Thursday, August 26, 2010

Silver Horse Saloon Taco Truck

Fort Worth, TX
Cash Only

Tacos Consumed: Asada
Preference: Asada

I duly apologize for the length in time posting. Frankly--I got sick of Tacos. ;-) Nonetheless, the other evening I drove by what? A taco truck, and the craving immediately hit me. While there is no name on the taco truck, I asked the proprietor what it is called and he said "Don Tacos". However, none of you are going to be able to find it under this name--as the name is not on the truck!

You can find this taco truck in the parking lot of the "Silver Horse Saloon" on Lancaster/Collard. From all accounts, "Silver Horse Saloon" is a bar frequented mainly both those of hispanic decent. Thus, I KNEW these had to be some good tacos.

Upon realizing that the tacos were $1.50 each, I informed the proprietor that Tacos Lupita (another taco truck a few blocks east) sells them for $1.25. "These tacos are better" he said. In a way, I can forgive his mark-up, as I can only assume when the hungry mexican leaves his saloon, he wants his tacos there and then--and it willing to pay the extra .25.

The first thing I noticed about the tacos is that they were open-faced and the onions were on the side. I'm a proponent for closed tacos with the onions inside. The Asada had an incredible lack of taste. The meat was nice and lean, but was lacking that salty kick that I enjoy. The onions were actually nicely grilled (I prefer raw, but this gave it some flavor that was lacking from the Asada). I do appreciate that they were double-wrapped (two corn tortillas), which is not always the case with taco trucks.

All in all, they were very good tacos. Better than Tacos Lupita? No. However, Fort Worth is blessed to have another taco truck (in the event you stumble out of Silver Horse Saloon and have the taco craving).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tic Tac Convenience Store

4310 McCart Ave.
Fort Worth, TX
All major credit cards

Tacos Consumed: Fajita Chicken
Preference: Fajita Chicken

Right smack in the middle of Tacoville is a gas station that advertises tacos. Seeing as no taco is safe during the Hunt, especially in Tacoville, I decided it was time to check out how good the "gas station tacos" are in that area.

Alas, I stumbled into "Tic Tac". Behind the counter was a gentleman (who is not hispanic) that was thrilled I wanted to try a taco. "The best you've ever had" he said. Of course I had no delusions it would be the best taco I've ever eaten--as I've had some pretty good tacos--but I must admit, it was darn good.

The menu is not your typical Taqueria menu. Instead you will see things like brisket taco, ground beef taco, etc. I elected to go with the chicken fajita taco, on a corn tortilla.

As I watched the gentleman work the grill (two hamburgers on the left, my chicken on the right) I pondered how good it would be. As he threw seasoning after seasoning on the chicken, my bar increasingly lowered.

He asked if I would like everything on it. I asked "what is everything?" and upon hearing "onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese", I opted just for onions.

The taco came single-wrapped in a corn tortilla. Upon looking at it, it looked nothing like the other tacos in the area. It was certainly a rogue-looking taco, but I was in for the long haul.

Surprisingly, I was MORE than pleased with the taste. After my first bite, I found myself scarfing it down, wanting more. I've come to learn that the mark of a good taco is when you walk out of the venue, you smack your lips and think to yourself, "that was pretty darn good". That is how I felt leaving Tic Tac.

Obviously there is no ambience here, but there are two chairs and a bar on which to eat. I give Tic Tac three tacos. The lack of cilantro prevented me from giving it a four taco rating---but although it is not your typical Tacoville taco, it was pretty darn good.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mi Bella Ensenada

Mi Bella Ensenada
2612 N.E. 28th Street
All Major CC
8:00 - 9:00pm (7 Days)

Tacos Consumed: Asada
Preference: Asada

When fishing, I often do not overlook places that 'just looks like it should have fish'.

Word on the street is that there is a taco truck on the corner of NE 28th and Sylvania. Upon hearing this, I verified with on of my regular Taco Truck-stops (Beach Street taco truck---a few blocks away). I let him know I would be trying his competitor.

Unfortunately, upon arrival, the Taco Truck was not there. That is the bad news. The good news is that this intersection just looks like it should have tacos. Consequently, I entered the first taqueria I saw--Mi Bella Ensenada.

Upon walking into the establishment I was warmly greeted by the staff who were there ready to take my order. The tacos here are $1.50 each, thus I only ordered three of them, thinking they would be large tacos--I was wrong.

Unfortunately, the tacos were single-wrapped in barely grilled corn tortillas--and pretty much what I consider single-bite tacos. On the plus side, the Asada was very tasty, and my order did come with chips/salsa.

I apologize for the blurry picture---but I promise you are not missing anything special.

I can only give Mi Bella Ensenada three tacos. If you've never been to a taqueria, they will no doubt be the best tacos you've ever eaten, but the $1.50 per taco is way overpriced.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tacos Lupita

East Fort Worth
Lancaster Taco Truck (one block east of Oakland Blvd)
11:00 am - Midnight

Consumed Tacos - Asada/Al Pastor
Preference - Asada

While Fort Worth's Taco Hunt has primarily focused on Tacoville and East Seminary, I decided it was time for me to venture out to the area in which I was raised, my old neighborhood and stomping grounds--East Fort Worth. As we called it during my youth, this is the "Eastside".

Lancaster Avenue has changed over the years in that many of the strip clubs that aligned the street are gone, and in their place are taquerias.

I understand many people are concerned with venturing into this area, but I see it as home. I lived in the area from elementary school up until I graduated High School, and while there are some dangers to loitering in this area---I cannot turn my back on my old stomping grounds. It was just as "dangerous" when I lived there, and I made it out with some of the best memories of my life, thus I have no problem keeping my roots and enjoying what the Eastside has to offer. Tried and true, I am an Eastside boy.

