This will be the first in a series of articles on the street food scene in Atlanta that will be published every Friday to coincide with Food Truck Fridays at Atlantic Station. First up on the docket is relative newcomer Tex’s Tacos, who got their start from an idea that was hatched over margaritas at a San Antonio bar. That idea was to take their passion for Tex-Mex to the streets of Atlanta and put their “Nueva Texicana” spin on it.
Business partners Mac and Harrison continued to discuss the idea and formulate their business plan over the early fall and in November they went all in…they quit their jobs to focus 100% on Tex’s Tacos; that takes balls folks. Along with their newly-hired chef, Jose, they planned out their menu and began to source only the best and freshest ingredients; some of which they would not divulge, but I hear they have frequent shoppers cards at several carnicerias and tiendas across the metro!
They prep all their food fresh every morning starting at 7:00am in a little commissary in Buckhead near Peachtree and Roswell and sometimes just sell from the truck right out front…it’s hard to miss a big ass red and orange truck!
Several of their recipes have been passed down through the generations, including their Pico de Gallo, guacamole and lime fries, which are both salty and sweet and are fried at high temps to get a super crispy coating and preserve the tenderness of the potato.
Other great menu items include Pastor de Puerco (slow roasted pork marinated in chilies and pineapple), Carne Asada (citrus splashed steak served with grilled onions, cilantro and cheese), and Chicken Fresca (light tasting chicken); they have even partnered w/ Low Country BBQ on a slow roasted, vinegar-based pulled pork taco! If your mouth wasn’t already watering, they also have several sauces to appease any taste and heat tolerance. I love a place that gives me sauce options; too many times there is only mild and spicy…they usually both suck and the “spicy” sauce should be brought up on perjury charges. Tex’s has everything from the aforementioned Pico to a Diablo sauce (best flavor and heat combo), and even one made from habaneros which should not be taken lightly.
They also serve many different types of drinks, including Jarritos Mexican sodas which come in a variety of fruity flavors, from pineapple to mandarin orange to guava. Oh, they also take credit cards, which most people don’t realize!
While serving at the many of the new food truck events in Atlanta (Woodruff Arts Center on Thursdays, Atlantic Station on Fridays, etc) the team likes to display their cavalcade of iron-forged, southwestern mascots much to the delight of the kiddies. On a recent service I visited at Atlantic Station, there was a toddler climbing on board “Tex”… much like Mac demonstrated for us … so many things I could say.
Watching the actual service was akin to observing organized chaos… or a ballet; many things going on at once with bodies moving in rhythm, where one false step could cause a disaster (food casualty or nasty burn in this case)! Did I mention that it’s also really hot in there even with fans; they even have a frozen slushy machine on board, and hope to eventually use it, to try and cool down the truck but it keeps melting 15 minutes or so into service! This last photo is probably my favorite because you can see the entirety of the inside of the truck and the calm before the storm about to ensue.
Mac, Harrison and Chef Jose are truly great guys and are passionate about what they do. Their food is simple, yet well made, and in their own words, “fresh, high quality ingredients speak for themselves”, and I couldn’t agree more. I will say that this is really hard work; 12-15 hour days when there is a double service (lunch and dinner), and then they have to clean the truck and get ready to do it all over again. You have to be determined and passionate about this type of thing to keep from turning into Phil Connors and punching Ned Reyerson; however, I doubt this will happen to Tex’s Tacos. I think this is only the beginning of a great street food culture taking root in Atlanta, and they have jumped on board at precisely the right time. Follow them on twitter (@texstacos) to find out about their locations, or on their website: http://www.texstacos.com/
As promised, at the end of each of the articles in the street food series, the vendor will provide one of their recipes for you to try at home!
Pico de Gallo Recipe
10 Roma Tomatoes (chopped)
½ Red Onion (chopped)
½ Tbsp garlic (minced)
2 Jalepenos (seeded 1/2 way, diced)
Juice of Three Limes
1/10th Cilantro Bunch (finely chopped)
Salt to Taste
1. Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl & stir
2. Refrigerate for 45 min
3. Enjoy eating!