Bicycle Tour de Taqueria – Tacos of Oak Cliff

There is nothing better in North Texas than the few spring days when the sun is shining and the day is warm – yet the killer summer heat is still a little off into the future.

Saturday was one of those days and I headed down to the Bishop Arts District for a bicycle ride – a tour of Taquerias in Oak Cliff.

Our first stop was Cool & Hot at 930A E. Eighth St. – Streetview

Hot & Cool Tacqueria Oak Cliff, Texas

Hot & Cool Tacqueria
Oak Cliff, Texas

Bicycles stacked up in front of Hot & Cool

Bicycles stacked up in front of Hot & Cool

Cool & Hot is a converted gas station right off the Interstate – it’s mostly a drive-thru. It’s open 24 hrs a day from Thursday through the weekend – something to remember on a late night trip home.

Then is was on to Taqueria Tiquicheo at 110 S. Marsalis Ave. – Streetview.

Taqueria Tiquicheo

Taqueria Tiquicheo

This was my favorite stop on the tour – more of a sit-down restaurant. The regulars were there for menudo or other specialties – the sweaty bicyclists descended like a cloud of taco-eating locusts.

Taco Selections at Taqueria Tiquicheo

Taco Selections at Taqueria Tiquicheo

All the spots offered pretty much the same traditional selection of Mexican style tacos. This is the sign from Taqueria Tiquicheo. If you think of tacos as hamburger stuffed into crunchy corn shells – well, these aren’t what you are thinking about. Served in foil in soft flour or corn tortillas with a little onion, cilantro, and a lime wedge – along with the house special hot sauces.

The fillings:

Fajita – grilled steak
Tripa – Tripe
Nopales – Cactus (a vegetarian option)
Lengua – beef tongue
Chicharron – fried pork rinds
Pollo – chicken – one person said this was “surprisingly good”
Barbacoa – slow cooked meat, the original sorce of barbecue
Chorizo – chopped sausage

Next was on to Jefferson Boulevard – the main commercial drag through the area. The next Tacqueria was a very small, unlabeled spot with a small dining room.

El Padrino #1. – Streetview

El Padrino #1 on Busy Jefferson Blvd. in Oak Cliff

El Padrino #1 on Busy Jefferson Blvd. in Oak Cliff

Lengua Tacos from El Padrino

Lengua Tacos from El Padrino

These are the Lengua Tacos from El Padrino – I ate them on top of a newspaper stand on the street.

Then we rode off through the residential streets until we reached Los Torres Taqueria, 1322 W. Clarendon Dr. – Streetview

 Los Torres Taqueria

Los Torres Taqueria

This was the most conventional restaurant that we visited, yet still it had that family feel to it.

And that was about all the tacos I could take for one spring afternoon. I split off and rode home – a little overfull and a bit overheated. But it was still a good time.

Is There Any Tea On This Spaceship?

“Arthur blinked at the screens and felt he was missing something important. Suddenly he realized what it was.

“Is there any tea on this spaceship?” he asked.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Photographs from the teacup races at Turner House in Oak Cliff, during the 2014 Tweed Ride festivities.


“There are those who love to get dirty and fix things. They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work. And those who stay clean, just appreciate things. At breakfast they have milk and juice at night. There are those who do both, they drink tea.”
― Gary Snyder


“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― C.S. Lewis


“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground


“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
“I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.”
“You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter: “it’s very easy to take more than nothing.”
“Nobody asked your opinion,” said Alice.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Hot Baths After Jousting

“What I want to know is, in the Middle Ages, did they do anything for Housemaid’s Knee? What did they put in their hot baths after jousting?”
― H.G. Wells, Tono-Bungay

Bicycle Joust Dallas Tweed Ride Turner House Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas

Bicycle Joust
Dallas Tweed Ride
Turner House
Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas

Fun activities on the 2014 Bike Friendly Oak Cliff Tweed Ride.

What I learned this week, August 8, 2014


My favorite local band, Home by Hovercraft, have a new video out. The Kessler, the Corinth Street Tunnel (scary), and the White Rock Skate Center.

Home by Hovercraft, Dallas

Home by Hovercraft, Dallas

Home by Hovercraft in Deep Ellum

Home by Hovercraft in Deep Ellum

Irish dancer with Home by Hovercraft

Irish dancer with Home by Hovercraft

Car fire just north of downtown, Dallas.

Car fire just north of downtown, Dallas.

Urban Planner Patrick Kennedy Wants To Tear Down A Highway

…On whether Dallas wants to kick its car addiction:
We’re effectively subsidizing land at the edge of town. Cheaper land in order to get further away, and thus, we have to drive everywhere. When 96 percent of trips are by car, but then we’ve got 20, 25 percent of the population is below poverty, we’re then pushing people and forcing people to have cars just to participate in the local economy in a way that they can’t afford right now.

In Dallas, Turning the Page Marked Nov. 22, 1963

10 Clever and Well-Designed Camping Essentials

Bacon Burger at Smoke.

Bacon Burger at Smoke.

War in the Ukraine, Gaza, ISIS, Ebola… and now the worst of all… this:

Bacon is about to get really expensive.

I guess there is always Tactical Bacon… like, for emergencies.

What College Can’t Do

What Cartoons Can Do

The great ketchup debate: to fridge or not to fridge?

Cycling in Flip Flops

Some cycle in sneakers, some cycle in heels…and others cycle in flip flops. Well if the beach is your destination why not?

