The “taco” is a Mexican sandwich that dates in English to around 1900, but the “brisket taco” was popularized in the 1980s at Mia’s Tex-Mex Restaurant in Dallas. Several other Dallas restaurants now serve brisket tacos.
Mia’s serves brisket tacos with gravy sauce, rice and beans, and a choice of flour or corn tortillas. Serranos (Austin, TX restaurant chain) calls its brisket tacos “Texas tacos,” a name that a few other restaurants have used.
Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest. While all meat animals have a brisket, the term is most often used to describe beef or veal. The beef brisket is one of the eight beef primal cuts. According to the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, the term derives from the Middle English “brusket” which comes from the earlier Old Norse “brjōsk”, meaning cartilage. The cut overlies the sternum, ribs and connecting costal cartilages.
Cows lie on this enlarged part of the sternum which carries about 60% of the body weight.
In the U.S., the whole brisket has the meat-cutting classification NAMP 120. The brisket is made up of two separate muscles (pectoralis major and pectoralis minor), which are sometimes separated for retail cutting: the lean “first cut” or “flat cut” is NAMP 120A, while the fattier “second cut”, “point”, “deckel”, “fat end”, or “triangular cut” is NAMP 120B.
Mia’s Tex-Mex Restaurant (Dallas, TX)
Brisket Tacos 8.95
Grilled Brisket with gravy sauce served with Rice & Beans and choice of Flour or Corn Tortillas.
Mi Cocina (Dallas, TX)
Tacos “De Brisket” 11.95
Four corn tortillas with shredded brisket, oven roasted overnight, queso blanco, arroz, ensalada and sliced avocado.
Serranos (Austin, TX)
TEXAS TACOS 8.50
Texas Brisket meets Serranos Mesquite Grill, Slow Cooked then Mesquite Grilled. Served with Home Made Flour Tortillas, Grilled Onions, Spanish Rice, Choice of Beans and the Best BBQ Chipotle Sauce in Texas!
Matt’s El Rancho (Austin, TX)
Smoked Beef Brisket Tacos...8.25
(2)Pecan Smoked Brisket Tacos served in Soft Flour Tortillas with Green Sauce, Pico de Gallo, and Frijoles a la Charra
Metromix Palm Springs
Tootie’s Texas Barbecue
68703 Perez Road
Cathedral City, CA 92234 760-202-6963
Quite possibly the best BBQ in town. What else is there to say? This is the real thing. Co-owner Willard Sterling learned how to cook barbecue from his dad, Tootie. Brisket, ribs, chicken or turkey, it’s all good. Don’t miss the Texas tacos, a pair of shredded brisket or pulled pork tacos topped with Steve Vinson’s Cole Slaw and a side of potato salad.
23 September 1988, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “best Bites” by Waltrina Stovall:
At Chuy’s in the West End, new menu items include a smoked chicken-stuffed relleno, barbecued brisket tacos and two dishes featuring blue corn tortillas.
5 July 1989, Levelland and Hockley County News-Press (Levelland, TX), “Chamber plan activities for Early Settlers Day,” pg. 1, cols. 1-2:
Vendors will offer all types of food including barbecue, brisket tacos, breads, cake slicesand cookies, taco and burrito bowls, popcorn, ice tea and lemonade, hot dogs, nachos, Frito pies, corn dogs, cheese stix, fajitas, homemade ice cream and soft drinks, snow cones, sausage in a tortilla, funnel cake, hamburgers, pork rinds, watermelon, candy, shaved ice, cinnamon rolls, fruit punch, caramel apples, beans and cornbread, cotton candy and pickles.
18 March 1990, New Braunfels (TX) Herald-Zeitung, “Children’s Museum looking to gain from Tastes of Town extravaganza,” pg. B1, col. 4:
...hickory smoked brisket tacos and Aunt Minnie’s chocolate chip cookies from Guadalupe Smoked Meat Co.;...
30 October 1990, Del Rio (TX) News-Herald, pg. 3, col. 2 photo caption:
The Elks will donate brisket tacos.
27 March 1998, San Antonio (TX) Express-News, “Barbecue flavored by smoke, not sauce” by Bonnie Walker, pg. 3X:
Please, try a brisket taco and - trust us - douse it with the barbecue sauce and the fresh pico de gallo.
