Taqueria Mezquite Changes Up One Of Dallas' Better Tacos
Alice Laussade doesn't ask to hang out with me much, so when she invited me to tag along for one of her Cheap Bastard reviews I jumped on it. José "Taco Trail" Maldonado picked the place, Taqueria Mezquite, and it was just down the street. It was taco time.
While I munched on some carnitas-stuffed tortillas, José mentioned something that stuck with me. He said it was hard to keep up with all these taquerias because they changed so often. His words turned out to be prophetic.
I've been obsessed with the taco joint ever since we left. It had become a late-night destination I could hit up on the way home from a session at the Windmill Lounge to fill my stomach with tacos before I went to bed and subsequently filled my dreams with more tacos. The carnitas version was great, as was the chorizo, but it was the red onion relish with sliced habaneros that really got me going -- sweet, spicy, crunchy, pungent -- it was an amazing condiment.
But then one night after a Sazerac I dropped by Mezquite for a triple carnita order with a salsa I.V. and the place was closed. They used to be open till 3. a.m., and here I am just past midnight destitute and tacoless. I went home sad and lonely with no chorizo grease on my shirt.
And then just last night I stopped in again. I ordered three tacos with some rice and beans and then begged for the onion relish that was missing from my table. The waitress seemed confused, but then went into the back to ask and walked out with this:
The relish was now made with sweet onions, not red. The habaneros and onions were both chopped a lot more coarsely, too. The condiment was fine, for sure, but lacked the acidic bite and freshness of its former self. It wasn't till I got the check till I figured out (kinda) what was going on.
My waitress handed me a takeout menu with the name Ana's Taqueria on the top next to a happy-face taco. It seems there are some changes in the works at the restaurant, so it may be safer to refer to as the "the taqueria across from Ojéda on Maple Avenue," but the waitress and the cook in the back spoke Spanish well and English not at all, which is exactly the opposite of what I speak, so I couldn't get much info from them. Taqueria Mezquite and the logo of a ram head butting a cactus are still painted on the front, but the hours have shifted and the place now closes at 10:30 p.m.
Thankfully, while the relish was a little worse off, and those delicious carnitas were missing, the tacos were still very good. Here's hoping at least those stay the same for a long time.