Jason posted this video on Frontburner yesterday, but I was stuck in Northwest highway traffic when it happened. Apparently, Travelocity has started a new series of travel videos hosted by Courtney Scott.
Scott only tried three taco places (Mia’s, Good 2 Go, and Fuel City) in Dallas and declared Mia’s the winner of Dallas’ best taco. Hmm, I guess our guide to the “Best Tacos in Dallas” wasn’t one of her “trusty local sources.” Bummer.
Guys and gals, I’m really sorry that Cinco de Mayo falls on a Sunday this year. This means you’re going to be hard-partying on Cuatro de Mayo and pooped on the Cinco, right? Yeah. I know how y’all work. Here are a few places to enjoy yourselves this weekend in celebration of the Mexican army kicking the French army in 1862.
All locations starting April 29
Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, Chipotle’s new drink menu features premium Patron margaritas. “The new margarita is hand-made for each customer using Patrón Silver tequila, triple sec, a blend of fresh lime and lemon juices, and organic agave nectar.”
2. Holy Grail Pub
Saturday, May 4, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Enjoy tacos like cabrito (goat), mango habanero, citrus glazed shrimp, honey bourbon chicken, carne asada and pickled cactus during the Holy Grail Pub’s Cinco de Taco.
3. Urban Taco
Saturday, May 4, 3411 McKinney Ave
“Celebrate all day with the “5 for $5” featuring the Urban Rocks Margarita, Lime Frozen Margarita, Tequila Slammers, Limonada Corrupta and Hibiscus Margarita for $5 or drop by the beer stand for a cold brew. In true Mexico City style, guests can enjoy $2 arrachera steak, chicken al carbon or al pastor street tacos. Treats from a Mexican paleta cart will keep guests cool, while a mariachi band and live DJ keep the atmosphere lively. Partygoers have the chance to win giveaways including Urban Taco swag, a Summer VIP Taco Card and a private patio party.”
The tortilla. The filling. The salsa. They are, in the doctrinal words of Mexican author Alejandro Escalante, the “Holy Trinity of the Taco.” If so, then Saturday saw a veritable Taco Mass, when hundreds of hungry Dallasites genuflected before the altar of this elemental, but infinitely variable mainstay of Texan cuisine at the first-ever North Texas Taco Festival. But let’s be honest: with a dozen local taco shops plying their trade, not to mention eclectic arts and crafts stalls, funky live music, an erudite taco panel, a throwdown between five of Dallas’ hottest chefs, and—for good measure—abundant cervezas, the festival beat the hell out of church.
Taco Trail’s José Ralat-Maldonado joined forces with Rich Vana of Entrée Dallas, Brandon Castillo of Deep Ellum Outdoor Market, and Laura Allen of Walk the Light to throw a Mexican-style taquiza—or, taco street party—in DEOM’s usual block starting at 11 a.m. Like most, I strolled up at around noon, taking in the scenery, the breezy day, the good feelings before flipping out over the insanely long lines. For the moment, I reined in my appetite and decided to wade (read: jostle) through the teeming hungry to check out the non-taco offerings. At the first clearing, I came upon a lonely burro, adorned in kitschy burro-wear, and connected by a drooping lead rope to his equally lonely master. It took me a second to register that the pair were waiting to snap some shots with festival-goers (incidentally, the burro and his sidekick were stationed before a pair of sky-blue porta-potties, making for a killer absurdist backdrop). I obliged with a photo, helping kick-start the burro’s business for the day.6 Comments »
If you’re smart, you’ll make Saturday a whole taco day. Go to the North Texas Taco Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., eat until you burst, then eat some more. Rusty Taco is having a party at 6 p.m. Whoo.
Rusty Fenton sends word about his 3rd anniversary party show, beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 at 4802 Greenville Ave. Jayson Bales and The Charmers will be there for some lovely serenading.
