The wise and witty, Earl Hickey, once said, “You know how I feel about tacos. It’s the only food shaped like a smile. A beef smile.” And isn’t that about how we all feel? What else brings more happiness than a terrific taco? Sure, you could make an argument for family, friends, financial security, or Santa Claus, but nothing leaves more of a warm, fuzzy feeling inside than after you’ve pounded down a plateful of pork and beef sandwiched between hand-made tortillas.
Tacos el Guero is the type of place you could drive by a hundred times and never think twice about. Its unassuming demeanor and slightly shady locale betray the abundance of gastronomic gold hidden inside this tiny taco shop. The interior is no bigger than most people’s living rooms. Seventy percent of that space is taken up by the kitchen area with two large, blazing hot flat-tops cooking up mountains of meat. A string of a half-dozen stools line one wall, no more than a few feet from the action on the stove top, so close the occasional diner has been known to lose an eye from flying spatters of taco grease. The menu is small, scribbled onto a white-board hanging from a far wall. Those with as little ability in Español as myself, will luckily find English translations lovingly placed beside their Spanish counterparts, so you’ll have no question what “lengua,” “cabeza,” and “tripa” mean as you contemplate your order. Don’t be scared, a little cow tongue never hurt anyone.
Don’t stop reading now…
But what keeps me coming back for more is their wonderful choriqueso. Spicy chorizo and onions are placed lovingly inside two flour tortillas stuffed with white cheese and cilantro, and the whole thing is gently fried up on the flat-top until the tortillas are a crispy golden-brown. Each bite is a mariachi in the mouth as gooey melted cheese and neon-orange chorizo grease coat your tongue, each vying for position around your unsuspecting taste buds. When paired with either the deceivingly spicy green tomatillo salsa or the fiery red, this is a dish that leaves no eater disappointed. You don’t dig chorizo? Go with the “gringos” tacos, which substitutes tender al pastor-style pork instead. Either will make you happy enough to go out and hug a pig.
Order up some choriqueso, add a few organ meat tacos, grab a Jarritos, take a step out into the Texas heat and enjoy life. If you are reading this, Mr. Bourdain, I have no finer recommendation.
Tacos el Guero
4500 Bryan Street
Dallas, TX 75204