I keep missing Jose Ralat-Maldonado’s famous Taco Tours. Fortunately, I had some time this month to join the group for a couple stops on Northwest Highway. It was an opportunity for me to hit some great authentic tacos that are NOT located a few feet from a fuel pump. Perhaps one day I’ll work out a Gas Station Taco Tour with Jose. For now, we spent last weekend making a couple very memorable stops.
The first stop Birrieria Aguinaga (2829 W Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75220) is a tucked away taqueria in a sea of strip mall shops. They are best known for their birria (lamb) tacos. I ordered a couple plus some beef fajita, barbacoa, and carnitas tacos all on white corn tortillas.
The tables have squirt bottle red and green hot sauce. The table favorite was easily the green sauce; though, you can’t go wrong with the red either. There is just a nice bite to the salsa verde that added some great flavor to the lamb and barbacoa tacos.
The barbacoa tacos here are excellent, but I can easily see why the lamb is so well adored. The lamb tacos have a tender, flavorful quality that really goes well with the salsa verde, fresh tortillas and chopped cilantro and onions. I found the fajita taco worth skipping as it didn’t really do much when compared to the other choices on my plate.
The carnitas taco is delicious too and one of the better carnitas tacos I’ve had in Dallas. There is some nice browning of the meat where some crust of roast exists yet the meat is still tender, not overdone like many places.
I came away from Birrieria Aguinaga wondering how the next place was going to top it.
Enter La Nueva Fresh & Hot.
La Nueva (9625 Webb Chapel Rd, Dallas, TX 75220) is by far my favorite taco place in Dallas. There is a constantly running tortilla maker putting out the best flour and corn tortillas I’ve ever had. Then there is a small refrigerator section with home made containers of salsas and guacamole to the side of the counter. I would’ve taken a picture inside but was warned by Jose that they don’t like cameras, so you’ll have to go see for yourself.
After a fairly large plate of tacos, I wasn’t sure I could eat much more but I had to try a few here. I ordered the pastor, bistec and barbacoa tacos. For the pastor I went with the flour tortilla and honestly have to say I’m glad I did. The meat was full of flavor, lean and the homemade tortilla tasted amazing. Adding a little bit of salsa verde also made for one of the best tacos of the day.
The bistec, a thinly cut steak, was lean and cooked to perfection. I found the salsa roja went best with it. The star of La Nueva for me was the al pastor, but a very close second is the barbacoa. Their barbacoa is quite possibly the best barbacoa I’ve ever experienced. It is flavorful, juicy and lean. A squeeze of lime juice made it all the more memorable.
It was a great Saturday afternoon enjoying tacos with my fellow food writers and taco connoisseurs. I hope to make these events more often as Jose always impresses with his selections.
Follow Jose’s Taco Trail blog for future Taco Tours and great reviews of the Dallas taco scene.