It’s fascinating seeing the state of each gas station taqueria. Some are highly evolved like Fuel City; they have a full staff and even a freeway billboard advertising tacos over gasoline. Some are less evolved, and this particular taqueria feels like it is either in its infancy or is in a state of life support.
The gas station market is small and narrow, leaving barely enough room for one dine-in table with a few chairs. There is a full kitchen in back where a line of crockpots are filled with various meat choices each day.
There is no menu or pricing stated, but tacos are $1 each and you simply ask the cook what’s in each crockpot. The day I was there, the options were chicken, beef fajita, chicharones (fried pork rinds), stewed beef, and beef tongue. I went with a couple beef fajita, chicharones, and stewed beef tacos.
I asked the cook for corn tortillas, though; she had just made a small batch of flour tortillas. She then proceeds to open a plastic bowl with a corn meal paste and presses several corn tortillas. She heads to the cooking surface to cook the newly made tortillas and adds the meats per my order. I ask for some onions and cilantro, but am told there is none. A small stack of red and green salsas in plastic to-go containers are at the counter and I take a few with my Styrofoam container.
The tacos are fairly bland, especially since they lack onion and cilantro. The tortillas are quite tasteless and mealy. They’re simply too thick, which is disappointing after being impressed by the impromptu homemade approach.
The beef fajita meat was good with little fat and a good flavor. The stewed beef boiled in a tomato pepper sauce is OK but gets in the way of the meat (which tastes better without the stewed vegetables).
The chicharones has a similar sauce as the beef stew It is, of course, fatty by definition, but that’s what you want here. Unfortunately, the sauce mutes the flavor of the chicharones. I found that adding the salsa verde improved the flavor, but what’s really missing is cilantro and raw onion.
There is not much promise here. If I had to order again, I’d choose the flour tortillas, as the corn didn’t help the experience. With El Rincon del D.F. taqueria around the corner or Tacos 4 You down the street, this unnamed taqueria has some tough competition and sadly needs to be revamped or be okay with meeting the needs of those unaware of nearby quality choices for a gas station taco.
Gas Station: Phillips 66
Address: 11038 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX