It was a beautiful day in mid January when our family enjoyed a walk around the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary’s Dinosaur exhibit. Heading back to the freeway, driving the side roads of McKinney, we passed a couple gas stations. The side of a Shell station had a large “Tacos 99¢” sign on a window. There was no other signage or even a name for the food stand inside the service station, but inside was a diverse selection of breakfast, fried burritos, hot dogs and tacos.
Several trays of meats rested behind a glass food service area. Out from the hidden kitchen emerged a young woman asking if I wanted something. Not exactly the friendliest of hellos and no hint of a smile. I ordered several tacos: beef, chicken, pastor (pork), and a lamb barbacoa all on corn tortillas with cilantro and onions.
The chicken taco was flavorful with hints of cumin and only a few fatty pieces I brushed aside. It was mostly shredded white meat and a bit surprising, since I was expecting to be unimpressed with so little focus on tacos in a sea of fried choices.
Both the pastor and beef tacos tasted similar which was disappointing after a tasty chicken taco. The beef was lean as was the pork, but with so little flavor I’d recommend going with the chicken tacos.
Finally, I starred at the lamb barbacoa taco wondering what to expect. Was it going to be flavorful or bland? It too was fairly lean, like the other meats. The first bite reassured me that the experience of this no-name food stop was going to end on a positive note. The lamb coupled with the onions, cilantro and salsa wrapped in a lightly oiled tortilla left me wishing I had ordered another lamb barbacoa.
One thing to note, I was asked if I wanted green or red salsa. I requested one of each and all of my tacos were topped with red and green salsa instead of being off to the side in separate containers. So be sure to request the salsa on the side if you wish to control the amount.
Overall this nondescript Shell station with large 99 cent taco signs was a delight. It’s nowhere near greatness, but for a street taco in McKinney I’m sure you’ll be hard-pressed to find something better, especially at a gas station.
Gas Station: Shell