Yes, I had to ward off a few homeless folks hanging around the area and this is just simply part of the "scene" you will encounter heading to the Eastside. If it makes you uncomfortable, then stay away.

My first stop here was Tacos Lupita (pronounced 'Loo-pee-tah'). It's a taco truck that has been a staple in this area for the past few years. Frankly, I have enjoyed tacos from this place, but not since the true Taco Hunt had started, thus they were on the top of my list to represent the Eastside in the hunt.

Their sign boasts "The Best Tacos in Town". I can honestly say they have probability in claiming this title.

The tacos are $1.25 each, which are a bit on the high-end for taco trucks. However, the product is well worth it. The taco truck is aligned with bullet-proof glass (can't say I blame them) and you order through a series of holes in the bullet-proof glass.

The woman working at Tacos Lupita seems like she would rather be anywhere in the world other than making tacos in the taco truck. I thought about this, and frankly cannot blame her. I will say, however, once you become a regular--she will take care of you.

The tacos are simply among the best you can ever find in Fort Worth. Double-wrapped in fresh corn tortillas purchased from a Tortarilla down the street (review to come), with meat the will raise you off your seat its so tasty.

While ordering my tacos at Tacos Lupita, there was an African-American gentleman sitting out front enjoying his tacos. I told him about what I do (I review tacos) and let him know if he did not want to his picture taken, then he best move aside. Most folks in this area do not take kindly to people taking their pictures ad-hoc, so my advice it to let people know in the Eastside why you are taking their picture.

He was more than happy with it, and we reminisced about "back in the day" in East Fort Worth. I pointed out places where they used to have BBQ Trucks, many of which he himself enjoyed. When I told him I'd not seen many "brothers" at the taquerias I've been to, he told me, "Well---it's better than Jack-In-the-Box." My man, you are Sooooooo right.

The Taco Hunt has made it to the Eastside, and I am excited about its opportunities.

Friday, April 2, 2010

El Rincon De Hidalgo

3139 E. Seminary Drive
Fort Worth, TX
Major Credit Cards Accepted

Tacos Consumed: Asada/Pollo y Chipotle
Preference: Asada

Just like I assume regions of Mexico vary in their style of tacos, I have found the same to be true with Fort Worth. That being the tacos in the E. Seminary section of Fort Worth are very much alike, and vary quite a bit from the tacos in Tacoville, For what it is worth, I prefer the Tacoville style of tacos, but variety can be a good thing at times. The main difference is that E. Seminary tacos are more expensive, but much bigger, and almost all have "homemade" tortillas.

I found the inside of El Rincon De Hidalgo (and I have NO idea what that translates into) to be very interesting. It is incredibly small and has all of three booths on which to sit. There were two gentlemen inside who seemed to be the owners (the Hidalgo brothers??) and they were very happy to see me.

Note that these gentlemen did not speak a single word of English other than "Thank you", "melon", and "fresh"

I decided to sit at booth #2, as it was the cleanest and had the best view (looking through barred windows out on to E. Seminary), although I did have to thoroughly wipe down the table (common self-service feature of taqerias).

Upon ordering my tacos, the gentleman pointed to a cup. He said "fresh". "Sure" I responded.

He came back with an orange looking drink. I took a sip and the heavens opened up. I looked at the gentleman and he said "melon". It was actually a cantelope drink. Not sure how they made it, but it was one of the most refreshing drinks I've ever had in my life. If you go to El Rincon De Hidalgo, and cannot leave without asking for "melon drink".

I ordered three Asada tacos and one Pollo con Chipotle taco. I ended up getting on one asada taco and two Pollo con Chipotle tacos. I chaulk this up to the language barriers as opposed with poor customer service--and I did not bother mentioning anything to them,

When I saw the tacos, I was VERY happy they messed up my order. As hungry as I was---I could not eat four of them. The Pollo y Chipotle tacos had a mixture of white and dark meat, that was a bit of a let down. At one point I saw something that looked like a chicken heart--but it turned out to be just a chipotle pepper. '

The Asada taco had a zang to it, and I added to that by putting on a little too much lime---which did sour the taste a some, but that is my own fault. The home made tortillas are on par with what I'm finding in this area of Fort Worth---average.

I'm giving them three tacos, mainly due to the scary Pollo y Chipotle tacos. However, I would certainly still recommend them--and the "melon drink" is a once in a lifetime experience.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Carniceria Mi Pueblo

1223 East Seminary Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76115-2910
(817) 920-1700
All Major Credit Cards

Consumed Tacos: Carnitas (I was too scared to try anything else).

For the first time during The Hunt, I almost chickened out.

Walking into Carniceria Mi Pueblo on East Seminary showed me how truly hard-core I have become in search for the perfect Tacos. Carniceria in Spanish means meat shop. I've found that most of them serve as a grocer/deli/butcher shop. While I have been in some code-violating "Mexican meat shops", I must truly admit that I was a little intimidated by Carniceria. Although I am not a health inspector, I could easily spot 5-10 violations the minute I walked up to the taqueria.

To put things in perspective, I did not recognize any of the meat they had laid out ready to be put in tacos. Everything suddenly started looking the same and then, "Ges?" I heard a voice and looked up to see a Senioriata ready to take my order. As I stood there contemplating if I should turn around and take off I said, "Uhhhhhh.....Asada?" The woman replied "Carnitas?" I said once again in my best Mexican accent, "Asada?" "Carnitas" she replied. Giving up on the hope of Asada (and not wanting her to substitute something for Asada without me knowing) I said, "Yes, Carnitas" (as at least I KNOW what that is).

