The Cedars Socíal's new backyard taco stand gives the Cedars a quick new lunchtime taco spot.EXPAND
The Cedars Socíal's new backyard taco stand gives the Cedars a quick new lunchtime taco spot.
Beth Rankin

Cedars Socíal Opens a Funky Backyard Shipping Container Taco Stand

Just after Valentine's Day, the Cedars Social, the Cedars' struggling neighborhood cocktail bar, became the Cedars Socíal, a modern Mexican restaurant helmed by a powerhouse trio: restaurateur Monica Greene, chef Anastacia Quinones and bar manager Leann Berry. The restaurant has been gaining a serious foothold in Dallas' growing modern Mexican food scene, and this week, the Cedars Socíal launched something new: a backyard taco bar.

Cedars Socíal turned what used to be a shipping container bar into a self-contained taco-slinging unit serving a small menu of tacos, tortas and elotes for lunch Monday through Friday. The new taco bar opened Tuesday, and there's serious potential in the small but mighty menu.

These bright, colorful tacos give Quinones a chance to stretch her legs during the lunch hour, when Cedars Socíal is closed.

"We wanted to bring street tacos to the Cedars but add my signature to them by making flavored masas," Quinones says. "Our goal is to introduce flavored masas to the masses."

Quinones' colorful tacos come on equally colorful housemade tortillas made with masa that is flavored with ingredients such as cilantro, carrot-habanero and ancho chile.EXPAND
Quinones' colorful tacos come on equally colorful housemade tortillas made with masa that is flavored with ingredients such as cilantro, carrot-habanero and ancho chile.
Beth Rankin

The four tacos on the menu, ranging from $3-$4.50, blend fun flavor profiles: pork belly, grapefruit and serrano coriander crema on a cilantro-corn tortilla ($4); fried redfish and cucumber slaw with a black bean puree on a carrot-habanero corn tortilla ($4.50); tender lengua, queso fresco and watermelon radish with avocado on an ancho corn tortilla ($3).

The tacos are big enough that two or three are plenty for lunch; a table of two could split the entire taco menu for a well-rounded lunch by adding flaming hot elotes ($4) or chicharron nachos ($5). The menu also includes quesadillas (a vegetarian option, made with roasted mushrooms, Oaxaca cheese and spinach and arugula will set you back $5) and tortas.

Since you'll be dining on the quaint cactus-accented patio, there are also paletas from Social Ice ($3.75), a rotating agua fresca and a small beer menu with options for micheladas and frozen margaritas. It may seem daunting to eat tacos with hot sauce outside on a 100-degree Dallas day, but we grabbed a picnic table seat in the shade and, thanks to the breeze, never even broke a sweat (really). Added incentive for the lunch crowd: Our entire visit, from ordering through cleaning our plates, took less than 20 minutes, giving us enough time to cap off lunch by popping over to the nearby Sandwich Hag for iced coconut Vietnamese coffee, our summer 2018 caffeine hit of choice.

On July 3, Cedars Socíal is launching a new Taco Tuesday guest chef series. The first round will feature Dallas barbecue ambassador Andrew Dilda for a Fourth of July barbecue-themed taco menu.

There's a lot of culinary creativity in the Cedars right now, and this makes the downtown-adjacent neighborhood even more friendly to a downtown crowd looking for a fast lunch with a sense of place. The Cedars Socíal's new street taco stand is in its infancy, but everything we tasted was fresh, bright and inventive, making for a quick, inexpensive lunch from one of Dallas' biggest rising-star chefs.

The menu at Cedars Socíal's new backyard taco bar.EXPAND
The menu at Cedars Socíal's new backyard taco bar.
Beth Rankin

The Cedars Socíal, 1326 S. Lamar St. The backyard taco bar is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send: