February 18, 2011
So there I was, alone in my red rental Chevy Aveo, driving down Industrial Blvd in Dallas, TX on what felt like the sketchy part of town. I pull into the parking lot of Fuel City – a gas station filled with massive trucks loading up before their long road ahead – and park my car. Still dressed a blazer, slacks and a pair of pumps, I walk towards the convenience store sitting at the end of the pavement. A homeless man sees me getting out of my car and starts following me, asking if I have a quarter to spare because he’s hungry and wants a bite.
…Okay, you might think I’m joking but this is EXACTLY how it played out.
Why did I drive to the middle of nowhere? Tacos.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles so I’d like to think that our Mexican food is the best in the nation. I know this may not be true, I know I’m totally biased, but I’d still like to think as such. My aunt, who has lived the last 20+ years in Texas, thinks otherwise and has emailed me more than once about how, if I want to try “REAL” Mexican food, I should go for a visit. (C’mon now. Real Mexican food can only be found in Texas? Those are fightin’ words!) So when work sent me to Dallas for a business trip, I figured, “Hey! I’m going to get myself a Texas taco and see if there’s any bite behind that bark.”
Even though I’ve already set up Fuel City to be like Crapsville, it’s seriously a legit taco place. In December 2006, Texas Monthly named Fuel City’s tacos the #1 taco ever sold in the state of Texas. Listen to that title again: #1 TACO EVER SOLD IN THE STATE OF TEXAS. If I was going to compare tacos, one on one, this was the place to do it.
Anyway, back to the story…
I walk inside the store, past the fridges of alcoholic beverages, and up to a small, metal framed window on the right. I order two tacos: one barbacoa and one pastor. I pick up my little styrofoam to-go box, wrapped in a plastic bag, and walk back to the parking lot as there’s no seating anywhere to eat. On the way out, I fumble with my purse for a bit, trying to dig out my camera to take a picture of the glowing Fuel City sign overhead, but I can’t find it so I drive back to my hotel instead.
So there, in my red rental Chevy Aveo, parked under a tree in front of the Doubletree Hotel in Dallas, I open my little package and taste a Texas taco.
Verdict? If this are “REAL” Texas tacos, I freaking hate them.
The meat was stringy, dry and tough. There was no real differentiation in flavor between the beef barbacoa and the pork pastor. The worst part of it all: the obscene amount of grease. I’m not over exaggerating this one either – oil was pooling in the bottom corners of my styrofoam to-go box and coating the tortillas in a thin red sheen. (I even took a picture of it, I was so appalled.)
(This is NOT appetizing.)
To this day, when I think about Fuel City’s tacos…I should have given that hungry homeless man my food.
(Was this review too harsh? Fine. But it really did suck.)
801 S Industrial Blvd
Dallas, TX 75207