She then pulled a serving spoon from a pan that had some kind of tongue in it, and scooped up a piece of Carnita for me to try (by using my hands to pick up off the spoon). I figured there were enough code-violations in this place, what's one more? Thus if you were at Carniceria Mi Pueblo on 3/24/2010 anytime after 11:30 am and ordered tacos---my fingers touched the serving spoon---but I promise they were clean. Let's just hope everyone else's were clean that day. Anyway...

At $1.00 I really started to ask myself why someone would not spend an extra .25 cents per taco and go to Rosita's Taco Trailer (which is becoming my new favorite hang-out) just down the street. I know why I'm there---because it's my job to try every single taqeria in the city so you can make informed choices. i.e. I am sacrificing my digestive system---so you don't have to sacrifice yours.

Once you can get past the initial shock of what's involved with getting the food, the tacos are actually not that bad. The tortillas were above average, and frankly I ate them as quickly as I could so as not to think too much as to what I was eating. As I was sitting on the tailgate of my pickup looking out at East Seminary (which is always fun), a Mexican gentleman walked by me and said something in Spanish I could not make out.

I figure it was one of three things:

1. He asked me if I was enjoying my tacos (he had a pleasant look on his face when he approached me).

2. He was crazy and talking about something that would not have made sense even if translated. I don't think this is the case as he did get out of his car and was sane enough to operate a vehicle.

3. He said to me, "I can't believe you are actually eating tacos from there!"

I like to #1 is the answer, so I just smiled and nodded.

All in all, if you want to step out on the ledge and try some seriously home-style tacos, or if you want to try some exotic meats not available in other taquerias, OR if you simply want to buy some bottled coke (with cane sugar) by the case, then Carniceria Mi Pueblo is your place. Else if you go there just for the tacos--I have not been doing my job.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rositas Taco Trailer

3122 Mansfield Hwy (AutoZone Parking Lot)
Fort Worth, Tx
Consumed Tacos: Asada (and it was GooOOOooD)

Heading east from Los Magueyes, I noticed something in the Autozone parking lot of the busy East Seminary Dr/Mansfield Hwy intersection---a Taco Trailer. Notice I did not write Taco Truck---as this is a Taco Trailer (see picture below). How great is that?? Of course I just HAD to stop and check it out...and I'm sure glad I did!

The gentleman in the trailer spoke surprisingly good English, yet had a thick enough Mexican accent to where I knew the Tacos would be good. I ordered two Asada (@ $1.25 each) and the gentleman served me up two INCREDIBLY good tacos filled with both chopped AND grilled onions, as well as fresh cilantro.

Between me and the world, I will pass on the grilled onions next time I visit. However,- for those that do like them---know they are there for you as a treat. The tacos also came with a slice of lime as well as baked Jalapeno pepper. Frankly, I really wanted to dive into the Jalapeno but did not want to miss the next few days of work.

The location is also brillant. On an absolutely beautiful day, I sat back and simply "took in" the scene that is S. Riverside/E Seminary Dr.

Sure, I stuck out like a sore thumb in my business attire sitting on the tailgate of my truck eating tacos---but due to the "thumbs up" I was given by many of the Mexican construction workers that were passing by---I think it was a good thing. (Either that or thumbs up means something different in the Mexican culture as it does here here.)

The tacos? Well, they were unbelievably fantastic. Tasty. Fresh. Authentic. It was a beautiful afternoon further beautified by the atmosphere and food. I must say that Mansfield Hwy Taco Trailer will be my new "get-away" on Spring days. When asked what days they are open, the gentlemen informed me "Every day except Thursday. That's when I stock up on supplies." I sure hope he gets some rest too.

When I first started The Hunt, I had hoped for afternoons like this... An EASY Five Tacos!

Los Maguey's

Consumed Tacos: Asada, Pollo y Chipotle
Preference: Asada

About a month ago as I was dropping off some donated goods on Seminary Drive (east of 1-35) near the Forest Hill area, I noticed a slew of taquerias. While I was unable to stop and enjoy anyone of them, much like McCarthur to the Philippines--I vowed to return...

I selected the first one I viewed doing east on Seminary. That would be Los Maguey's. Granted there are at least five other taquerias in eye sight, from this location, but much like opening gifts on Christmas morning, you must start somewhere.

As with many taquerias in south Fort Worth, when I entered Los Maguey's it seemed as though everyone stopped talking, and the music stopped (with the scratching record sound) and all eyes were squarely on me. As a friend once told me, "They don't like Canadians in that part of town". In all seriousness, I have ALWAYS been welcome with open arms in Tacoville and any other area of the hunt---Los Maguey's was no exception.

As I approached the counter, I looked at the wall menu, and was shocked at the abundance of dishes they have available. The only thing missing? Tacos! I (embarrassingly) asked the woman at the counter, "Do you have tacos?" She immediately called for help, who was a young gentleman that ended up being my translator. He showed me on the paper menu their choices of tacos. I immediately saw the price of $2.00 per taco, which raised my eyes. "We make the tortillas fresh" he said.

For those that read the Antojitos Latinos review, you will see that "homemade tortillas" will send you to a place you've never been. At least the ones at Antojitos Latinos did. Thus I figured $2.00 per taco was fair, and ordered two Asada and one Pollo y Chipotle.

