Eric Wilkerson opened the first Tacodeli in a tiny space off the Barton Springs greenbelt in Austin about 17 years ago.
He and business partner Roberto Espinosa spent 10 years there, perfecting their unique recipes and customer focus, before venturing into an expansion. For the following five years, they operated only two restaurants in Austin.
But over the past two years, they’ve ramped up expansion, by their careful standards anyway, opening three more Austin locations and one in Dallas, just across the interstate from Oak Cliff, at Sylvan Thirty.
The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch only, offering an abundance of variety. Unique menu items include a grilled salmon taco and a veggie taco with roasted sweet potatoes, grilled corn, peppers and caramelized onions. There are also four or five varieties of steak tacos, three pork tacos and six different chicken tacos. Plus there are four kinds of salsa, including the signature, addicting “salsa doña,” made with jalapeños and garlic. Speaking of addicting, do order the queso.
This location sources tortillas from West Dallas mom-and-pop shop La Norteña Tortillas, and everything is ordered fresh and local as possible.
They’re always thinking of ways to innovate.
“We can’t be complacent,” Wilkerson says. “We’re only as good as the taco we’re serving right now.”
Wilkerson and Espinosa are interested in opening more locations in the Dallas area — they’ve looked at a few spaces in Fort Worth, although they haven’t found just the right one yet. And they are planning to open their first location in Houston by the end of the year.
Ambiance: Counter-service café
Price range: $3-$7
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.