Sometimes people say the stupidest things about food. My “favorite” example of the folks I refer to as dishbags is the haughty diner who claims to be a vegetarian but still eats chicken and fish. My favorite “favorite” example of this kind of dishbaggery is a man who once told me: “I’m a vegetarian but I can’t give up bacon.” Or maybe it’s the gal person who says she doesn’t believe she’s an alcoholic because all she drinks is wine. I’m not sure, they’re equally ignorant.
Last weekend, I was standing in line at La Ventana, the taqueria behind Meso Maya’s downtown location. Two 40-something women were in front of me and chatting as they perused the menu. One suggested they try the lengua. “I am not going to eat tongue,” the other one said. “Have you ever seen it at the grocery store? They leave those little bumps on it and it looks like they just ripped the tongue out of the cow.”
She stepped up to the window and ordered two barbacoa tacos. I wanted to tap her on the shoulder and tell her she was about to eat a facial muscle ripped from the skull of a cow, but I didn’t. I guess she prefers her cow without bumps.
Another misinformed movement is eating gluten free. People, it is not a diet to lose weight, it is a way of life for people who have a medical condition such as celiac disease. Their bodies do not tolerate gluten, the protein found in many starches and grains. I know two dishbags who are eating gluten-free food because they want to lose weight and it makes them feel better. They both give me tired head.
I’m walking over to La Ventana for a couple lengua tacos and a beer. I may not lose weight but I know I’ll feel better.
Serial taco eater Jose Ralat-Maldonado from TacoTrail (and the same guy who wrote “The Best Tacos in Dallas” story for our Feb issue), is organizing the first proper taco fest in North Texas ever. He, Brandon Castillo from the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market, and Rich Vana, my buddy who kicks it over at Entree Dallas, are putting on a big taco hullabaloo on Saturday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the 2800 block of Main Street.
All these dudes know good tacos from bad ones, so don’t worry. They’re not planning to feed you crap. El Tizoncito, Velvet Taco, Rusty Taco, Revolver Taco Lounge, Chile Pepper Grill, Taco Party, Urban Taco, and La Nueva Fresh & Hot Tortilleria will all be there, offering everything from “traditional tacos de trompo and tacos de cabeza al vapor to Mexico City-style tacos and gussied-up selections.” Ralat-Maldonado promises that “there will be a taco for everyone.”
Don’t let me forget to tell you guys about the Taco Throwdown part. Castillo, Ralat-Maldonado, and Vana thought it’d be funny to pit five well-known chefs (including Brian Luscher and Randall Copeland) who don’t make tacos in their kitchens to compete for taco glory. This portion of the festival should be interesting.
Tickets aren’t for sale, because this event is completely open to the public. All the tacos have to be paid for cash, so load your pockets up before heading out.
Today marks the beginning of Best of Big D: Food and Drink voting for the 2013. Upset that Torchy’s Tacos won “Best Taco Joint” last year? Well, do something about it. Exercise your power and right to vote, and tell us who you think deserves the crown for best taco joint in 2013.
We know you’ve got opinions, and we definitely want to hear them every day (once a day) for the next two weeks. All the winners will be celebrated in our August 2013 issue.
I’ve been rooting for the little El Padrino taco stand in Bishop Arts since last November, ever since we found out the Lombardi group’s plans to takeover/(maybe) bulldoze the iconic red-and-white building that housed those famously nice taco ladies.
For the last couple months, Juan Contreras, managing parter of El Padrino, has been trying his hardest to stay in Bishop Arts. “We hope to stay in the Bishop Arts; we were one of the original establishments before Bishop Arts became what it is now, and we’d like to be part of it as long as we can,” he said back in October 2012. Unfortunately, it looks like those plans have fallen through. El Padrino #2 is moving to southeast Dallas, and it’ll open on May 3.
Contreras wrote this email about the news. The headline is very bittersweet. Props to Bishop Arts for its blossoming area, but let’s not forget the little guys who helped make it what it is, shall we?
