It had been quite some time since we had seen Jack Perkins, the mastermind behind the Maple & Motor Burger, and with the opening of his new Oca Taco it seemed like a perfect chance to catch up him. At first it seemed odd that Perkins would open up a taco stand in a hospital administration building. The new business is located in the food court of the Paul Bass Administration Building which houses thousands of UT Southwestern workers.
Perkins was approached to fill a void in the building’s food court, and after running the numbers it made perfect sense.
The first thing you will notice when approaching the taco stand is that there are very few ingredients. Perkins makes pulled pork, brisket and chicken tacos with pretty much the standard line up of toppings. He also has several pumped up house-made sauces including the very best avocado cream sauce made up of, well, avocados and cream to name a few of the ingredients.
Perkins doesn’t do anything the usual way and that holds true to the method of making his meats. For the beef he created a giant immersion circulator. It is probably five times larger than the normal circulator and cooks the beef to tender perfection, then finishes it off on the grill.
Same holds true for his pork. After using a custom rub, the meat is cooked in a CVap oven that cooks the meat top a precise temperature then holds the product until it is ready to serve. This is the same mega high dollar device that chef John Tesar used at the Commissary to make his perfect burger. All these methods makes for an unbelievably tender taco.
On the opposite end of the technology spectrum Perkins is hand making his own from-scratch flour and corn tortillas. This is unheard of for this type of operation and drives the food cost up considerably, but the end result is a crazy good taco. The flour tortillas are espcailly good and are made using bacon grease for a slightly added flavor component.
The tacos cost a bit more than the average street taco which can usually hover between a buck and a buck fifty, but with the quality and quantity of meat served it is easy to see why. These tacos are much more substatial than your average street taco. For all that goes into the Oca Taco 2.35 isn’t much to ask.
Jet out to see for yourself. The building is located at 6333 Forest Park near Harry Hines and Mockingbird. Perkins said he will be adding breakfast very soon.