You can remember from the Antojitos Latinos review that homemade tortillas can take some time to order. Thus expecting it this time, I was patient. However, I was a little disappointed that my wait time did not include chips and salsa. After about a 10 minute wait (which seemed like 20) I was greeted with a nice cup of water (on request) as well as my tacos and bottles of red and green taco sauce. As

As an experienced Tacovillian, I've learned the importance of tasting the taco sauce prior to placing it in your tacos. Sometimes it is too hot, and- sometimes it simply tastes like crap. The last thing I wanted to do was ruin tacos I waited 10 minutes for.

Thus I poured some sauce onto a piece of Asada, took a bite, and then...POW!!! It actually was not the sauce, but the Asada was in a league by itself. While it was not the best cut of meat, it was EASILY the tastiest Asada I've ever had. "Oh my goodness", I thought, "this combined with homemade tortillas? I could about to be eating the best taco in my life"

Remember the screeching record sound I mentioned at the beginning of the review? Well, once I bit into the taco, I heard it again. The homemade tortillas I had waited so long for were average at best. In fact, I was fairly certain they were homemade flour tortilla, which is nothing in comparison to homemade corn tortilla.

This got me thinking---what is more important in a taco? The meat or the tortilla? I have to lean toward the latter, so with all the promise the Asada had, the tortilla was a bit of a letdown (especially because it was 'homemade'). One other issue was the lack of a lime wedge. In thinking about it, this might be the time during The Hunt that my tacos did not come with a lime wedge. I am a fan of lime juice on my tacos, so this was another disappointment.

I was excited about the Pollo y Chipotle as I had tried it only one other time--at Tacos Earnesto's (not to be confused with Earnesto's Tacos) and it was a top two taco in the hunt. Because the Asada was so tasty I figured the Pollo y Chipotle would be out of this world! (Queue record scratching music again.) I never realized chicken could not have taste--but this was the case at Los Maguey's. Frankly, I think it was just a little watered-down.

While Los Maguey's probably deserving of 3 1/2 tacos, I am rounding down due to the long wait for average tortillas, and the lack of lime was inexcusable.
I will say the staff was VERY friendly. Probably the best service I have received on the hunt.

I did get a kick out of the payment transaction. The waitress/cashier did not know how to say the amount. She struggled a little bit, "Seeeaahn. Seeevahhhn.." then she gave up and wrote $7.57 on a piece of paper. I looked at her and said, "Oh, siete dólares y cincuenta siete centavos." She laughed, I winked and walked out....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

El Pollo Regio

Various Locations
All Major Credit Cards Accepted

With nearly 20 locations in the DFW metroplex, I figured I would give El Pollo Region a try. While I'm not a big fan of chain restaurants, I wanted to at least find out what El Pollo Regio is. After visiting a location, I am still unsure as to what is.

I elected to visit the location in the heart of Tacoville---La Gran Plaza. For those interested, this used to be the Seminary South Mall, which turned into Town Center Mall, and later to La Gran plaza. La Gran plaza is not so much a mall, but instead a Mexican 'town square', with a grocery store, Govt. services, barber shop, clothing stores. movie theatre, etc.

Now tow things to know about visiting this location:

1. It is VERY difficult to find. Not so much La Gran itself, but El Pollo Regio within the plaza. Some tips: El Pollo Regio faces Seminary Drive and is located next to Pizza Patron and Ross.

2. If you are caucasian, you are very likely to be the only one in the entire plaza. Obviously this does not bother me, and I personally think it is a safe area (of course I grew up in the "hood"),but be prepared for quite a few looks if you go there. They are not trying to be mean-spririted, they are simply confused and wonder what your business is there.

As mentioned, I was a little tentative of trying this place due to it being a franchised concept, but upon me calling the location for instructions and hearing "El Pollo Region. Esto es Maria, cómo le puedo ayudar yo?" (Transalation: this is Maria, how can I help you?) I knew that it would be at least *somewhat* authentic. Go ahead, try it: (817) 923-4595

The one thing that I REALLY disliked about El Pollo Regio is that everything is a "plate". By that, you cannot simply purchase a few tacos, ad hoc. Instead I opted for the "#4" (Taco De Carne Asada). It came at a whopping $4.95 and was essentially a grilled corn tortilla with about a 1/4 pound of sliced Carne Asada on top of it.

As I attempted to fold the tortilla, I was amused at how the beef just poured out. The ratio of meat to tortilla was unreal. While I would obviously prefer too much meat than not enough, I am confused as to why it would be made as such. i.e. I would have MUCH rather preferred to two normal-sized tacos than one large one. Thus while I really enjoyed the tortilla and and meat combination, I ate half the asada with a fork. Taco Rule #6 states: "If a fork is required to consume overflow of meat, then--by default--further consideration should be applied to the ration of tortilla/taco meat."

I must say the asada was very, very tasty. Unfortunately, the salsa was flat-out disgusting (I could not tell if it was made that bad or if it was spoiled), and every now and then I would bite into a piece of fat that was literally like a frying pan to the face it was so shockingly untastetful.

I give El POllo Regio two tacos--mainly becauase while it was tasty, it was not really what I considered a taco. If anything they are more like an al carbon taco---which I DO like, but when I eat al carbon, I want it to tbe al carbon and not a hybrid.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Las Fuentes Taqueria

2216 West Seminary Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76115-1928
(817) 922-9902
All Major Credit Cards Accepted

Consumed Tacos: Asada, Carnitas
Preference: Asada

Because I made it to work around 6:30 am on the day of my visit, I decided to get a jump on my lunch hour and visit Las Fuentes around 10:30 am. While most Taquerias are open early in the morning, I was unsure if they would be open but I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in to see a Mexican family already enjoying their burritos, rice, and beans. You gotta love the Mexican diet. Any food that allows for beans, fried chips, salsa etc. for breakfast is my type of food!

