The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Tough to dine at Dallas’ Taco Diner

Among the shops in Preston Center lies a self-proclaimed “Mexican Taqueria,” Taco Diner. At first the casual feel is inviting, with helpful servers clad in matching pale purple button-downs and black pants.

When glancing around the restaurant you get the typical diner feel with a bar countertop with stools, a windowed kitchen, purple booths and cream tables. But with Mexican food. Somehow, this combination does not quite work.

A diner is a warm place to go late at night, get cheap food and drink pots of coffee. This diner was not warm or inviting like you would imagine, it actually made the restaurant seem a little stiff rather than relaxed.

We had to get some helpful advice on what to choose from the menu. It would seem easy at a “taco” diner, but their menu was more difficult than any diner would typically offer.

We started with the guacamole and the El Tampico margarita. The drink is half the size of a usual margarita with a mixture of banana and pineapple. It was refreshing to have a frozen drink in the Dallas heat, but the El Tampico comes with a hefty price tag.

We moved on to our entrees. We ordered the fish tacos, which are pan seared Tilapia fillets with achiote citrus marinade, a mixture of sweet and spicy.

We also ordered the pechuga de pollo, a chicken breast seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and cumin. It had good flavor, especially if you add the cilantro, onion, lime and green chile salsa they provide on the side. One of the best things on the plate was the restaurant’s homemade rice. It worked very well alone and tasted even better when added to the tacos.

The three tacos per plate were served with corn tortillas, but flour are available upon request. Their corn tortillas seemed a little greasy and heavy to eat, so we remade ours with the flour tortillas.

The other types of dishes they serve are mainly tacos but with an array of items such as chicken, pork, beef, fish, shrimp and house specialties. The price jump from regular tacos to those “from the sea” is very significant.

Most of the other patrons were families with small children. We figured this was probably because of the location. If you would prefer more night life, the West Village restaurant is surely more of a social scene.

They had plastic seating outside, which would be nice as the temperature starts to cool. Taco Diner is part of the M Crowd Restaurant Group which includes the popular Mi Cocina.

From the cookbooks on the shelves when you walk in to the cookies for sale at the counter, and you can even order a cobb salad and a cheeseburger, gives this Mexican diner an awkward atmosphere. Their modern, upscale diner-feel seemed like they were trying too hard and had a cheesy and non-enjoyable ambiance.

The food was decent on our visit, but we have heard that a lot of people really do enjoy the tacos from Taco Diner. Most of those people have experienced these tacos by ordering them take out and eating them at home, so take out might be a better option. But for a fun and fresh Mexican restaurant .Mi Cocina, Mattitos or Gloria’s would be a better choice.

We joked as we left that the best part about Taco Diner was that we could walk across the street to indulge in a Sprinkles cupcake.

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