Rusty Tacos Is a Fine Wake-Up Call

Categories: Taco Trail

rusty exterior.jpg
Not enough is written about breakfast tacos in Dallas. That's regrettable given that, like barbecue, breakfast tacos are a hallmark of the state's foodways, something so uniquely Texan that after my initial visits after marrying a D/FW native, I scoured the streets of New York in search of the ideal means of starting the day. (Saturday mornings aren't Saturday mornings without my wife's chorizo, eggs and cheese tacos.) I failed all those many years ago.

Rusty Taco, a polarizing taco shop in a repurposed gas station, serves excellent breakfast tacos, performing magic tricks with ingredients most muck up. The tuberous cubes in the potato and egg option have crispy outsides that snap lightly between the teeth. It's notable that something I always apply to a potato and egg taco is salt. The version at Rusty Taco needs no such extra seasoning. It's spot on.

The bacon in the bacon and egg was -- wait for it -- actually cooked properly. The strips of belly meat were crunchy strata with alternating hues; the curls of fat had bounce. Eating one of those tacos does not run you the risk of food poisoning from undercooked pork.

The three cross-sections of jalapeño breakfast sausage around which eggs were folded in the next taco also had snap. It lacked the kick expected from meat with a pepper in its name. Still, as far as breakfast sausages go, I was pleased.

The chorizo had the heat I wished was present in the links. That became a conflagration when I squeezed a generous amount of the habanero salsa onto the filling. The refreshing Cherry Coke from the gazillion-flavor-option Coca-Cola machine inside eased the mouth fire.

All the breakfast tacos were topped with shredded orange cheese that slowly melted while I sat at one of the picnic tables on the side patio. The saltiness of the cheese certainly contributed to my ignorance of the saltshaker I later realized had been in front of me during the meal.

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Breakfast of champions.
Of course, there were some unfortunate issues. The only quibbles I have with the tacos are the tortillas and the superficial gripe that the new non-breakfast fried chicken taco wasn't available before 11 a.m. The latter is reason enough to return. As for the hard-edge tortillas, they're still better than the industrial discs used at Good 2 Go Tacos, even if the SoCo (a hearty Southern breakfast, gravy and biscuit included, in a tortilla) at the East Dallas specialty shop is a lusty, heart-stopping item that makes the angels sing and the knees of Lakewood health nuts buckle.

These are minor complaints when compared with the triumph in the fillings, not to mention the success of the Greenville restaurant. Owner Rusty Fenton recently franchised the brand to a businessman in Minnesota. That gentleman, Bruce Ringgenberg and his general manager, Josh Epple, have curried initial favor with residents of the Twin Cities and beyond. (In five days, the second location's Facebook page acquired 150 fans.) All of this was before the original outpost's first anniversary, to be celebrated this Saturday with live music, a bevy of SMU students (among the restaurant's biggest fans) and tacos.

Now, I just got to get a fried chicken taco.

Rusty Taco
4802 Greenville Ave.
214-613-0508


Location Info

Rusty Taco

4802 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


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12 comments
flourtaco
flourtaco

I moved up here from San Antonio in 1995, I don't even bother looking for mexican food up here anymore.

BigChalupa
BigChalupa

I've been to Rusty's a couple of times now, and their lunch/dinner menu just doesn't do it for me. That said, I LOVE a good breakfast taco, so I'm totally willing to go back and try those, but may be stopping by Torchy's for a Dirty Sanchez first.

derelict
derelict

thanks for speaking up, maldo. very true. gringos will never get it.

dfw75208
dfw75208

Rusty makes its breakfast tacos by putting toppings on top of prepared scrambled eggs. I realize this is common up here, but it's a cheap shortcut to properly making tacos by scrambling the eggs with the chorizo or other filling. You can tell the difference immediately. These are fake tacos, not worth a trip.

Alice Laussade
Alice Laussade

I like that you just called Jose Ralat Maldonado a gringo.

Jose Ralat Maldonado
Jose Ralat Maldonado

I misread your comment. Initially, I thought you wrote that the eggs were prepared out of a mix. My apologies. I was taco drunk. It's a problem. I'm working through it with the help of loved ones. Like my wife. She corrected my interpretation. She also cooks the eggs and chorizo together. It's a Saturday ritual. And. It. Is. Awesome. However, cooking items individually doesn't immediately discount a product.

busterkeaton
busterkeaton

I don't think he was talking about Jose.

MP
MP

you can know this by looking at the tacos, with your eyes.

dfw75208
dfw75208

I have been there a couple of times and have had the tacos, with the dry precooked scambled egges topped with whatever. They aren't bad, but they are nothing special at all and not worth any special trip. I'm Mexican and from the Valley. I know my breakfast tacos.

Margie Hubbard
Margie Hubbard

Well, who would he be talking about? Gringos in general? Just felt the need to say that white people can't tell the difference between a good taco and a bad one? Kinda wondering what inspired the reference to gringos...?

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