Los Altos de Jalisco No. 2: I Got My Goat
One of the reasons I was attracted to this Cockrell Hill taquería, located catercorner to the Westmoreland DART station, was the paucity of information about it online. There's much on its sister location in Lakewood. But again, zip about Los Altos de Jalisco No. 2. I had 20 minutes before needing to catch the train to meet the missus for a KRLD Restaurant Week dinner -- yes, I was eating two dinners that night -- so I stopped in for a few tacos at the restaurant that looked as if it were a Captain D's in a past life.
Photos by Jose Ralat Maldanado
The restaurant was empty. The only sign of anyone else having eaten there was a table upon which were baskets with half-eaten tacos and wads of salsa-stained napkins. The lone waitress was leaning lethargically against the door frame of the hallway to the bathrooms. She seemed put upon by my request for a menu. None of this was a harbinger of taco terrific-ness.
That's when I saw it. Goat. My search for a goat taco in Texas had ended. Eureka! After more than a year since moving from New York City, I was going to get my goat. Maybe I had misinterpreted things. I ordered a carnitas and pastor for $1.25 and what was sure to be a glorious cabrito taco for $1.50, along with a lemon agua fresca.
My gut feeling is something I shouldn't have ignored. My initial negative impression about Los Altos de Jalisco No. 2 was the correct impression. The only items worth superlatives were the sweet corn tortillas, the refreshing agua fresca that cooled me down, releasing my thick dress jeans from my legs, and the absence of trite representations of Pancho Villa on the restaurant's walls.
None of the tacos were worthy of the subject of some traveling troubadour's song of chivalric love. The pastor was wonderfully oily but under-seasoned. The carnitas was light and moist yet needed salt. Thankfully, the spicy salsa verde saved it. Well, except for the piece of bone I found between my molars. Fresh off the bone is one thing, fresh with bone is another. Then there was the cabrito. The promising flecks of tomato and red chile belied the mealy texture and the flavorless meat. I finally got my goat and said goat kicked me in the nards. Dear readers, can you point me in the direction of an outstanding goat taco?
As I walked to the DART station, I saw that the stylish El Tizoncito, the much-lauded Mexico City-style taquería, was around the corner on Illinois. Perhaps I should've gone there instead. But ambling the Taco Trail is about exploration, not what would most certainly be a cushy rest stop.
Taquería Los Altos de Jalisco No. 2
2515 S Westmoreland Road