I was actually impressed with the inside of Las Fuentas. While it has the code-violating look that I prefer in a taqueria, it was organized nicely with many types of Mexican sweets, breads, beverages, etc. for that ad hoc purchase. Of course, I stuck with my goal--which is tacos.

Once again, I was vexed as to if this was a table service establishment (where you sit and are waited on) or if you order at the counter. When in doubt, I always go to the counter, as opposed with looking like an idiot by sitting in vain at my table waiting on someone to approach me. Honestly, I still am unsure as to the type of restaurant this is, as after I placed my order at the counter, they brought it to my table. Thus we will dub it fast-casual.

While Las Fuentas has a wide breadth of taco meat from which to choose, I stuck with good ol' Asada, and Carnitas. I elected not to purchase glass bottle coke for budget purposes.

The tacos were served within minutes of my order. As I started into my tacos I noticed that I was missing a beverage of any sort (i.e. water). I decided to tough it out and consume the tacos without a drink.

As for the tacos themselves, they were average at best. Of course, average in Tacoville beats anything else you will try around town. The taco sauce had little flavor, and at one point I actually found myself pouring salt on my tacos---something I had yet to do.
The cilantro was quite flavorful, but I found myself picking quite a few "stems" out of my mouth, which is always a negative.

In looking at the tacos, I could not tell the different between the Asada and the Carnitas (can you?). However, this was a plus as I prefer my Carnitas little over-cooked, as opposed with some "pink" in it. At $1.40 per taco, I was satisfied with the product, but only satisfied. Las Fuentas is not a place to avoid, nor is it a place to seek out.
If you are looking for a one-stop shop where you can purchase a variety of taco meats along with Mexican (sweet breads, of which I am not a fan) and/or Mexican beverages and candy (fan) then this place is worth a trip. Else I would not recommend them unless you are simply tired of the other taquerias.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quarterly Taco Awards

In an attempt to provide you with a succinct version of the Taco Hunt, I am instituting the first "Quarterly Taco Awards", which I will update--well, each quarter. Drumoll, please...

Best Overall Tacos - Tacos Earnesto's

Worst Overall Tacos - Freebird's

Most Mexican Tacos - Juanito's

Most White Boy Tacos - Freebird's

Best Tortillas - Antojitos Latinos (by a MILE)

Best Asada - El Potosine

Best Chicken - Tacos Earnesto's

Best Carnitas - El Potosine

Best Shredded Beef - El Mil Taco

Best Onions/Cilantro - Taco's Earnestos

Best Taco Sauce - Melis Taqueria

Best Salsa - Taco's Earnesto's

Best Chips - Antojitos Latinos (by a MILE)

Best Be Careful What You Order - La Michoacana Meat Market

Most Greasy Taco - El Pollo Palenque

Meatiest Tacos - Melis

Hottest Sauce - Beach Street Taco Truck

Best Atmosphere - Fuzzy's Taco Shop

Worst Atmosphere - Melis Taqueria, (NOTE: This could change with good weather.)

Busiest Taqueria - Earnesto's Tacos

Slowest Taqueria - El Pollo Palenque

Most surprising Taqueria - Antojitos Latinos

Most disappointing Taqueria - Juanito's

Best Taqueria Name - Earnesto's Tacos

Worst Taqueria Name - Tacos Earnesto's

Monday, March 1, 2010

Melis Taqueria

4304 West Vickery Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX 76107-6312
(817) 377-8484
Consumer Tacos: Asada/Chicken Fajita
Preference: Asada

I had passed by Melis Taqueria many times (on my way to Montgomery Street Cafe) and they have been on my list to include in the hunt.

On a cold and rainy day, I made by way down Vickery BLVD to Melis Taqueria. The first thing I noticed---although the outside is rather large---there is no indoor dining. On cold and rainy days, this can be a negative, but I was hellbent on trying them. I walked up to the order window and waited. I waited some more and then waited some more. It was clear they were open as one Mexican was enjoying his taco on a picnic table and the lights were all on (including the neon OPEN sign). After not finding a buzzer, bell, ANTHING to alert them I was there, I decided to go next door to "Fernadez Cafe and Taqueria."

As I walked into "Fernadez Cafe and Taqueria" I was handed a menu. After looking at the menu, my conversation with the waitress (WHO WAS HISPANIC) went like this:

Me: I see you have "soft or crunchy" tacos.
Waitress: Yes
Me: Can you tell me if the 'soft' tacos are corn?
Waitress: We have corn tortillas, they are the crunchy ones.
Me: What about the soft?
Waitress: Flour
Me: What comes in the tacos?
Waitress: What?
Me: Does it come with onions and cilantro?
Waitress: Uhm...well, I guess we can put some onion and cilantro.
Me: Do you have Asada?
Waitress: No, just ground beef and (mumble)
Me: Okay, thank you---I was looking for some Asada, or Barbacoa, or Carnitas, or...
Waitress: No, we don't have those types of taocs [AND LITERALLY TURNS AND WALKS AWAY]
Me: [As she is walking away] Oh, sorry. I guess because your sign said 'Taqueria', was..a Taquria.

So that is my review of "Fernadez Cafe and Taqueria". Lessoned learned.

Thus I humbly went back to Melis Taqueria, and waited. In all fairness, upon my return there was a girl who ready to take my order. I did verify that it was "outdoor eating only" as I really did not want to eat in my truck. By this time one Mexican had left his spot on the only try park bench--so I was ready. I ordered two Asada and one Chicken Fajita taco. "Would you like everything on it?" inquired the young woman? (At least I was not asked if I wanted Cilantro and Onions---but more on this later). "Affirmative" I responded. "Oh, and let me have a glass bottle of the Mexican Coke".

