A newly opened restaurant in Mesquite brings its rendition of the puffy taco to town. Called Crispy N Puffy Taquito, it's the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of owner Jake Polendo to have his own puffy taco restaurant.
Polendo was previously a partner in a restaurant in Corpus Christi, but wanted to strike out on his own.
"My family has been in restaurants dating back to my grandparents," he says. "My intention is to bring back old family recipes with a modern twist."
Specifically, he says he has created a new kind of crispy taco.
"I've been cooking all my life and I reinvented it," he says. "It's crispy and puffy. It has puffy spots and crispy spots at the same time. You can order your food to go and take it home, and you still get that same crunch. It's one that will stay crunchy even if it has been sitting out for hours."
The puffy taco is a subset of the taco, which hails from San Antonio. It's mostly a textural thing, ideally crisp on the outside but soft within.
Polendo uses corn tortillas — "everything is corn," he says — and he uses meats without hormones or steroids.
His menu features two beef crispy n puffy tacos served with rice, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, and cheese.
There are also enchiladas, tostadas, chalupas, nachos, stuffed jalapeños, and fried mushrooms. They also have an offbeat offering of candied apples.
He's at 1151 East Davis St., in the former Scrumbscious Burgers & Pieshakes. "Everything was outdated, we got everything up to code, and the location is in the middle of everything," he says. "This is a modern Mexican restaurant, it's not what you see every day."