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El Padrino Taqueria a casualty to the Bishop Arts District’s success
DALLAS, TX – El Padrino Taqueria, affectionately known as El Padrino (Mexican Godfather), a popular Mexican food stand in the Bishop Arts District since the 1990’s has lost their lease and has found a new home. El Padrino was housed in an old original Jack in the Box shaped fast food stand located on 330 W. Davis St., and provided great Mexican fast food to N. Oak Cliff’s diverse clientele.
El Padrino lost their lease to Sarah Lombardi in May. “We didn’t see this coming, but we were grateful that Ms. Lombardi let us operate through November. Which allowed us some time to look for a new location and for our employees to find jobs nearby.” says Juan Contreras Jr. El Padrino hoped to move to a new location in the Bishop Arts District or somewhere nearby, “Unfortunately it was harder than we thought. Our broker Charlie Perdue, from Perdue Equities worked with us to find us a home nearby, however, there were just no options to fit our needs.” says Juan C. Contreras Jr., Managing Partner.
The Contreras say that they decided to move to southeastern Dallas on 1215 S Buckner Blvd not only because they got a good deal in their new location but also because they also wanted to expand their locations: one in Oak Cliff and the other in Pleasant Grove. “One of our friends here in the community approached us with a deal we could not pass and well we decided to give it a try.” says Juan Contreras Jr.
The new Padrino’s expects to open May 3rd, 2013 serving the same type of original Mexican food items and more.
“We had a great run in the Bishop Arts District, and were surrounded by inspiring friends in the community and we expect to continue our success in our new location.” says Juan Contreras Jr.
El Padrino also has the original location located at 408 W. Jefferson Boulevard, which remains open.
Noticed a new Torchy’s Taco sign going up in small strip mall (across from new Pho For Lovers) on Preston near Beltline.1 Comment »
Darn you, TacoTrail, for introducing me to these terribly addicting potato tacos. They’re all I can think about. My 2013 wish is for the Taco Party food truck to make it into the Arts District rotation. Please make this happen, Arts District people. Really, it’s for the good of downtown.
Potato tacos are commonly found in some Mexican households when, at the end of the month, they don’t have enough money to buy meat. Families make potato tacos instead. They’re simple and easy to make, but the Taco Party truck does it splendidly. These potato tacos are made from thin corn tortillas filled with potato puree, and topped with Mexican cole slaw, sour cream, and mild salsa verde on top. Each order comes with two potato tacos that are pretty filling from the starchiness, but one order isn’t even close to enough. Order two. You’ll be a better person for it.
Read what TacoTrail has to say about the Taco Party truck here.1 Comment »
Yesterday I reported Taco Republic in Richardson would close at the end of the year and reopen in early 2013 on Maple Avenue. Earlier this morning, our man on the trail of tacos, José Ralat-Maldonado, said Taco Republic was going to close for good on December 27. Then a few minutes ago José sent an update:
Owner Ron Guest said his main business partner saw the SideDish post, liked it and decided Taco Republic is no longer closing. Please disregard the text changes I sent earlier.
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Good news. Remember the old Luna Tortilla Factory building downtown? About a block from the Perot Museum? Mike Karns, who also owns the El Fenix chain, has moved into the Factory at 1611 McKinney Ave. and turned it into the second location of Meso Maya. He’s kept the original floors and archways, but the place looks shiny and new, and the patio is still the biggest highlight. Nancy wasn’t the biggest fan of Meso Maya’s Tex-Mex food-disguised-as-authentic-Mexican, but I do hear there will be chicharonnes (pork cracklings) at this new location. Wahoo.
Here’s a bonus bit of good news: Mike Karns is also opening a tacqueria one block away from Klyde Warren Park on Caroline Street. La Ventana will serve everyday Mexican food (so, basically, tacos with homemade white tortillas) at this spot where you can quench your thirst with margaritas, Mexican beers, and Mexican sodas.
