Dishers, meet Christopher Baccus. He’s a taco junkie and blogger. Not just any kind of taco, primarily those found in or near gas stations. We love to shine the light on folks fixated on food . Here’s his story and his first review of gas station tacos.
“I love to cook, but I enjoying eating even more. At home, I use local ingredients whenever possible and we buy all of our grass-fed meats from a small, local ranch. When I’m not at home cooking, I enjoy authentic ethnic cooking over an elegant gourmet meal. I’m a serious car nut and love tacos. After moving to Dallas last year, I kept finding great taco stands in local gas stations and after about the third meal my wife turned to me and said, “You should really start a book or blog about this.” I looked at her with a big grin and said, “Are you really encouraging this behavior?” A month later that I started the blog.”
Gas station Taquerias are often not located in a desirable part of town. Pulling up to a such gas stations in a flashy bright red convertible also has its drawbacks. My visit to El Tacaso at a Fina Station on Harry Hines was one of those time where it worked against me.
I began filling my tank and walked over to the outside counter of the taco stand covered by a faded blue awning. As I approached, a homeless man missing most of his front teeth and wearing a “Tap it and They Will Come” t-shirt asked me for some change. I hadn’t even placed my order yet and was in possession of a single $20 bill.
When it was my turn to order, I went with 2 fajita beef, 2 pastor, and 1 chicken taco all on corn tortillas with cilantro and onions. The “gentleman” next to me waited for my change of $13.75. I guess he figured he’d get a chunk of it by telling me how nice the two ladies who work the Taqueria are and how the people who run the gas station are “not so nice.”
I ignored him and went inside the gas station market to buy a Mexican Coca-Cola. When I returned to my car, my homeless friend was waiting. He started chatting about my car, wondering what year it was made. Since I didn’t feel he wasn’t going away any time soon, I gave in and handed him some money. I finished our small chat and got back into my car. At that point, a couple women in the car next to mine started shouting that one of the gals wanted to be my girlfriend.
I left El Tacaso with my bounty of tacos and Mexican Coca-Cola sans a few dollars and a new girlfriend.
After one bite, I realized these tacos were worth the trouble. They are loaded with meat, a decent amount of cilantro, and a pile of grilled onions on the side. My container of 5 tacos came with 3 containers of salsa roja. In addition there was a full lime cut into 4 wedges. The corn tortillas were decent, nothing fantastic, but had a good flavor and held the decently filled tacos well.
The fajita beef taco was cut into small diced cubes and had a burst of flavor. The meat was very lean in all the tacos and was one of the rare times I didn’t have to pick out a bunch of fatty chunks. I kept on enjoying the two beef tacos dipping them into the salsa roja that had an intense kick to it.
For those who do not like a lot of spiciness, the salsa is to be avoided. If you do love a significant amount of chilies in your hot sauce, El Tacaso’s homemade sauce will be one of your favorites. There is plenty to like about it. I wondered if there is a salsa verde available too. Unfortunately, this time I did not request any salsas and was simply given the salsa roja containers by default.
The pastor tacos were filled with robust red-ish (from the anchiote spice) diced pork. Again, the meat was lean meat and with plenty of flavor enhanced by a few dunks in the salsa. Some pineapple would’ve made it even better, but I added some grilled onions.
Finally, the lonesome chicken taco. I rarely get chicken tacos, but for some odd reason I decided today I would and I was glad I did. The chicken tacos at El Tacaso are excellent. They are all white mean that is finely chopped without any fat and plenty of flavors. The quality is very high, like the beef and pork tacos, but the chicken taco really won me over. So far this is the best gas station chicken taco I’ve had in Dallas, or anywhere else.
Provided you are up for a little more adventure than the typical run to Fuel City, you might want to give El Tacaso a try. I’m actively shopping for a $500 car on Craigslist so I can enjoy this place without all the extra unwanted attention.
Gas Station: Fina
Rating (5 out of 5 oil drops):