Review: El Taco

We were coming back from Southlake, a suburb Northwest of Dallas, and were trying to get to a Costco off the Dallas North Tollway.  I was without my iPhone as it slipped out of my shirt pocket earlier in the day while pulling up my son Oscar’s pants in a Five Guys restroom landing in you guessed it… the toilet. No none of this was making me hungry for gas station tacos; I promise.

Due to the unfortunate loss of functionality in my iPhone, we had to guess how to get to the Costco from Southlake and still being fairly new to Dallas we (okay, I) guessed wrong and we drove first North then South on the, yes the name of this toll road is for real, President George Bush Turnpike, Heading South and still not finding our connection to the Dallas North Tollway we ended up at the end of the Turnpike at a Texaco station to ask for directions.

Inside the Texaco is “El Taco.” Someone apparently spent a lot of time thinking what to name this gas station taco stand.

El Taco has a small counter with room for 3 stools and there is a table for 2 next to the cooking area.  There were no prices on the menu, but after ordering 3 tacos I owed $3.75 so a $1.25 a taco which includes tax.  I ordered a beef fajita, barbacoa, and pastor.  They also offer chicken tacos.

The tacos were single corn tortillas, unlike most that double up the tortilla, but unlike some places the tortillas were strong enough to withstand a healthy serving of meat.  The onions and cilantro given was generous and off to the side so you can fill the tacos as you wish.  Two small, but juicy limes accompanied green and red hot sauce containers.

The barbacoa was quite slimy and flavorless. I removed some of the gristly pieces and the taco tasted better; though, this resulted in my losing about 40% of the filling. Still though there was very little flavor and I would definitely skip the barbacoa here.  Unfortunately, barbacoa seems to be the most difficult meat for gas stations to make.

Next up was the pastor.  There were just three small fatty cubed pieces that I discarded and the flavor here was more noticeable than the barbacoa.  The flavoring was quite pleasant and out of the three choices I made, the pastor was by far the best; though, there still wasn’t enough seasoning here to make for a truly great taco. Good thing El Taco serves there tacos with a flavorful red hot sauce that made up for such subtle flavored meat choices.

Finally, the beef fajita taco disappointed even though it looked promising.  The meat was so dry and again flavorless that it needed a lot of lime juice and hot sauce to produce any flavor.  For a quick stop gas station taco, it still is better than a typical gas station hot dog, but that’s not saying much.

Overall El Taco makes a passable pastor taco that is worth picking up if you get lost and end up in Grand Prairie, Texas asking for directions after your phone takes an iTurd.

Gas Station: Texaco

Address: 1402 N State Highway 161, Grand Prairie, TX 75050-2802

Rating (2 out of 5 oil drops):

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Categories: Reviews

Author:Chris Baccus

Accomplished marketer, home cook and aspirational bass player.


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