Summertime in Copenhagen. Flip flops are the preferred footwear for bicycle users and pedestrians. I’ve been wearing them for a month non-stop now… it’s going to be hard to put on normal shoes again.

Of course, your neighbourhood “avid cyclist” will probably tell you “oooh… can’t cycle in THOSE. Need some proper cycling shoes blahblahblah”

9 of the Best Cuban Sandwiches in Dallas

I’m already a big fan of Jimmy’s Food Store (even had the Cuban there) and Ten Bells (I need to write an entry on Ten Bells) in Bishop Arts. Some of these others look great too.

Cuban Sandwich from Jimmy's Food Store, Dallas, Texas

Cuban Sandwich from Jimmy’s Food Store, Dallas, Texas

Seating out on the street at Jimmy's Food Store.

Seating out on the street at Jimmy’s Food Store.

Sidewalk Entertainment at Jimmy's Food Store, Dallas, Texas

Sidewalk Entertainment at Jimmy’s Food Store, Dallas, Texas

Buried House, Nasher XChange, Entry Five of Ten

Previously in the Nasher XChange series:

  1. Flock in Space, Nasher XChange, Entry One of Ten
  2. X , Nasher XChange, Entry Two of Ten
  3. Fountainhead , Nasher XChange, Entry Three of Ten
  4. Moore to the Point, Nasher XChange, Entry Four of Ten

Lara Almarcegui
Buried House
2226 Exeter Ave.
Oak Cliff Gardens

I began to feel old, out of shape, and drained as I worked my way north from Paul Quinn College to the third and final Nasher XChange exhibition on my bike ride through South Dallas. It was only a 12.5 mile ride – but these were tough miles. The last half of the route was hilly, the road was rough, and I had to stop every block, fighting my way through the traffic.

But once I rode up to Lara Almarcegui’s Buried House, I realized that here, more than any of the other sites, really begged to be seen by bicycle. I simply can’t imagine what it would be like to drive up to the now-vacant lot in an SUV, step out for a minute or two, then pile back in and drive home. It wouldn’t be the same… you would miss the point.

The work is meaningless without experiencing the surrounding neighborhood.

It is a tough part of town. The streets and sidewalks are in bad repair, cracked and heaving. Trash pickup is spotty at best. The modest homes are a varied melange – a torn up shack here, a burned hulk there, but there are also well-cared, decorated homes that are obviously a great source of pride to an unassuming owner.

And there were plenty of other vacant lots – most littered with junk and sprinkled with empty bottles.

You don’t see the details from a car… but you do from a tired, slow-moving bicycle.

Ironically, this is the second blog entry this February where I found myself taking a photo of a vacant lot. The other one, Arcady, was in the most tony enclave of Highland Park. That neighborhood is the polar opposite of the rugged Oak Cliff Gardens district where Buried House is located.

Destruction, renewal, the inevitable ultimate victory of chaos and entropy… rich and poor, our fate is already written.

After I left the site I had a a short ride on neighborhood streets until I reached the DART Kiest Station and after a short wait, caught the Blue Line downtown, where I switched to the Red line to Richardson and home.

Lara Almarcegui Buried House

Lara Almarcegui
Buried House

From the Nasher Website:

Buried House
2226 Exeter Ave.
Oak Cliff Gardens

The buried remains of a house offer an opportunity for reflection on the transition
and rebirth of one of Dallas’s oldest neighborhoods: Oak Cliff Gardens.
Almarcegui’s project for Nasher XChange, entitled Buried House, involves working with Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity on a house in Southeast Dallas already slated for demolition. After the demolition is finished, the artist will bury the house’s remains on the property, creating a sort of memorial site that nonetheless retains the building’s actual substance and provides a “free space” for reflection on the neighborhood’s past, present and future.

Almarcegui is working in Oak Cliff Gardens, a neighborhood in East Oak Cliff, with a history almost as old as Dallas itself. Near the site of the first stop for stagecoaches headed out of Dallas for Central Texas, the area surrounding the intersection at Lancaster and Ann Arbor roads became the small town of Lisbon, which was in turn annexed by the city in 1929.

Today, Oak Cliff Gardens is a neighborhood in transition. Many derelict, often vacant, homes will undergo renovations, thanks to the help of organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. These “wastelands” in the neighborhood embody a significant historical moment of possibility when anything might happen. Almarcegui hopes to draw attention to this area and make people in Dallas aware of its rich and varied character, before it is changed forever.

From Google Maps Streetview - what the house looked like before the demolition.

From Google Maps Streetview – what the house looked like before the demolition.


Lara Almarcegui Buried House

Lara Almarcegui
Buried House

Label Text:

Lara Almarcegui
Buried House, 2013
Demolished and buried house

Born in Spain and based in The Netherlands, Lara Almarcegui brings attention to places most people pass without noticing, such as derelict, abandoned buildings and seemingly vacant plots of land.
Working in environments and places in the midst of transformation, Almarcegui researches and documents them, developing unconventional and creative ways of drawing attention to them. As her contribution to Nasher XChange, Almarceguui has worked with Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity to locate a house already slated for demolition. After the demolition, she buried the house’s remains on the property. As the artist has explained, “This project is a sculptural work that is about the construction that used to stand, the history of the house and how it was erected. However it’s not just about the house, but about the past of the terrain and the future of the terrain. It is a work about construction and urban development.”