I’m going to be honest here. When I walked up to the iconic cement, white and red taco stand in the middle of the parking lot at North Bishop Avenue and West Davis Street, and saw it was no longer C. Señor, I let out an audible “Aw, man.”
I swung around quickly and started to stomp back to my car. But, I was hungry and didn’t want to have to find another parking spot, so I turned back around and pouted over to the window.
As soon as I walked up, the sliding window slid left and a smiling head popped out, “Hey! How’s it going?” I replied like a punk kid, “How long y’all been here?” punctuated with an air of annoyance.
Smiling guy was trying to kill me with kindness, though, which is just fodder for punk kids. He made a joke then asked me if I wanted a beer. I told him it was too early and I’d receive judgment for that. He countered by pointing out it was “after noon.” I either don’t adult well enough or adult too hard to imbibe on a weekday shortly after noon. (Not that there’s anything wrong that. We all have our paths and my path is just different from the beer-after-noon-on-a-weekday path. For now, anyway.)
So, just before I ordered, smiling head guy noticed the music wasn’t on and excused himself for just one second to punch his phone. About three notes of something wafted over the Wi-Fi, then stopped.
“Oh, my phone is dead,” he offered. Still smiling. Hanging on to my punk kid attitude, I said, “Well, I think that was country music, so it's better that it’s off.”
He promised it's strictly old country with some blues mixed in, then he made a joke about Nicole Kidman’s husband. Amused, I ordered two chicken tacos, glaring at the price of just one (we’ll get to that), and a Topo Chico.
As I picked a table, I noticed a wood fence that partitions their corner of the parking lot. Turns out, it's more of a function than country decor; if you have a fence, you can serve liquor (TABC requires a fence if there's a patio serving alcohol). How 'bout that?
The Last Stand added a lot of tables outside, and it feels more like a restaurant than a taco stand. Each table has a deck of cards inside a cigar box, which is a fun diversion from a phone, if you believe in such things. And, it's not windy.
The menu is mainly burgers and tacos. Burger options include a double bacon with cheese, green chili, egg, "Tex-Mex" (queso, pico and guacamole), and there’s a pulled pork sandwich. Tacos are ordered as singles, and you can choose from steak, chicken, pork or fried avocado. You can also get any of those as a bowl.
The beer tap pours from Oak Cliff Brewing Company. They have smoothies, chips with salsa or queso, nachos and “frychos,” which I’m guessing is fries covered with queso.
The tacos are $4 each, but one is enough for a light lunch. Mine was loaded with shredded moist chicken, topped with pico, a little cheese and a healthy spread of guacamole.
The tortillas are briefly fried, rendering them golden and puffed with a slight crispiness.
A bit about smiling head guy; that's Shawn White, and he runs this spot with his brother, Michael.
“We both have always loved to cook and have been in the hospitality business for some time,” Shawn says. “So, when we got word that this spot was going to be available, we immediately jumped on it. It’s something that we had talked about many times in the past, and [we] saw a lot of potential for this stand.“
This is an even bigger family affair, though.
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“Another brother of ours actually owns the barbershop, Brass Tacks Barber Shop, right behind us, and his wife has the vintage shop attached to it, as well, Rare Heart Vintage. So, for us it’s a pretty awesome thing to all be working for ourselves and hustling right next to each other.”
No word on if C. Señor is reopening anywhere else. I reached out through Instagram but didn’t hear back. (If I do, I'll share if they are.)
In the meantime, pout on up to The Last Stand to get a good taco fix and play go-fish while sipping a local draft beer. The cemented tall taco stand is still a cool little spot to grab a meal and people watch.
The Last Stand, 330 West Davis St. (Bishop Arts District). Open noon-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; closed Monday.