1822 Brown St.
Dayton, OH 45409
websiteDallas, Texas saw a new and colorful entry onto the restaurant scene in 2010 when Rusty Fenton opened the joint that would later be known as Rusty Taco, formerly R Taco. Nowadays, the restaurant has expanded well outside of the Lone Star State and to different cities all over the country. In some places it prefers to be near a college campus, where there’s always a crowd to keep the drinks going. In other places it has thrived near downtown where there’s a healthy love for the happy hour. In any case, where this restaurant has really thrived is always the same it takes root in places where people want to socialize. That can’t be forgotten.
Simple and delightful, that’s how you’d describe this menu. Tacos made to order in more than a dozen styles. Here’s what I liked:
- Rusty Taco: A specialty named for the founder, a combo of Achiote pork with pineapple, onion and cilantro. A little sweet, a little savory, all-around unique.
- Roasted Pork Taco: The pork is heavily seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic. Topped with cotija cheese and pickled red onions to offset a little of that salt.
- BBQ Brisket Taco: The slow-roasted beef speaks for itself on this one, just a few onions and cilantro on the side for good measure.
- Beef Fajita Taco: Sauteed beef, peppers and onion. For good measure, topped with a pico and cilantro for added freshness. This one is hot, and best for it.
- Fish Taco: Grilled or fried cod, which is complemented with a heavy chipotle aioli and cabbage. Better when grilled than fried, I think, for the deeper flavor.
- Fried Chicken Taco: Shreds of fried chicken, though the quantity of meat here isn’t great. Meh.
- Baja Shrimp Taco: Grilled shrimp with creamy baja sauce, red cabbage and cilantro. A little too similar to the fish taco for my liking.
- Picadillo Taco: Ground beef, potatoes, spices and cilantro. This one tastes a bit heavier, but still good nonetheless.
The taco shops are pretty lively, both because they tend to be busy around lunch hour and because people pack in on the evenings, especially when it’s nice out because locations have a great, spacious porch. The prices on these tacos are about normal for restaurants of this type; a few bucks a taco on the promise that each is higher-quality than average.
It’s a cool chain, one that might be growing and with good reason. Fun, and a little bit more easygoing than some of the chains of this type expanding elsewhere. Worth a sample.
- The guacamole is easy to miss but it’s definitely worthy as an app.
- Margaritas are great for happy hour here.
- On a nice day, this place is an ideal stopping point for a meal.