Well known for its annual barbecue roundup, Texas Monthly has turned to tortillas for its latest list: The December issue features the 120 best tacos in the state.
As the cover declares, these are the tacos you "must eat before you die." The magazine recruited a team of 13 people who tasted more than 1,000 tacos from 14 cities in Texas to narrow down the list to 120.
The full list won't be known until the December issue comes out, but the magazine has teased the issue by revealing the top 10, though it does not identify them in order. But editor in chief Brian Sweany does say that these received a "perfect ranking," and that they used an official scorecard during the proceedings.
The top 10 list includes two from Dallas: the taco al pastor a la tuma at Urban Taco and the taco ahogado de birria from Los Torres Taqueria.
Urban Taco is the well-regarded mini-chain from Del Sur Restaurant Group, founded by Markus Pineyro in 2007. Its winning taco takes a standard taco al pastor — with rotisserie-spit chile-rubbed pork, roasted pineapple, guajillo piquin salsa, onions, and cilantro — then dials it up by adding grilled cheese and jalapeño.
The taco made the "favorite tacos of 2014" list on the Taco Trail, the taco blog by Dallas writer Jose Ralat, who not-so-coincidentally made significant contributions to Texas Monthly's roundup.
Los Torres Taqueria is a family-owned spot in Oak Cliff that specializes in Sinaloa-style food, from the West coast of Mexico. It earns praise for its goat and its house-made tortillas, both corn and flour. The taco ahogado de birria is a corn tortilla filled with tender goat and melted cheese, which gets griddled, then "drowned" with goat broth.
Other cities that can claim top 10 tacos are Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth, Brownsville, and El Paso.