As I sat on the picnic bench with my bottle of coke overlooking Vickery Blvd., I started to think how this place much actually hop in the spring and summer. There seems to be a large outdoor patio, but it was boarded up and assume they only open it in the spring/summer.
I know when I were in college I'm sure my fraternity brothers and I would have had no problem bringing a cooler of beer, and get down on some $1.40 tacos all night at a place like this.

But alas I sat as a 39 year old man sipping from his glass bottled coke, staring blindly into space waiting for tacos. Within a few minutes the woman rang a bell and said "Chree tas?" "I"m sorry, I asked?" "Chree TAcos?" she asked again. I looked away for a moment, puzzled as why she would ask me this question when she took my order and I was the ONLY person there. Nonetheless, I smiled and said, "yes". So much for what transpires in 1.3 seconds in my mind, onto the food...

I quickly took the picture of the tacos as it was quite cold outside and I did not want them get cold (there is little worse than cold tacos). The hot sauce was on the side and as I poured some red sauce on the tacos. "Hmmm" I thought as I could smell the sweet tang of the sauce. As I poured some green sauce on my tacos, I thought "ohhhhh shit" as I could smell the powerful habenero fumes coming from the sauce.

I first bit into one of the Asada tacos. WOW. That bad-boy was FILLED with quality, tasty meat. Unfortunately, something tasted a little different. Could it be? Tomatoes? AHHHH!!! There were tomatoes on my tacos. Actually, I did not mind too much as I like tomatoes, but was not expecting them. Next time I will ask for cilantro and onions only. Next onto the chicken fajita taco. Once again, WOW! It was over-flowing with meat. I must say out of all the taqerias I've been to on the hunt, Melis seems to offer the best bang for buck at $1.40 per taco.

Now to the negative: The tortillas. While they weren't necesarrily bad, they did keep them from a 'five taco' rating. If anything, they were a little under-grilled. They were almost like they were taken from the package, tossed onto the griddle for a few seconds and taken off. If not for this I would have no problem giving Melis Taqueria five tacos, but just like bread makes the sammich, tortillas make the tacos, in my opinion.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Beach Street Taco Truck

Parking Lot of Alpha Y Omega Church
3100 Block of North Beach Street
(Cash Only)
Open Tue-Sun 5:00 pm-10:00pm.

I slammed on my brakes.

Going home after a hard day's work, I pondered if I should pick up some food on the way home, and if so---what? Taking the back roads to avoid the nast 1-35N rush-hour traffic, I made my way down North Beach Street. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something in the parking lot of the "Alpha Y Omega" parking lot that was not there on previous days. A TACO TRUCK! As a long time fan and supporter of taco trucks, I was enthralled that one had surfaced on my route home.

Note that the title here is "Taco Truck". I did not explicitely see a name on the truck, so it will be henceforth known as "Taco Truck". When I first approached Taco Truck, I was surprised to see a cute little girl (approximately my daughter's age 7-8) taking orders. As I glanced at the menu, I was pleasantly surprised at the cost of tacos ($1.00) as well as the breadth of available menu iteams.

See picture below for the available menu items, as well as our gracious host smiling for the camera. ;-)

I ordered my usual: three Asada tacos--as always with onions, cilantro, and hot sauce. All of this for $3.00---that is a great bargain. The tacos came in single wrapped, white corn-tortillas. Although they were single wrapped, I never had an issue keeping the meat inside. At Taco Truck, there is no seating. You get your order on a paper plate covered with aluminum foil. You should sit and eat in your food in your car. If you are concerned about your tacos going cold by the time you get home, I suggest bringing your own styrofoam box, but rememebr---tacos ordered at a taco truck, should always be eaten in the parking lot of said taco truck.

The Asada VERY tasty. The onions were incredibly flavorable, and this was accompanied by the perfect amount of cilantro. I am grateful the hot sauce came on the side, as it was VERY hot.

I call these "one-bite" tacos. Not because they are so small that they can easily be consumed with a single bite, but instead because they are so good that you want to stuff the entire taco in your mouth.

The taco truck has become somewhat of a rarity in Fort Worth. Due to the multitude of zoning/ health code enforements that prevent honest people from making an honest living, it's difficult to find taco trucks that remain in one spot very long.

As for now, if you are around the 3100 block of North Beach street, be on the lookout for Taco Truck. I just hope it's there on my way home today...
UPDATE: I passed by there on Monday and they were gone. :-( However, on Tuesday they were back. I spoke with the Taco Truck woman, and she said they are there every day except Monday. My advice---get it whilst you can.

UPDATE #2: I have visited this place many times since my review and they are on location like clockwork. Give them a visit anytime Tue-Sun from 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm.

UPDATE #3: This place really seems to be doing great now. The past few times I've visited, there was a line to get tacos. They have also set up some out-door picnic benches on which you can eat. I sat outside there recently and ate with the owner. He told me his wife (who is the "chef") is actually a cook at another taqueria--I will not list the name of it to respect her privacy, but it has been reviewed on this site. The next time you go there, tell them the "white guy" who writes about tacos said 'hello'. ;-)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Antojitos Latinos

5201 McCart Avenue Fort Worth, TX 76115
(817) 923-8491
All Major Credit Cards Accepted

Consumed Tacos: Asada/Pollo
Preference: Asada

This is an exciting review as it's the first FIVE TACO taqueria I've encountered outside of Tacoville. While Antojitos Latinos is on the border, it is not in Tacoville proper, so this is a good sign that perfect tacos can be found in other parts of the area.

