Richland Student Media

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Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media

Dallas


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Richland Chronicle 5/07/24
Richland Chronicle 5/07/24

A diamond in the Duff

Sometimes gas station tacos are the best

If I had to choose one thing to love about living in Texas, politics aside, it would be the vast amount of hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants at our disposal.
Everybody and their dog will swear by their favorite hidden gem.

Al Pastor and Bistek tacos with salsa verde and an ice-cold Mexican Coke. (Staff Photo/Jack Gann)

Some are amazing, although most are truly horrible, just disguised by sentimentality. John’s Backyard Grill can only be described by the former.
Located in North Dallas, just a half mile from Preston Green Park, colloquially known as “Duffield,” John’s is a real contractor’s joint in need of some Spackle. If you love al pastor style pork street tacos, it is tough to find a better place.

Hidden in the back of a Chevron, you must walk by some slot machines to order some perfectly crisp corn tortillas with succulent meat cooked to order. Served with the typical diced onions, lime and cilantro, they also come with grilled onions and a roasted jalapeño.
If your taco joint doesn’t provide these last two accouterments, a trip to John’s is a must to see what’s what.
The pandemic hit them hard, bumping up the taco prices from a $1.50 to a whopping $2, and if that still seems low, you have probably wasted too much time and money at Torchy’s or Mi Cocina. If those are good Mexican restaurants, then Chili’s is a five-star steakhouse and my mother is a Democrat.
Besides perfect traditional street tacos, it would be obvious to assume they have pretty decent quesadillas and breakfast burritos as well, and that would be a correct assumption. Filled to the brim with perfectly fluffy eggs and delectable melted cheese with your choice of several kinds of meat, their breakfast burritos could cure a Las Vegas-level hangover.
What wouldn’t seem as likely are their delicious burgers and fries.
Most people would prefer a disgrace-to-the-name taco from Torchy’s or Velvet Taco, but everybody loves a burger. They may not be Keller’s level burgers, but they are pretty de-cent for a taco joint.
The fries, however, are something to write home about. Freshly cut, intensely crisp, and served in a pile that should put McDonalds out of business, you may just return for these fries. John’s truly is a one-stop shop. You can fill up your gas tank, grab some drinks, and enjoy some deceivingly good tacos.
If it’s a nice day out, you can order them to go and eat at a nice corrugated picnic bench at nearby Duffield Park, with a perfect view of how DART is ruining the few green spaces we have left in North Texas.

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