La Grange Has A New Taco Menu, For Now

Categories: Whimsy

Taco La Grange.jpg
Deep Ellum has always been a music hub; what's been missing is good food. Lemongrass and Local have been producing decent eats for some time, and Uncle Uber's Sammich Shop is a welcome addition to the 'hood, but for the most part Elm, Commerce and Main streets have catered to folks who put their music and beer first. Food is an afterthought.

When DC9 At Night reported music venue La Grange was for sale, I was initially a little distraught. The piece by Pete Freedman quoted owner Stephanie Schumacher with respect to the kitchen space added after she took over. "Adding in the kitchen really turned it into a whole product. There's value there," she said. But the real value isn't in a gas range, expanded refrigeration or whatever else they did. It's in a menu they developed that's just now coming into its own.

I had brunch at La Grange months ago, during my interview with the Observer, and I wasn't impressed. The buffet style offering was amateur at best and borderline unpalatable, boasting rookie potatoes and eggs in hotel pans that barely kept their offerings warm. A few weeks ago I returned. They'd added a selection of tacos and a few snacks, and suddenly the space has the potential to rock some late night eats.

La Grange's fare would never hang with Dallas' more authentic street tacos or many of the popular taquerías, but considering the evening offerings in Deep Ellum, the updated menu is a welcome addition. I really hope whoever takes over when Schumacher runs for the hills, moneybags in hand, has the sense to hang on to a menu that serves a specific niche in the 'hood by serving $2 tacos that pack serious flavor.

Pork verde stands out, pairing tender, moist, braised pork with lettuce onions, and a habanero crema. The brisket tacos are good too. The kitchen can get a little heavy handed with the queso, but the lime-tinged crema is a nice touch. Vegetarians rejoice! Poblano peppers are featured in two meat-free tacos, one with mushrooms, the other with pinto beans. I hope all these tacos will still be available when and if a new owner steps in and takes over.

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11 comments
EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

Their brisket is amazing. Better than most BBQ joints I've been to in the city.

MissMary
MissMary

I hate how so many Dallas Observer food reviews don't take a definite stance or have a definitive mood. "...would never hang with Dallas' more authentic street tacos or many of the popular taquerías" and "the brisket tacos are good too" don't seem to belong in the same article together.  It's kind of hard to tell if it's good or bad. Take a firm position and offer some real feedback.  If you love it, that's okay. If you hate it, that's cool too.  But don't be afraid to say so. Genuine feedback can only make improvement.

(I love LaGrange, by the way. My favorite place to get full and tipsy for under $15! But it would be nice if I could get rice and beans with my tacos...) :P

Coleman
Coleman

"​Deep Ellum has always been a music hub; what's been missing is good food."

whatthefuckamireading

holman
holman

Il Cane Rosso and The Free Man - both have great food.

Truckel5
Truckel5

I would have to disagree with your statement about the lack of good food in Deep Ellum. The restaurants are the reason there is any semblance of the neighborhood coming back. Angry dog and Adairs are perennially listed on best burger lists. Your publication just named Pepe and Mitos best Tex Mex restaurant. All Good Cafe breakfast - enough said. If it weren't for places like these along with St. Pete's, and, um, hello, Monica's, we would be referring to Deep Ellum in the past tense.

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

Their tacos are amazing, period.  Best I've had.  Very unique baja-style tacos with original modifications.  The Squid Vicious is a work of art, and the mushroom poblano is one of the best things you'll ever put in your mouth.  All for Taco Bell prices.

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

Well Angry Dog hasn't earned a best burger award in quite some time, but I hear you on the other places. I've been doing a lot of comparison between Oak Cliff, and Deep Ellum, and I think the food in Deep Ellum comes up short. Oak Cliff of course lacks a vibrant night life... If only the two hoods were closer together.

G_David
G_David

Angry Dog may not have been named best burger by the Observer recently, which I guess means that you haven't been able to bill them for as many advertising dollars lately. But they still top my own personal list of best burgers in town, and that's really the only one that I give a shit about.

Truckel5
Truckel5

No doubt, if only. I just think it needed to be pointed out that these places stayed open when no one else could or would and kept people coming to the area, hastening it's comeback.

G_David
G_David

Angry Dog may not have been named best burger by the Observer recently, which I guess means that you haven't been able to bill them for as many advertising dollars lately.  But they still top my own personal list of best burgers in town, and that's really the only one that I give a shit about.

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