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Apr 21, 2010 07:49 AM

Rusty Taco -- 38 minutes for a taco?

I stopped at Rusty Taco (Greenville & University) on a recent weekday, thinking I'd grab a quick lunch. Wrong. Because they time-stamp your receipt, I can vouch for the fact that I ordered at 12:58, and didn't get my tacos until 1:36. As I waited (and waited), I watched the taco line operate -- they were working fast and hard, warming each tortilla on the grill and putting the tacos together as quickly as possible, but simply couldn't keep up with the demand. (As I was leaving, they said the wait was 1 hour. Yikes.) I'm sorry, but this place may be doomed by its success (to paraphrase Yogi Berra, no one will go there because it's too crowded). Anyway, to the tacos: the brisket was tender and had a nice mild flavor; the fish (grilled) was bland; the best was the pork, which was a great mix of tender meat and grilled rajas. The tortillas were quite good. No al pastor -- bummer. Overall, at $2 a pop, not bad; certainly, a nice low-end chowing addition to the area. But RT's tacos are not in the same ball park as Fuel City's tacos. The wait is really what killed the experience; a couple of people gave up waiting, got a refund, and walked out.

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    1. re: amokscience

      Here's the line at Shake Shack (in Madison Square Park) on a recent trip to NYC. Behind Shake Shack is Eleven Madison Park, where we had an absolutely astounding, swoon-inducing dinner -- and were invited to the kitchen to meet the chef and staff.

      1. re: Dallas Alice

        Hah, that looks like an 80-90 minute line!

        I know it's not for everyone but the 45 minute wait (on a hot, sunny July) for my first Shackburger was more than worth it. About 20 minutes into the wait I'm sweating uncomfortably (no breeze) wondering if my friend's recommendation is worth it. I stared forlornly at the empty 'custard shakes only' line.

        In the end it was easily my favorite burger ever and it was in the middle of a marathon food hopping session (Korean yangnyum (spicy fried) chicken, Belgian french fries, Chinese ice cream, coffee, and Chinese bbq duck soup noodles). One of my best days. But now I need some tacos.

        1. re: amokscience

          Personally, I never understood the popularity of the Shake Shack. My favorite burger comes from the Burger Shop in the Hotel Meridian.

          1. re: mahalan

            I was surprised. I tend to find trendy things vastly overrated (and overpriced) if not downright horrible (ie. cupcakes, macaroons) but I thought it was great. My type of burger. My brother who lives in NYC doesn't think it's particularly special either. Going back this summer!

        2. re: Dallas Alice

          11 Madison is absolutely amazing, isn't it!!!

          1. re: Mike C. Miller

            Indeed. Our most recent dinner there was ecstasy. We did the tasting menu. Each dish seemed better than the one before. They graciously did a substitution on one dish -- and the substitution was the most ethereal goat cheese gnocchi I have ever tasted. We were there for over 4 hours, and every moment was wonderful. Before the dessert courses, we were invited into the kitchen ("you need to stretch your legs") to meet the chef and staff -- and they all were as warm and welcoming as one could imagine. What a place!

      2. There's a new Taqueria on Belt LIne in Richardson between 75 and Plano Road. It's a shoot off of Amigo's restaurant I believe, it's a couple doors down. I stopped in on Sunday night and ordered three tacos, steak fajita and al pastor they were really good, double corn tortillas (the only way to do it in my opinion) three salsas and some cut up limes. They were only $1.25 each and worth every penny.

        Try them out if your up there sometime.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Dallassooner

          I agree, that place is great so far. I've been there twice. I don't think it's connected to Amigo's as I ordered a side of beans and they weren't the delicious Amigo's beans with whole beans in them, they were fully mashed refried. From now on, I just order the steak tacos. The red taco sauce is delicious and spicy - the green is milder but only so-so to me as I don't love tomatillos. The al pastor is also good.

          1. re: Dallassooner

            Thats a long stretch of road.
            Can you tell us where it is, or even the name?

          2. Life's too short to wait so long for mediocre tacos. I'll stick with my old favorites. Al Ataron, El Fuego and of course possibly the best of the bunch, El Si Hay.

            El Fuego
            1891 N Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081

            1. Why would I stand in line at any taqueria, Rusty's or otherwise, for 38 mins? I am almost positive it is much like Fuzzy's or Yucatan Taco Stand in Ft Worth. Just save your money and go to better places on the north side of Fort Worth (in this case Jefferson in Oak Cliff) where they know a thing or two about Mexican food.

              BTW the tortillas at Birreria Y Taqueria Colima (Colima is a state in SW Mexico) are quite good also and the meats are even better. Those tacos only run $1.25 and they are about the size of two Fuel City tacos. The wait is about 3-5 minutes tops during the lunch rush. The tortillas are steamed and not fried which makes a considerable difference.

              Verdict - another trendy restaurant that caters to the Uptown/HP/Lakewood crowd. Should have done their homework!

              3 Replies
              1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                But in a sense they have done their homework. The location kicks ass and it's funny to watch parkies shoveling down $2 tacos in their German luxury cars because they spent their lunch break waiting in line.

                I actually went there the other day, but no wait since I got there before the queues got huge.

                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                  If you waited fr 38 minutes you would learn that it is WORTH the wait. The roasted pork and picadilo are the real deal. The Rusty Tacos tacos ; ) are $2 and way bigger than the tiny greasy ones in dives. LewisvilleHound gave a Verdict without eating one bite at The Rusty Taco. Twinwillows says life is too short for mediocre tacos without eating one bite at The Rusty Taco. Dallas Alice ate there and thought it was good and so did I. So who you going to listen to, the people that ate there or the people that think they are too good to eat there?

                  1. re: OCNC

                    Thanks for another very insightful post, OCNC. Keep us aprised on the latest food happenings that are totally legit! You're so cool especially cuz you ate their tacos and really understand the best parts of a quality rusty taco.

                2. Unfortunately, I had the same experience when I went this week. Dry, bland meat and long waits. I don't care if they paid me $2 per taco. I'm not going back.