Wednesday, July 6, 2022 Jul 6, 2022
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Food & Drink

Do Tacos and Wine Go Together?

Taco y Vino, in North Oak Cliff, really, really hopes so.
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Three of a Kind: Tacos come in trios, with house-made salsas and fillings that cater nicely to both carnivores and vegetarians. Kevin Marple

In the world of pairings, tacos and wine confound all customary logic. With Taco y Vino, a snug converted bungalow in North Oak Cliff, then, Jimmy Contreras and Sharon Van Meter (he a wine professional; she the culinary mind behind the event space 3015 at Trinity Groves) are blazing a new path.

Inside, take in bar tables, a wall-length wine rack, the verve of house-made salsas, and a discreet list of tacos, artfully conceived. The staff act laid-back and slightly unpredictable, at times gently absent, like the pause between vinyl records playing. Also, they are spotty on wine training.

For brunch, chilaquiles are a comforting mound of fried tortillas, queso fresco, pickled onions, and crema, with buried knots of yielding eggs and oozy cheese—a beautiful example of exuberance incarnate. Chicken tinga was not a paradigm of long-braised tenderness. Pulled meats, such as barbacoa, are best to crown the top. I would skip jalapeño poppers, filled with a puzzlingly acidic jalapeño ranch sauce, in favor of fluffy tamale morsels that boast texture and flavor.

But I have found that there are no bad options among the tacos, delivered in volleys of three (from eight on offer). The crispy avocado claims its delightful crackle from panko breading, while the flesh inside remains a vibrant, brilliant green. A vegetarian pulled-jackfruit take on cochinita pibil features a chewy, meaty, succulent main, reminiscent of pineapple, and a fantastic use of achiote slaw and queso fresco. Blackening spices enliven catfish; carnal satisfaction accompanies carne asada. These, and the neighborhood-y vibe, are reason enough to come.

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