As with many venues, Antojitos Latinos was a random find for me. It's actually located in a strip center off of I20 and McCart where there seems to be a battle for culture zoning as the strip center has both Mexican and Korean stores. I'm unsure who will win this battle, but I do hope that Antojitos Latinos is still standing when it is over.

The inside of Antojitos Latinos is very drab. It's clean, but I would say this place has the least amount of atmosphere I've seen versus other taquerias found in the hunt.

I was not really that hungry, but owe it to my fans to do a review (cocky?) and thus wanted to get in an get out with a quick taco fix. So here is how it went down:

I sat down and told my waitress told me she would be right back with some chips/salsa. I waited about 3-5 minutes and she brought my FRESH (incredibly hot) chips that were probably the best tortilla chips I've ever eaten. They came with a green tomatillo sauce that was not that good. If we can combine Antojitos Latinos' chips with Tacos Earnesto's salsa, then we have the perfect combination.

As I poured salt on my piping-hot chips, I began to wonder what Jesus would do if someone put salt on his chips which he did not want. I concluded Jesus would simply ask for a separate basket of chips.

In looking at the menu, on the board above me, I was disgruntled at the fact the tacos were $1.75 each. The menu had $1.50 but x'd out the .50 and placed .75 next to it. I ordered my two tacos (and before asked I said, "yes, with cilantro, onions, and hot sauce"). As I woofed down my chips, I began to realize how long the tacos were taking. "Damn." I thought. "This is going to be a definite mark against them."

For you novices out there, taquerias should have your tacos ready for you within seconds. I was into a five minute wait, but I soon realized WHY...

When my tacos arrived I was immediately taken aback by the torillas that were used. They were white and fluffy. "Flour??" I thought. Could this place with such a Mexican name punked out and served me flour tacos??? Upon touching the taco, I realized it was not flour. But what was it?

I bit into the first taco, and then it was at this moment the skies opened up and God looked down at me and said, "Enjoy, young man. THIS is a taco." I had no idea what kind of tortilla it was but it was incredible. It was spongy, warm, but stuck together very well and LITERALLY melted in my mouth.

Another first: the tacos were too hot for me to immediately eat. Typically you battle preventing your tacos from getting cold, but I found myself blowing on these tacos. The chicken was stewed and had an incredibly amount of flavor. The asada was cut into huge chunks of meat, almost fajita like, but with the strong asada taste I so much enjoy.

Still, I could not figure out what type of tortillas these were. Were they some sort of new-fangled delicacy catering to the white-boy taste? Had they given up their Mexican roots and sold out? Upon leaving, I told my waitress how fantastic the tacos were, but had to know what sort of tortilla they used. "Corn", she said. "We make them fresh here."

Learning never stops...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tacos Earnesto's

3778 McCart Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76110-4619
(817) 922-8072

Consumed Tacos: Asada/Pollow con Chipotle
Preference: Pollo con Chipotle

I struck gold yet again in Tacoville by stumbling upon yet another five-taco taqueria. Please note that I do not bestow the five-taco rating to anyone. My vow to you all is that I will never jeapordize the integrity of this rating, and five-taco taquerias are essentially the "perfect tacos".

Tacos Earnesto's is a block away from Earnesto's Tacos. My assumption is that Earnesto's Tacos was in business first, and the second Earnesto was incredibly stubborn in wanting to use his name in his business, and he could only come up with Tacos Earnesto's. While he makes some incredibly delicious tacos, the man is obviously lacking marketing skills. Had I known of his shortcoming in this area, I would have offered my (inept but still better than his) marketing skills for free tacos. I would have encouraged him to name his restaurant "Damn good Mexican tacos" or "Tacos like a mug".

I was a little taken aback when I went in to Tacos Earnestos as the people eating at the two occupied tables were all white. Huh? Had I stumbled upon some "trendy" taqueria that caters to the gringo pallet? Is being a block closer to downtown that much different? Or...are do these white boys know something I don't?

The inside of Tacos Earnestos is unappealing like any good taqueria should be. There menu is simple and sits underneath the lamenated table-tops. My waitress immediately brought me chips and salsa BEFORE taking my order. I must say that this is a first in Tacoville, and a definite plus. The chips were so-so, but the salsa. Oh the salsa. This might be the best salsa I've ever tasted. Next time I am going bring a bottle and seriously ask them to fill it up for me so I can take some home.

I ordered three tacos. Two asada (which you can probably tell is my favorite), and one Pollo con y Chipotle (Chicken with Chipotle sauce). My waitress asked me if I wanted cilanto, onions, and hot sauce with it. Frankly I am getting tired of this question and felt like resonding, "What do you think", but I understand that she is working with quite a few potential "WTF" clients of causasian persuasion and must be careful.

Now something you might have noticed about this review. My preferred taco was actually the chicken and not the asada. This is not to say the asada was poor, but instead speaks to how good the chicken was. It was a shredded chicken that had been stewed in some sort of chipotle sauce. Oh my goodness it literally melted in my mouth. Biting into the taco generated squirts of chipotle sauce and grease to spew out of the taco, luckily forward and sideways, but not backward. The oninons and cilantro were a little lacking, but I was impressed with how finely chopped they both were, so that made up for it. I also dipped my tacos in the wonderful salsa. which simply made by taste buds erect like little vienna sausages it was so good.

The chicken tacos, plus the unbelievable salsa easily give Tacos Earnesto's a five-taco rating. Now if they could just do something about there name to avoid confusion.

