Taco Wagon

The Chuck Wagon, before it was renovated, via Flickr

The Chuck Wagon, before it was renovated, via Flickr

Jesse Carrizales purchased a kitschy old restaurant space, the Chuck Wagon, at 3320 W. Davis, in 2010. The Carrizales family renovated the space, which was built in 1954, and reopened it this year as Taco Wagon.

First, let’s talk about the architecture. Amid drama over the Alamo Plaza Motel Courts sign and efforts to raise awareness for preserving underappreciated architecture, such as googie, here is a guy who quietly bought a cool old building and is giving it a new life. That is reason enough to support this business, but it’s not the only one. There is also the tacos.

These are not Mexico City street tacos. They’re what I call San Antonio tacos, Tex-Mex tacos. The menu is simple — tacos, a burger, a guiso plate. The specialty is guiso de res, which can be ordered as a plate or as tacos. Taco Wagon also makes tacos with potatoes and beans, but the only other meat available is ground beef. Fine with me. I ordered a three-taco plate ($8.50), two guiso and one ground beef, which comes with delicious house-made rice and refried pinto beans. Flour tortillas seemed like a better choice than corn, but the wagon also offers crispy taco shells they fry on site. The tacos come with lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese and a side of red salsa.

Taco Wagon also serves breakfast tacos and coffee. I haven’t tried them, but a trusted pal gives them high ratings for a fast and cheap Tex-Mex breakfast. The tacos cost $2.50 each, and she says one with egg, bacon and cheese was enough to fill her up.

Orders are placed at the window, and there is no indoor dining area, but there is a big covered patio with tables and a shaded backyard. Perfect for kids, I would think.