Before-times Kanye, “The College Dropout,” blares at Taco y Vino as employees readied for lunch on a recent weekday.
“Yeezy’s not the same as the old Kanye,” says co-owner Jimmy Contreras.
He flipped the record and turned it down before service started and tables began filling in. The shelves of albums at the bar are part of what makes this place feel like being at a friend’s really cool house.
So cool, in fact, that there are tacos and wine. “Just because of the name alone, I think half the people who come in here don’t know whether to take it seriously,” Contreras says. “If you’re going to open a taco shop in Oak Cliff, you’ve got to be legit. You’ve got to come correct.”
Contreras, a hospitality lifer who worked in corporate wine sales for years before becoming a restaurant consultant, opened Taco y Vino with a partner, chef Sharon Van Meter, in June 2018.
DID YOU KNOW?
Taco y Vino sometimes hosts pop-ups from guest chefs on Sunday nights when they are closed.
Chef Juan Villanueva helms the kitchen, which offers a simple and unique menu of tacos that includes two vegetarian choices, fried avocado and pibil-style jackfruit.
Other fillings are cochinita pibil, carnitas, carne asada, barbacoa, chicken tinga and catfish.
There’s even a crispy taco. Villanueva resisted, but Contreras insisted. The three-taco “Tex-Mex combo” comes with one picadillo in a light crispy shell.
“Now we’re thinking about doing a double-decker taco because it fell off the menu at Taco Bell,” Contreras says. “That’s the running joke right now.”
We hope that’s not just a joke.
Taco Y Vino
Address: 213 W. Eighth St.
11 a.m.-10 p.m.;
11 a.m.-11 p.m.;
Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
More info: tacovinodallas.com