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
August 24, 2010
I feel like this blog is just an accumulation of things I love:
“I love my burgers medium rare.”
“I love runny eggs.”
“I love Mexican grilled corn.”
“I love sweetbreads.”
“I love Anthony Bourdain.”
(…You get the point.)
Today, it’s time to add something new to that list:
“I love breakfast tacos.”
I never even heard of breakfast tacos prior to this trip to Dallas. Breakfast burritos, yes, but not breakfast tacos. And I’ve definitely never heard of a breakfast anything like the breakfast tacos Good 2 Go Tacos have.
I hesitate to describe Good 2 Go Taco as “gourmet” because everything about it screams anything but. Location-wise, it’s currently just a couple of burners located in the back corner of the Green Spot gas station convenience store. (Note: This was their last week at the Green Spot; they’re opening a larger, dedicated location scheduled to open in October 2010.) Price-wise, it’s hole in the wall cheap at $3.50 a taco. Portion-wise, it serves pretty hearty portions; they use fajita sized flour tortillas and each one is stuffed to the brim. However, flavor-wise…it tastes like a gourmet taco.
I didn’t know this until now,but Good 2 Go Taco’s Paris, TX breakfast taco was on The Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate”. I can see why: juicy, tender hanger steak is piled into each taco, along with fluffy eggs, fresh spinach, cheese and potatoes. It’s a monster of a breakfast taco – it’s equivalent to at least half of a breakfast burrito.
(Of course, even though one taco is probably enough to fill me up, I ordered two.)
Although I liked the Paris, TX taco, I would argue that the Honey Bear is even better. Filled with chile-honey bacon, egg, spinach, and goat cheese, it’s a fantastic combination of sweet and salty. My favorite component is the the goat cheese; it melts into the warm eggs, creating this creamy, savory concoction.
Considering I originally knew nothing about breakfast tacos, Good 2 Go Taco was definitely a memorable introduction for me. Los Angeles has GOT to get in on this breakfast taco thing!
Good 2 Go Taco – MOVED
(new location information)
1146 Peavy Rd
Dallas, TX 75218
August 23, 2010
When I landed in Dallas earlier today for my 36 hour business trip (only in Corporate America can you rationalize flight, hotel and car rental costs for a 36 hour trip!), I was STARVING. I left for LAX at 7AM PST and didn’t get checked into my hotel until 4PM CST (i.e. 2PM PST). That’s SEVEN HOURS of no food. STARVING.
Problem is, 4PM is a crappy time to be hungry. 4PM is that ridiculously inconvenient time between lunch and dinner. All the nicer places are either: 1) already closed for lunch or 2) aren’t open yet for dinner. Plus, I’m wearing shorts, a tank top and rainbows – If I go to a nicer restaurant, I have to take a shower, get changed, look nice…Screw that, I’m just going to get a burger.
I think it’s pretty easy to figure out what Maples & Motors Burgers & Beer serves; I mean, the words “burger” and “beer” are included in the name. However, I didn’t realize the legitimacy of the name until I walked in:
Me: So what’s your most popular burger here?
Guy behind counter: Well, most people get it with mustard, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes and onions…
Me: *thinking to herself* ….Wait, what is he talking about?? *looks at menu* Holy crap.
I didn’t realize it until then but when the sign says burgers, it means BURGERS. None of that frou-frou, fancy stuff, we’re talking classic burgers with the normal fixings. I ordered a burger with cheese and a fried egg (not realizing that they also had grilled jalepenos, grilled onions, bacon and chili as topping options – if only I had known!), a side of tater tots, and a fountain soda. (Btw, they have IBC root beer from the fountain – IBC ROOTBEER. None of that inferior Barq’s stuff. Is this what it’s like to live in Texas? I sort of like it.)
(This is what a classic burger should taste like.)
My burger gets to the table. I cut it in half and…the patty’s still pink in the middle. (Glorious! I LOVE my burgers medium rare!) Not only was the beef slightly pink, but the egg was runny too. Now, I realize we’re in the middle of a gigantic egg recall/salmonella scare right now but I love runny eggs. They’re one of my favorite things in life. (Yes, in ALL OF LIFE.) So when I saw that yolk, I was very very happy. (If I get sick, whatever – it was totally worth it.)
And I didn’t forget the the tater tots! They were awesome too! Crispy on the outside, steaming hot on the inside…I couldn’t eat them all but I couldn’t bear throwing them away so I wrapped them up and am now eating them cold in my hotel room.
So end of story: Maple & Motors is GOOD. I think I may have ruined my appetite for dinner but I don’t really care anymore – this is solid food, right here.
Maple & Motor Burgers & Beer
4810 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219