Mami Coco taqueria totes award-winning tacos to buzzy East Dallas corner
A Mexican restaurant specializing in an irresistible kind of taco has landed in East Dallas: Called Mami Coco, it's at 2706 Samuell Blvd. at East Grand Avenue, where it's serving flautas, enchiladas, sopes, and tacos, all made by hand.
This is a spinoff of the original Mami Coco, which opened in 2018 at 4519 Bryan St., and which earned a spot on a list of the best tacos in the U.S. compiled by Yelp; Mami Coco made No. 10 on the list.
They do street tacos, available on corn or flour tortilla, with choice of shredded or ground beef, chicken, barbacoa, tripe, or tongue.
They also offer vegetarian and vegan options including enchiladas with queso fresco and onions, topped with carrots and potatoes; and sopes, thick moist corn discs topped with beans, which you can get with meat or in a vegan version with avocado.
The food is a bargain, with tacos $2 to $3, and a deal on Tuesdays, with 5 tacos and a soda for $9. Delivery is available through GrubHub and DoorDash, and they cater for events, as well.
But it's only at the new location on Samuell Boulevard that you can find their version of tacos bañados, made "Tlaquepaque-style," said to be popular in Monterey, Mexico. Bañados means "bathed." In this case, it's barbacoa tacos bathed in a red chile sauce: a juicy, beefy delight, best tackled with fork and knife.
Chef-owner Gustavo De Los Ríos is from Monterey and a Dallas food & beverage veteran who once owned a restaurant in Crowley called Habanero Mexican Cuisine. He sold it after his daughter was born to spend more time with his family.
... Until he spotted the former Tacos La Banqueta on Bryan Street for lease. He felt the space had "magic."
"Everybody that had done business in that spot has grown," he says.
The second location was found in a similar serendipitous manner: His wife Gaby spotted it while having dinner at Mesón Maya across the street. It's next door to Mixtito’s, which opened in August, and with the arrival of Mami Coco, that corner is shaping up to be a sizzling foodie destination.
The new location has the feel of an authentic Mexican antojitos restaurant. Small, cozy, colorful, it seats 25, including a bar table that echoes the casual feel of the original.
The whole endeavor is a family collaboration. Gaby is the one who painted the vividly colored mural of alebrijes, mythical creatures that are a popular folk art motif in Mexico. His brother did the remodeling, and his niece helps with their online presence.
They inherited an order and pick-up window from the previous tenant El Taco Loco, which they keep open beyond their 10 pm closing time for late night orders, until 3 am on Friday and Saturday nights.
Busier than ever with two locations, Gustavo has still been able to attend all of his (now two) daughters' soccer games.