aren't any seats here and you'll likely be eating from the hood of your car.
Taqueria Y Carniceria Guanajuato All weekend long this small meat market and grocery belches the smells of deep-fried pig out onto Walnut Avenue. When they are available you should order the carnitas served here in taco form, preferably 10 at a time.
Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo If you're craving barbacoa and willing to drive down a road less traveled, this oddly placed taqueria will leave you will a full belly and a story to tell. Barbacoa Estillo Hidalgo is built into an old printing press, far from downtown on Lake June Road. Now, instead of printing out brochures, they press out handmade tortillas you can fill with roast lamb and freshly made salsas.
Los Torres Taqueria You'll have to venture south of Jefferson, Davis and other familiar Oak Cliff thoroughfares, but the young roast goat served with handmade tortillas will shorten the distance significantly. Place your order and check out the condiment bar. You can load up with different salsas, minced onions and chilies and pickled onions, too. Just don't get too aggressive as you doctor up your plate. You don't want to overwhelm those gamey goat flavors.
La Ventana Plenty of the taquerias around boast handmade tortillas, but few of them make them like this. Every morning the cooks at Nico Sanchez's Meso Maya kick off a two-day process, cooking dried corn in lime and soaking it over night before it's ground into fresh masa. When the dough is rolled out and cooked it smells distinctly like fresh roasting corn, which adds a whole new level of flavor and aromas to your taco-eating experience. Grab a seat on the uncovered patio tip back a cerveza and soak up the sun. Every taco is a vacation here.
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Bachman Tacos and Grill Gas station taquerias are often celebrated because they'll help you kill two birds with one stone, but efficiency should never be allowed to trump delicious tacos. The trompo tacos served at Bachman Lake Tacos and grill are fine examples on their own, with fatty, salty crunchy bits of chile-stained pork, but the chile toreados and the rusty red hot sauce served with these tacos take them over the top.
El Rincon This small taqueria in a stand-alone building on Greenville Avenue achieves an almost unprecedented depth of flavor in its taco fillings. The pastor is as close to burnt as it can be without being dried out, and the chicken tinga makes use of so much smoky guajillo chile it eats like a camp fire. Every taco order comes with a convenient carousel filled with condiments just for you, and yes, that tortilla you've folded in your fingertips was patted out and griddled moments after you ordered it.