^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4
| Tacos |

The Taco Trail Ends With Z

City of Ate's Taco Trail ends today. It was a good run, but I'm moving on. (That doesn't mean I'll cease writing about tacos. How can I not play on the taco jungle gym that is Dallas?)

While deciding on the final City of Ate venue, I considered three restaurants. Taco Ocho, the new northern Mexican taqueria in Richardson, was the prime candidate, thanks to a menu that elicited Pavlovian stirrings and dirty thoughts that would make my priest turn salsa-roja red. Sabor: A Taco Joint was the next option. Its contemporary décor juxtaposed with a taco menu steeped in tradition makes me think the downtown restaurant is Urban Taco done right.

However, I wanted to end with something indicative of time (Texas, because Texas is unchanging. Texas is Texas) and place (Texas and its gem of gustatory offering to the world, Tex-Mex).

Then, Zuzu, the almost 20-year-old Lakewood Tex-Mex shop, a favorite with locals, especially families. It's menu reads classically. Burritos, here. Chimichangas, there. Fajitas? Check? Crispy beef tacos? Absolutely, mano. Let's not forget the Lone Star State's primordial soup, queso.

Settling on the Taco Lovers platter, I felt helpless. Chicken, steak and crispy beef seem innocuous enough when read. Yet, experience teaches that those three selections are minefields where the intruder is assured disaster. Disaster is what befell me. Still, I found salvation in the most unexpected of tacos.

The chicken and steak taco were dry, the latter less so. It was sufficiently moist that some salsa comino, packed with cumin and chipotle, made the steak worthy of decent marks. Both came hidden under tremendous pyramids of lush green lettuce dotted with cream. There was too much lettuce, not enough cream or cheese.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Do you see where I'm going?

The privately owned Lakewood ZuZu makes the best crispy taco I have ever eaten. The yellow corn shell had a spring thanks in part to a filling that softened its bottom. The filling itself was saucy. Clearly, the fat hadn't been drained from the beef after browning. More cooks should leave the fat in. The chunks of ground beef were small. None were left unenjoyed. The consistency of the filling was akin to chorizo and egg cooked correctly, a gloriously adhesive tube of satisfaction.

By the time I had finished the tacos the ordering line was at the front door. It's a popular joint, a place I recommend trying if you already haven't. More important, Zuzu was a surprise. I loathe a surprise that takes the form of a Christmas present, but I adore one found in a restaurant, especially at the end of this branch of the Taco Trail.

Follow City of Ate on Twitter: @cityofate.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

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.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.