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Tacos are a life source in Texas. That’s a given. Though there is much appreciation for the classics like barbacoa, al pastor, pollo and carnitas, every so often it’s not a bad idea to switch things up a bit. While these shelled delights may be considered more gourmet or gringo, they are still worthy of the taco-eating head tilt.
Resident Taqueria: Caramelized Cauliflower Taco
Whether or not you are a meat lover is irrelevant when it comes to this taco. The cauliflower is caramelized giving it a slight crisp and it’s topped off with crunchy kale, pepita and a savory, zesty lemon epazote aioli all inside a soft flour tortilla. After two, and one of Resident’s deliciously tangy hibiscus margaritas you may start reconsidering your commitment to this whole meat eating thing.
Good 2 Go Taco: Hangover Helper
More often than not your standard breakfast taco will have meat, cheese, potatoes and an overflowing helping of eggs. If you’re anything like me, you could do without the later of these ingredients. Enter the Hangover Helper at Good 2 Go Taco. This whopper of a soft shelled wonder looks more like a burrito. It’s filled with greasy tender ground chorizo, a generous helping of creamy red skin mashed potatoes, shredded cheese and cotija. Finally, the egg haters have their own breakfast taco.
Top Knot: Chicken Katsu Tacos
You may not necessarily expect to crave tacos when visiting an Asian influenced restaurant for happy hour, but somehow Top Knot makes this a reality. Specializing primarily in tapas style menu items, their Chicken Katsu Tacos are just enough to leave you wanting more. Two tiny shells are capped with seasoned crispy fried chicken, radishes, cilantro and shishito aioli. Be sure to squeeze the lime for that extra bit of bite. Though you may need two or three orders of these petit tacos, they wash down quite nicely with the Dunchman Montelpulciano wine on tap.
Tacos y Mas: Chipotle Chicken and Crispy Beef Tacos
With a number of locations around DFW, Tacos y Mas is a one stop shop for your on the go taco cravings. Although they boast street and breakfast tacos, often overlooked are their Chipotle Chicken and Crispy Beef Tacos. The chicken is cooked slowly, shredded and marinated with different spices. It is best served in a flour tortilla and topped with a hefty helping of sliced avocado and their chipotle sauce. It has a sort of heartiness that feels like comfort food wrapped up in a flour shell.
There is a science behind making an incredibly magnificent crispy beef taco. First, you have to have a shell that isn’t too thick or too thin, but light enough and flavorful enough to successfully hold on to seasoned ground beef, shredded cheese and a dash of lettuce and tomatoes. There isn’t a million and ten things to say about these except that they are simplistically delicious. Within moments, you may look up and have breathed in three. I suggest dousing them in their creamy chipotle sauce or the verde salsa. It takes the taco from good to gotta have it.
Lee Harvey’s: Amy’s Fish Tacos
A good fish taco is hard to find. And it’s even more surprising that you can find them at an extra divey dive bar like Lee Harvey’s. This come as you are dog friendly joint is a great spot for lounging around, listening to a few tunes and shooting the sugar with the bartender. Though they are known for their burger, one should not dismiss the fish tacos here. Amy’s Fish Tacos include grilled white fish served on soft corn tortillas, topped with cabbage and jalapeño relish. The relish paired with the fish adds an assertiveness to the taco, it’s sweet but spicy as if to say you couldn’t do this without me. If you’re skeptical or you just like a great bargain, visit on Mondays when you can get these bad boys for $1 each.
Food, drinks, writing, repeat. Sometimes it happens in that same order, other times not so much. I've been writing and telling stories for longer than I'd care to admit. It took a while for me to realize just how much I preferred those stories when a fork, a knife and a bottle of booze turned out to be the main characters.