Tacolandia

Tommy’s Taco Thursday: We Went to There—Tacolandia

Tacolandia Team Tacolandia the reality – the people were great, the weather was great, the music was a dominating force. I wonder if playing dance music extremely loud aids in digestion, because Team Tacolandia put down at least 15 tacos each, but surely no more than 20. It was amazing. VIPs entered an hour early and enjoyed zero lines (except for the alcohol line – which was just a trap to distract you from tacos). We spent an hour engulfing taco after taco. I’d say the highlights of the day for me was a carrot habanero sauce offered by Iron Cactus and a corn tortilla with cheese crisped on top (before layering on the meat and sauce) from Come Taco.

Alas, in a sea of tacos with cabbage slaw, grilled pineapple, grilled mango, and other gourmet accoutrements, I found two tacos worth noting. Let’s start with the best of the fancy tacos. The Taco Diner tent wins the prize for the best energy. The crew was bumping and grinding with the taco hunters. There were Dos Eques “rosaries” being tossed around and an inter-diner taco competition between a brisket taco that was pretty simple and chewy. This poor brisket taco got CRUSHED by the chicken and waffle taco. We’re talking warm corn tortilla with lightly breaded fried chicken breast pieces and a sweet maple cream sauce. So delicious! Highly recommend. I’m not sure if these mommasitas are on the Taco Diner menu, but if they are, get up on 'em.

Tacolandia VIPHere comes the champ. Most tents had little warmers and crock pots. Some tents had sterno canisters and chaffing dishes. For the most part, the workers would layout little black Styrofoam and carefully build tasty taco towers atop. Not at la tienda de La Banqueta! La Banqueta had a flattop grill. On the left side of the grill, piled high was about 10 pounds of chicken and on the right was about the same of beef. In the center were tortillas. As you approached the tent, the server would bare hand a couple of tortillas and use the tortilla to grab a handful of your choice of meat. These tacos were so hot, so fresh, and they had minced cilantro, onion, and some lime wedges for you. They had creamy, green salsa verde and a red salsa on ice. Boom! La Banqueta: Simple tacos done to perfection. And they had my heart and soul at Tacolandia. Also, their business card looks like an early Snoop Dogg album. Double bonus, turns out, La Banqueta is just a few minutes from my house. (And just like that, my property value doubled.)

Just as they let the general public into Tacolandia, I and my team were stuffed and ready to leave. Lines were forming, and it became clear that going VIP was a great idea. We were riding Ubers into the sunset before the little people had reached the front of their first line. I heard horror stories of people only getting to eat five or six tacos because of the lines. We ruled the day! We ruled Tacolandia!

Tommy Lee Brown teaches and performs at Dallas Comedy House. He is your man on the street, determined to eat. He is the belly of the city. No taco is too small or too commercial. He will eat it all, and tell you all about it. Direct taco related questions to taconightandday@gmail.com.

Tommy’s Taco Thursday: Tacolandia—A Vision

Tacolandia So I book an Uber to get me downtown to Tacolandia. It arrives. It’s a red-and-white checkered paper tray. You would recognize it from a concession stand or from ordering tacos at an East Dallas Taco shack. I hop in the back, and my driver is a smothered burrito. The drive is messy, but he gets me safely downtown. Downtown Dallas is transformed into a Taco Mecca. I step out of the paper taco tray and onto streets made of crispy taco shell. The trees and shrubs are gigantic cilantro bundles and heads of fresh lettuce. There’s a fountain spraying taco sauce 20 feet in the air.

I look around in wonderment, taking in all the sights. The clouds above are smooth, pillowy scoops of sour cream floating in a sea of blue corn chip crumbs. To my amazement and delight, they begin to drizzle warm queso down upon Tacolandia. Everyone has their heads tilted back and their tongues pointed to the sky.

The park benches are giant wedges of lime, and the buildings are giant taco salad shells towering into the sky. The gardens are peppered with chopped habanero, jalapeno, and cilantro. The air smells of crisping tortillas and cumin. There are tomato cannons shooting tomatoes in a 21-tomato salute to tacos.

The Flaming Lips are playing a stage made of ground beef, and all of their instruments are taco related. There’s a mean flauta solo popping as the avocados in the mosh pit begin making stage-side guacamole. Heads of garlic are spraying garlic salt into the crowd.

Then everything goes red.

When I wake up, I’m in jail. Apparently I went mad. I destroyed downtown. I consumed the crowds. I left a devastating crater of salsa stained carnage in my wake. I lie back on my cot and smile. I have no regrets.

#tacos #tacolandia #Dallas #Tommystacothursdays #VIP

Tommy Lee Brown teaches and performs at Dallas Comedy House. He is your man on the street, determined to eat. He is the belly of the city. No taco is too small or too commercial. He will eat it all, and tell you all about it. Direct taco related questions to taconightandday@gmail.com.