Texas Monthly (December 2004)
Some of the best barbecue in Austin is found in the pecan-smoked-brisket taco at Matt’s El Rancho, reason enough to visit the stalwart restaurant’s bustling, hardly intimate dining rooms.
Jun 21 2005, 07:45 AM
Mia’s Tex Mex restaurant, located at 233 Lemmon Ave, Dallas TX 75219, is the home of the amazing brisket tacos. I went there 2 years ago and this was my third and fourth time there. I have tried a bite of the carne asada and a bite of the chicken sour cream enchiladas, and these are really good, but it’s the brisket tacos I dream of. Tender, juicy flavorful brisket meat with asadero cheese (I think) and onions on corn tortilla (flour also available). Two of these are served with a little cup of what I call brisket juice, which is the broth and it’s great to dip the taco in before biting, Mexican red rice, refried beans and a lettuce, tomato and avocado salad. Yum, Yum.
New York (NY) Times
GOING TO; Dallas
By SALLY HORCHOW
Published: October 30, 2005
Tex-Mex is the other indigenous cuisine of Dallas, and those passionate about it will tell you that Mia’s, 4322 Lemmon Avenue, (214) 526-1020, is legendary. Now Manny Rios, Mia’s brother, has branched off with his own spot, with Manny’s Uptown Tex-Mex Restaurante, 3521 Oak Grove Avenue, (214) 252-1611. Manny’s specialties include a new version of the original restaurant’s popular brisket tacos ($8.25) and a sour cream chicken enchilada ($7.75).
Insiders’ Guide to Austin
By Hilary Hylton andCam Rossie
Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot
El Mercado Restaurant & Cantina
Some of the dishes have a Texas slant with barbecued meat featured in the brisket tacos and chicken enchiladas.
Home Cooking - Chowhound
VL, I recently experienced some fantastic brisket tacos at Manny’s in Dallas. I tried re-creating them by slow cooking a brisket (braised 4-5 hours covered at 275 degrees until completely tender but you could use a slow cooker.) The brisket was cooked with garlic, onions, celantro and Gebhardt’s chili powder. The difference between a brisket taco and a hamburger taco will amaze you.
Leper Jan 13, 2007 09:27PM
New York (NY) Times
Dallas Does Dallas
Published: March 25, 2007
Mia’s Popular restaurant dishing up Tex-Mex; brisket tacos are a must. 4322 Lemmon Ave.; (214) 526-1020; entrees $8 to $16.
New York (NY) Times
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: November 21, 2007
251 West 50th Street, (212) 581-1818.
I got a sense that the menu’s length, the restaurant’s scale and too much gimmickry were working against consistent cooking. But then I took another sip of my margarita, bit into a brisket taco seasoned with a horseradish cream as well as tomatillo, and thought: there are much worse ways to pass time in this neighborhood.
Your Single Favorite Taco in Austin - Chowhound
The brisket taco at salt lick’s taco stand at the airport with half corn half flour tortilla.
moosy Sep 10, 2008 04:26PM
New York - Yelp
Brisket Tacos - Dallas Style
Craig P. says:
Used to live in Dallas, where I was quite taken by brisket tacos - - places like
Mi Cocina http://www.mcrowd.com/micocin…
Heard a rumor that someone even started a place (upper east?) with specific type of cuisine....
If you’ve had them, you’ll know exactly what I mean.....Anyone seen this in NYC at all?
Craig P. says:
1st of all a little history - the 3 restaurants are intertwined in that one spun off one which spun off another.
Shredded brisket au jus with onions, your choice of tortillas.
you wash that down with a Mambo Taxi....which is a swirl of frozen margarita and frozen sangria
Someone help these New Yorkers find brisket tacos ! !
Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:43 pm
Post subject: Jorge’s Tex-Mex first impression
The Lala’s Brisket Taco is quite different from the intensely-flavored, long-braised versions found in other TexMex palaces. This one features thick slices of roasted brisket (not smoked; looking for smoke rings, as I couldn’t resist the urge to do, is just setting yourself up for disappointment). While reasonably tender, the brisket is underseasoned and not very beefy tasting. It’s served with two sauces: a goopy, sweet bbq mess which, transferred to a serving saucer, tastes just like it does when served from the bottle. The other sauce, however, is good: a slightly spicy affair with a predominant smoky note provided by charred tomatoes and perhaps tomatillos.
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, December 02, 2008 • Permalink