Taco Heads on Henderson Ave.
We recently wanted to try somewhere new for Sunday brunch, but needed for it to be relatively quick. Driving down Henderson Ave. in East Dallas, we noticed that a frequent turnover spot that most-recently housed Lekka was up and running as Taco Heads, the physical incarnation of a local taco truck.
Now, we're not that shy about our feelings on traditional taco spots around town. Torchy's is great, but is a chain, Rusty Taco is ok if you have to go. And, we think Velvet Taco makes some of the worst tacos we've ever had. Don't get Cameron started on the crispy spicy tuna roll fiasco! We like multiple street taco spots, but those really are in a completely different category than the luxury taco joints sprouting up around town. So, we weren't 100% sure what to expect from Taco Heads, but we were hoping it was better than the rest.
Walking in, we really liked what they'd done with the place. They brightened it up, built out plenty of room to enjoy cocktails or congregate when the weather gets nice, and still retained the large bar for quick drinks or a bite to eat. They improved the outdoor seating area as well. All-in-all, a much better space than when Lekka occupied it.
We started out with a Bloody Maria, which is just a Bloody Mary, except with tequilla instead of vodka. They made the salted rim extra spicy, and their house-made bloody mix was thick, but not overly-so. It was definitely a quality drink for sure. And we really liked the spice!
We both decided to go with the 3 taco plate, which is a steal at $13.25 per person. Natalie added guac and chips for an extra $3, Cameron added queso and chips for an extra $2. When the guac and queso came out, we were pleasantly surprised at the serving size (really big), and the fact the chips were all house-made and seasoned perfectly. It's the little things that make a restaurant successful, and Taco Heads started really well with the chips and guac / queso. The queso was a little lumpy, but that was just a nit we could live with.
Next came the tacos themselves (which we were happy we could order in bowls--just like at Torchy's). Natalie ordered a Texacana (which is a breakfast taco with scrambled eggs, carmelized onions, bacon, and aged cheddar), the Nuevo Leon al Pastor (spicy, with a great balance from grilled pineapple), and the Gulf Shrimp (shrimp, with garlic and a pickled slaw). Natalie's favorite was probably the Leon al Pastor. The Gulf Shrimp could be improved if they used something other than multiple whole cloves of garlic in a single taco. With garlic, a little dab will do! Natalie thought the breakfast taco was a bit dry, and would have liked to see the cheese sprinkled on top melted. But, overall, she liked her selections.
Cameron ordered a Carnitas taco, a "Mama Castillo's Chicken" taco, and a Roasted Chipotle Brisket taco. The brisket was probably Cameron's favorite. The meat was cooked really well, was extremely tender, blended perfectly with the queso added in, and the taco wasn't dry in the least. The Carnitas probably came next--a little dry, but overall it had fantastic flavor. Cameron was a little disappointed with the chicken taco. It actually didn't have that much flavor, and was unfortunately pretty dry. He'll skip that one next time.
Wanting to try some of their drinks besides just the Bloody Maria, we washed our tacos down with a Paloma, and a Texas Ranch Water--both cocktails mixed directly into bottles of Topo Chico. The Paloma was definitely very grapefruity and refreshing, while the Texas Ranch Water was like a sparkling skinny margarita. Both were tasty, light, and refreshing! We like the Topo Chico cocktail trend we've been seeing around town. Plus, super easy to make at home!
At the end of the day, neither of us needed all three tacos, when you added in the guac and queso. But we really did enjoy almost everything, and think the simple food and cocktail menu, and the bright surroundings, mean Taco Heads will stick around for a while. Everyone we encountered seemed happy, and well-fed. Just the way you should be when you hit up a fast-casual taco spot. We'll be back.