Finding Chicken Tacos That Don't Suck: Harder Than You Think

Categories: Eat This

el-paisano-chicken-taco.jpg
Yesterday I was back at La Banqueta for lunch. While I was waiting for my plate of suadero tacos, I chatted with a few guys who'd stopped in to give the place a try. One of the gentlemen had obviously fallen in love with La Banqueta's delicious street tacos previously, and talked his officemates into trying something new that afternoon. I was sad to see that many of them had ordered chicken tacos for their inaugural La Banqueta meal.

This made me sad because the chicken tacos at La Banqueta are rather forgettable. Compared to the suadero, pastor and cabeza tacos I've fallen in love with, they're actually pretty dismal. In fact chicken tacos at most taquerías around Dallas are usually awful because they're often fashioned from griddled poultry that's cooked until it's as dry as a saltine cracker.

Further down Carroll Avenue, Taquería El Paisano offers up dirt-cheap chicken tacos that blow most other offerings out of the water. The chicken tucked into the tortillas is mostly dark meat, and it's stewed in its own juices instead of cooked on a grill. The tacos weep when you eat them, dripping juices down your palms and onto your plate.

My only gripe with El Paisano is that they heat up their corn tortillas with so much oil they're almost inedible. These tacos have plenty of moisture and they don't need so much grease the tacos have a sheen. Opt for the flour tortillas instead, and relish one of Dallas' better chicken tacos.

The flagship location is on Lombardy Lane, just past Love Field, but more locations have been cropping up all over Dallas, including the one I visited on Carroll Avenue. Just look for the blue and white awning and make sure you're not mixing the place up with La Paisanita, which sports a similar color scheme but lesser chicken tacos.

Taquería El Paisano, 305 S. Carroll Ave.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
19 comments
blakebowyer
blakebowyer

Check out the chicken tinga tacos at La Paloma or Sunset Lounge.

Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

Because who the hell wants to eat a chicken taco?

scott.wooley
scott.wooley

Can we revisit this in about 6-7 weeks when So-Cal Tacos opens?

Kevin Andrew Kunreuther
Kevin Andrew Kunreuther

Yes, mine don't suck, unless that's how you eat your tacos, which is kinda' weird, then.

KEVINK8
KEVINK8

I make my own chicken tacos, not overdone, moist, fresh flour tortillas and my own homemade guacamole and refried beans - do chicken right, do it yourself

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

There isn't a chicken taco in the world that can compare with La Banqueta's suadero tacos. 

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

I have been eating at the Carroll restaurant since your first report.  Quite by accident I went to the Lombardy location.  They have a pretty nice patio serving three kinds of tacos.  There is also a dine in section with a full menu.  The driveway had a colorful crowd (it was about 4pm) of two very drunk men; they could stand but had difficulty enunciating words.  I ordered two pastors.  Sadly there was no trompo and no pastor.  The meat filing tasted of mealy ground pork with no pastor redness or flavor.  

While on the subject of tacos, I had a very good meal at Mr Mesero, but the carnitas taco was not made with carnitas, but with stir fried small cubes of pork.  It wasn't good, but rest of the meal was good enough I didn't mind.

runDMC
runDMC

I do love La Banqueta, but I also am deep in to it with Trompo Loco. The Mixta (chicken) is always a popular choice of the people ordering in front of me. I just can't get far enough  away from the trompo and the pirata to try one. La Gringa es muy popular tambien.

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@Twinwillow There can be, and there should be. It's just a matter of technique. #tacolab

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

@runDMC Same here.  I took Scott's advice on the tromp and pirata and stuck with it.  There are not very many other taco varieties so I am not tempted to change.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

When I grew up in SAT there were two types of chicken tacos, soft (corn tortillas, imagine an enchilada without the exterior sauce) and crispy (basic gringo taco shell). In many case the chicken was the same: a stewed chicken along the lines of chicken calabaza but without the squash. The hard would also have the shredded lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, but the stewed chicken quickly rendered the middle of the taco shell soggy. In no circumstances were chicken tacos like those portrayed in the photo above.

First, the tortillas on the picture are sorry looking flour tortillas. Second, those tacos are folded, not rolled.

runDMC
runDMC

@primi_timpano hamburguesa. I actually think I saw about 8 varieties when I was there last. I must do more research there! Soon.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...