Bonus message below. Try to crack the code.
Lobs care said Adam conned towel blasting donuts eat bus toddler voids fun dialed Tahiti his popcorn fiance financial site friend sees NASA.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

El Potosine

4254 Hemphill Street
Fort Worth, TX 76115-1350
(817) 920-0230
Visa/MC Accepted
Consumed Tacos: Asada/Carnitas
Preference: Asada

Heading back to Tacoville, I ventured in to the long awaited El Potosino. It's one of those places that actually looks better on the inside than the outside. I was pleasantely surprised with how big it was, and how neat and clean it looked.

Upon going to the counter to place my order, I was invited to have a seat so that my waitress. I am still not 100% sure which of these places to sit and be waited or which ones to order from the counter. Thereis no way to measure, so use this website as your guide.

My waiteress was very friendly, and I confidently ordered two Asada tacos and one Carnitas taco without evening looking at the menu (I'm such a braggart).

Within seconds of me placing my order, my waitress brings me a heaping bowl of chips. Unlike other venues I've tried, these actually came with seperate Salsa AND taco sauce. Hmmm...okay, so far so good. The chips were incredibly good. Not sure what sort of tortilla they used to make them, but they were thick, hearty chips. Wow, I loved them--and would recommend El Potosine simply for this fact.

Before I could really get down on my chips, I heard the ding of the kitchen bell indicating my three tacos (which cost $4.79, by the way) were ready.

What I first noticed was how I could actually smell the Asada as the plate was delivered, and that is a good thing. All three tacos were double-wrapped, and had a proportionate amount of cilantro and onions. The taco sauce was not incredibly hot, but this was due to the wonderful flavor of the meat. The Asada was incredibly tasty and had a little kick to it. The Carnitas might have been the best I've had. I'm typically not a huge fan of Carnitas, but these were spot on.
All in all I duly enjoyed my visit to El Potosine, and like many of the taquerias in Tacoville---they did not disappoint.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Taco Cabana

Consumed Tacos: Fajita Chicken/Fajita Steak
Preference: Fajita Steak

Believe it or not, I’ve been a long-time fan of Taco Cabana. Mainly because of their location to my house, it’s my quick taco fix when the craving hits me.

While their tacos are no doubt “white-boy” tacos, they do have a distinct flavor. Their fajita meat is actually very good.

The fajita tacos are a bit on the expensive side (1.99 each), but it can be argued they are worth it. The presentation is plain: meat only, wrapped in flour tortillas. While it might improve the tacos to throw some cilantro and onions up in there, the “plain” taco does make Taco Cabana unique.

The tortillas are always very fresh, and there is an abundance of meat they place in them. Their salsa is extremely good, and the steak fajitas has enough spices to give them a kick—thus light salsa is all that is really needed.

I give Taco Cabana three tacos. While they are not authentic, they are tasty and that is really all that matters. Many might be surprised that I put them in the same class with the authentic taquerias around Fort Worth, but a good taco is simply a good taco.

Friday, January 15, 2010

La Hechizera

2201 W Seminary Dr, Fort Worth, TX
(817) 207-8575
MasterCard, Visa accepted

Consumed Tacos: Chorizo/Fajita
Preference: Fajita

La Hechizera was a random find for me. I intended to review Tacos Earnesto (not to be confused Earnesto's Tacos a block away). Seeing as Tacos Earnesto does not accept credit cards (Booo!) I was fortunate to come across La Hechizera making my way down Seminary Dr.

I was pleasently surprised by two things. First, this was by far the cleanest taqueria I've been to on the hunt, and second, they accept credit cards.

Although itis the cleanest taqueria I've been to, don't let that fool you into thinking it is not authentic. So authentic in fact, the cashier had to get someone to translate my order. I assumed "Dos Fajita Tacos" would not be hard to translate. However, I could tell she was a little intimidated so I simply went with the flow and let him translate "Dos Fajita tacos y Dos Chorizo tacos".

To all the gringos out there, I ordered two fajito tacos and two "mexican sausage" (chorizo) tacos. They were very nicely priced at $1.39 per taco. My understanding is that Chorizo is a breakfast sausage. I've had Chorizo many times, but it's always been in wrapped up with some eggs in a flour tortilla. Easting it as a lunch taco---not recommended.

The tacos came double-wrapped in nicely grilled tortillas. The amount of cilantro/onions were a litte lacking. As mentioned, I don't think that Chorizo is especially designed for traditional tacos, but I thought it was worth a shot. The fajita meat was tasty, however it was not as lean as I prefer. The taco sauce, which came on the side was incredibly thick (almost scary looking) but as always I put a heaping amount on my tacos and thoroughly enjoyed them.

I feel La Hechizera has quality tacos, however tacos are not their specialty. Their menu consists of many other "meat and bread" combinations that I had never heard of, and some of them looked pretty damn good. In addition to my tacos, I also ordered some fajita quesadillas. Along with tacos, quesadillas are something else I thoroughly enoy, and thought I understood.
However, the great taco hunt is a learning experience. Learning never stops. What I learned on this trip is either La Hechizera has the most authentic quesadillas---or the most tricked up quesadillas I've ever had, because they were nothing like the quesadillas I've had throughout my life. This does not mean they weren't good. In fact, these quesadillas kicked my butt. The best way I could describe it a Monte Cristo sammich meets Queso Fundido de Pollo, and they have a baby. That was the quesadillas at La Hechizera.
Regardless, this is all about tacos. Had it not been for the Chorizo tacos (which yes, I ordered) I would possibly give them four tacos. However, for now I give them three tacos, and will return and post and update defining whether they should be move up to four tacos.