Saturday, October 26, 2013
Taqueria la Paisanita (Dallas, TX)
Every once in a while I just get this uncontrollable urge for barbacoa. I've driven past Taqueria la Paisanita more times than I can count, but today was the first time I decided to stop.
La Paisanita certainly doesn't look like much, though these kinds of places usually have the best street tacos. There are a few barstool seats inside this tiny shanty, but a to-go order seemed more appropriate. I mustered up all of the Spanglish available in my personal lexicon and prepared myself for difficulties in ordering. Luckily, the teen working the counter today spoke perfect English.
I asked about the source of their barbacoa and was assured that it was cachete (cheek meat). Far too often, you'll find shredded brisket masquerading as traditional barbacoa, so I was hopeful that I'd receive the beef cheeks they promised. I ordered a trio of tacos: barbacoa, lengua (tongue), and al pastor. Most taquerias only serve their tacos in corn tortillas. Here, I had the option for corn or flour tortillas, but I much prefer flour to corn, so that was a no-brainer. They also asked if I want my tacos "all the way." I didn't know exactly what that would entail, but I was pretty sure I wanted it.
I started my taco smorgasbord with the lengua. Tongue meat probably isn't something that most city folk care to eat, but I really enjoy it. The meat was tender and rich. It didn't have a lot of flavor on its own, but the fresh cilantro and onions fixed that nicely. That being said, I found a slightly unusual aftertaste, even for tongue.
Next came the al pastor taco. Unlike the lengua, this one had a lot of flavor. Al pastor meat is typically marinated over the course of 1-2 days, so you'd expect nothing less. The marinated pork was a real pleasure to eat, though lacked the spiciness I hoped for. It was a little greasier than I'd prefer, and just a tad too salty.
Finally, the piece de resistance: barbacoa. It was just as good as I'd hoped it would be. You'd never guess that it was cheek meat if you didn't know better. The crunch of the onions worked well with the tender meat. It had a very mild seasoning, which let the barbacoa's natural flavors really shine.
Taqueria la Paisanita wasn't the best barbacoa I've had in Dallas, but it was good enough for a $4.00 lunch.
Taqueria la Paisanita
2505 Inwood Rd.
Dallas, TX 75235