So, what does this mean? In summary:
Somehow the suits up at Taco Bueno headquarters got wind of the fact that Anthony Bourdain has never eaten Taco Bueno before, which he admitted in an interview with us last week. The Bueno guys are being very generous today. I have in my possession 12 cards worth $10 each that you can use on November 5 and 6. Taco Bueno is doing this thing called “Guac the Vote” all day on November 6. Anyone who goes in and says they’ve voted gets free guac and chips. This means if you go to Taco Bueno on November 6 and show them one of these little cards, you can get free lunch and guac and chips. What a deal. Nay, what a steal!
Okay, here’s how to play the game and win one of these 12 cards: Create a TV show starring Anthony Bourdain. In 150 words or less, tell us what you’d have him do. Eat Taco Bueno? Brave the weather in the Arctic? It’s up to you. We’ll pick twelve winners by tomorrow (Tuesday) at the end of the day (5:00 p.m.). Winners can either pick up the gift cards up from our office or have them mailed directly.9 Comments »
When Lombardi Family Concepts signed the lease for the old Oak Cliff Mercantile building, this lease also included its takeover of the small taco kiosk known as El Padrino. Both Rob (Go Oak Cliff) and Bradford Pearson (Oak Cliff People) reported yesterday that these two new restaurants – the OC Mercantile and Dog House (hot dogs and frozen custard) – are moving into the old OC Mercantile space. A PR spokeswoman for the Lombardi group still doesn’t know what’s going to happen to the taco stand, but hopefully this means the Lombardis aren’t going to bulldoze the little kiosk. That would be sad.
Jump if you like jumping. Continue reading "El Padrino, the Last Taco Stand in Bishop Arts, is Closing November 1"3 Comments »
National Taco Day is on Thursday, October 4. Even though the following joints are definitely not Taco Trail-approved, José will have to forgive me. Free food is free food, and here’s where you can get some:
Taco Cabana is giving away FREE chicken fajitas to guests today between the hours of 5 and 8 p.m. You’ll also receive a “Two Can Dine for $9.99″ coupon to be used at a later visit. To see which locations are participating, go here.
Taco Bueno is giving a way free crispy beef tacos all day long on October 4. In order to claim your taco coupon, visit Taco Bueno’s Facebook page on October 3 or sign up for the Taco Bueno email club to receive the offer.1 Comment »
Word comes through my email inbox that Chef Jason Boso is closing down the Cowboy Chow in Roanoke for a few days in September while they renovate the inside for a brand spankin’ new concept, Tacos & Avocados. Boso plans to have the new taco joint open by September, which means the makeover should be a quickie. Are tacos still taking over world? It sure looks like this trend is never-ending when a taco concept is replacing another taco concept…
Jump for the press release.
It occurred to me today that I hadn’t yet dished beef on this forum (outside of using beef hot dogs last week). For shame. Beef is the national edible animal of this great state. Time to make some.
Come to think of it, I also haven’t done tacos yet either(!), so, you know, two birds…
Where’s the beef? Jump to find out.
Last week I told you about the new Torchy’s location that’s opening along SMU Blvd. on August 16, and now this winning taco chain (picked by our editors for 2012′s best taco joint) is hosting a blowout bash for Torchy’s lovers. The tickets are basically a free dinner feast for you and whoever’s lucky enough to go with you.
Enter here. We’ll draw one winner at 5 p.m. at the end of today.
As you guys probably know, Torchy’s Tacos just won Best Taco Joint in our Best of Big D issue, and now it’s opening its third DFW location at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 16 at 5600 SMU Blvd. Free breakfast tacos (probs the Dirty Sanchez) will be given away to the first 100 customers who’ll also be entered into a raffle. One of those lucky 100 people will win free Torchy’s Tacos for a whole year. Need I say more? I’ve got a feeling those SMU kids are going to line up like little ants along the boulevard for the 1% chance they’ll win a year’s worth of tacos.
Jump for the entire press release.3 Comments »