by Danielle Leahy photos by Jacque Manaugh
Long rumored to be some of the best tacos in all of Dallas (and continuously pitted against Fuel City by taco connoisseurs in the know) El Si Hay does the one thing most street taco stands back away from: letting nothing but the quality of the meat shine thru.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love a well sauced/seasoned taco. Gimme a picadillo or a guisada any day of the week and make me a happy girl. But having led the Tacobots on alternating meetups between the street vs gourmet world for over a year now it’s hard not to assume that when you show up somewhere that is serving tripe or barbacoa at 11pm there’s a good chance it’s gonna be soaking in something to keep it moist. Nothing could be further from the that at El Si Hay.
Serving what we all agreed was the best tasting, most natural, and unencumbered street tacos we had ever tried, none of us were prepared for the simplicity of El Si Hay. The carnitas was finally chopped with crunchy, crispy burnt ends throughout giving the entire taco the smoky flavor pork fans know and love. The barbacoa was described by many a Bot as the reason they eat street tacos, rich and flavorful and ridiculously moist. When Sean ordered one of everything on the menu and was asked which was the best I think his response summed up what we were all feeling: all of them. And with 7 choices bistec, lengua, chicken, fajita, pastor, chorizo, and barbacoa there is a taco for everyone.
For help in deciding which one is right for you, or just to get a kick at the running diatribe of the great Fuel City vs El Si Hay, debate I suggest you mosey over to their Yelp page and and watch the natives hash it out over a taco or two.
And let’s not forget about the elotes and agua frescas. Served out of a separate cart on the side of the building the elotes lines was equal to the taco one the entire time we were there. My suggestion for anyone visiting for the first time would be to bring cash and divide and conquer therefore you reduce the time spent with your mouth watering in the parking lot. We arrived right at 7:30 to a line about 5-6 people long and quickly doubled it. Even then I don’t think even the last Tacobot in line waiting more than 15 minutes for their tacos, I’m sure the line goes much quicker than that during a normal rush. We found that pretty much just about the time you’ve calmed down the burning in your mouth from the fiery hot elotes your tacos will arrive.
We also brought our own chairs as there is no seating here, only concrete surrounding it on all sides so most people get theirs to go. We had a great time though hanging out off Davis, people watching at Bolsa, and being able to go back for seconds and thirds. Buy an enormous (because saying large don’t cut it) tamarindo agua fresca for only $2 and you have one of the best meals in Dallas, parking lot and all.