By Sara Newberry
If you had asked me before I visited Taco Heads, I would have said that Dallas does not need another taqueria. After trying Taco Heads, I am glad that no one asked me, because it might be my new favorite taco place. Nothing is going to replace the authentic tacos at La Banqueta or Taqueria Pinocho. And I still have room in my heart for the wacky tacos at Torchy’s. But Taco Heads falls squarely in the middle, and I now know that is a niche that needed filling.
The tacos range from traditional — carnitas and al pastor — to more innovative, like the charred avocado and roasted corn. They are, across the board, tasty. All of the ones we tried were generously filled and also loaded with flavor.
Chicken, carnitas and brisket are all tender from long braising, and are all well-seasoned. A charred avocado taco has a lovely mix of flavors, with the creamy, nutty avocado pairing well with the sweet corn. An updated al pastor balances the traditional sweetness with a little more heat than the traditional version. Garnishes of pickled cabbage and red and green salsas add texture and flavor. The only one I didn’t love was the wild-caught fish, but I think that was more an issue with the actual fish than with their preparation.
The staff loves the elotes and take every opportunity to hype them up. I found them a little too salty and preferred the bourbon black beans.
Queso and guacamole are served with thick, crunchy chips that have been seasoned with a mix of chile powder and spices. Guacamole is chunky and creamy, with lots of lime and cilantro. Queso tastes like real cheese, instead of “cheese,” and has the perfect hint of heat.
Taco Heads features a monthly special (called the “monthly craving”) on the menu, and for October it was chicken flautas. The plate came with two flautas, but they were twice as big as a normal one. With a side of black beans, they were a perfect lunch.
A dessert of Mexican hot chocolate cookies was sweet and spicy, just like real Mexican hot chocolate. Be sure to save room, which is harder than you might think.
Taco Heads started as a food truck in Fort Worth and, after several successful years on wheels, opened their first brick and mortar location there in January of 2016. And now they’ve come to Dallas, in the space that formerly housed ill-fated Lekka, The Gin Mill and Park. If anyone can succeed here, it’s Taco Heads. I think they’re definitely headed in the right direction.
1921 N. Henderson Ave.
Open daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Truck is open Thurs. – Sat. 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.