You may think you know tacos, because after all, this is Texas, right? Lots of truly great tacos are available here in town. However, newly arrived taco chain Tacodeli is the king of all other tacos, a gift from the Mexican Taco Gods.
Started in Austin in 1999 by Roberto Espinosa, Tacodeli began uber small, with Roberto selling the food he learned to make growing up in Mexico City. A couple of years went by, and Eric Wilkerson, a native of Richardson and a University of Texas alum, met Roberto and a friendship was born, rooted in a love of good food. The guys ended up becoming business partners at Tacodeli and have had much success expanding their brand of otherworldly deliciousness across Austin, Houston, Dallas, and now, Plano.
Tacodeli believes in sourcing Texas ingredients whenever possible, like jalapeños from Pedernales Valley Farms, Akaushi beef from Heartbrand Ranch and tortillas from La Norteña in North Oak Cliff. Countless smaller farms send organic eggs, produce and legumes.
Roberto and Eric live by the “farm to table” principle, but they know that fresh ingredients can only take a restaurant so far. “If you don’t have a talented group of people that know how to prepare them correctly, you don’t have good food. The people make the difference,” Eric said.
So Tacodeli takes care of its people by offering employees opportunities to work their way up the corporate ladder. Eric explained, “We focus on the food and the team making it. Everyone from the bottom to the top is a part of the whole process, and we want them to enjoy their job. We try to promote almost exclusively from within.”
One such team member is Shelby Bentley, general manager of the first Tacodeli in Plano on Parkwood Blvd. (A second location is set to open at Park and Preston in late summer.) Shelby was a teen when the first Tacodeli in Austin opened, and when he was old enough for a job, he knew exactly where he wanted to work. Fast forward a few years, and Shelby was given the opportunity to open the newest location in our fair burg.
He personally suggests The Otto taco with organic refried black beans, double bacon, avocado and jack cheese, while Eric loves the Mojo Fish taco with grilled Texas Gulf drum, mojo-garlic sauce, guacamole and pico. Fan favorite the Cowboy, was mentioned in a 2006 Texas Monthly feature about the “63 tacos you must eat before you die.” The folks at Tacodeli want all guests to be happy, so they offer options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free taco eaters.
And let’s talk about those salsas. Tacodeli serves four house-made salsas that set it apart: Verde (green and mild), Roja (red and medium-heat), Doña (a multiple award-winning hotter sauce) and the Habañero (the hottest of them all, but still with a great flavor, as Shelby pointed out). Use them to sauce up tacos or as dressing for fresh ensaladas.
Pro tip: Tacodeli does not serve alcohol, but that means you can BYOB. And if you show up with champagne, they’ll hook you up with orange juice and glasses for mimosas at brunch.
No matter the menu offering you choose at Tacodeli, live like the gods and treat yourself to some supernaturally celestial tacos.Tacodeli Website >