Food & Drink

Restaurant review: Taco Heads plants its feet on Montgomery

Garlic cilantro gulf shrimp taco and Nuevo Leon al pastor taco at Taco Heads in Fort Worth
Garlic cilantro gulf shrimp taco and Nuevo Leon al pastor taco at Taco Heads in Fort Worth jlmarshall@star-telegram.com

It’s unlikely that your local taqueria uses Vital Farms eggs, the grass-fed purveyor of yolk, in its breakfast tacos.

But that’s part of the allure of Taco Heads, a quasi-hip mecca of Mexican street food, whose genesis as a food truck for happy and/or inebriated bargoers has held sway among west-siders for six years.

Solidly sourced ingredients — not to mention killer salsa — are part of the game plan for owner Sarah Castillo. At her first brick-and-mortar effort along Fort Worth’s Montgomery Street, a two-building very-mini-compound, she can also now cater to a few more sober folks, while expanding her menu — slightly — and enhance the general joie de vivre that comes along with biting into one of her brisket tacos.

Clearly, Castillo has given much thought to just how she would entertain her legions of fans, who seem to have no problem navigating down West Seventh Street toward her new digs. The main building — the dining room — seats just a handful and is compressed even further by a host stand and bar area.

On a recent early-weekday night, the room was near-capacity. Good thing there’s an expansive patio, with tables, not to mention kitschy Adirondack chairs in a rainbow of colors. The skyline view doesn’t hurt either. (Castillo’s goal is to place the bar inside the other small building across the patio.)

But back inside, Sinatra is crooning over the stereo, and some of the best chips this side of Mexico wait at the table, along with a lime-tinged, chunky guacamole ($7). Think taco-salad shell chip, and you’ve got the texture and pillowy crunch that these bad boys, called “sweetcorn,” possess.

I say “bad boys” only because they were intoxicatingly addictive. They were great dipped in the guac, but even better with the queso blanco (with chips, $6.75). The velvety cheese filled every chip cranny like they were created to do that very thing.

Sometimes, I think I was created to eat massive amounts of chips (it’s hereditary, ask my grandmother), but my intention was to see how Castillo’s Montgomery 2.0 tacos stacked up — and they didn’t disappoint — except for the fact that the wild tilapia, ($3.75) with its garlic-paprika aioli, pickled slaw and cotija, was unavailable the night I visited.

We made do with a garlic cilantro Gulf shrimp ($4.25), which had the same other key ingredients, and were quite pleased. The shrimp was perfectly cooked with a nice bite and the pickled slaw worked well, yielding a great tang.

Other tacos netted similar raves at our table, from Mama Castillo’s chicken ($3.50), big chunks of meat with a simple pico and queso fresco, to the roasted chipotle brisket ($3.75), which had tender shredded brisket conspiring with green cabbage, onions, cilantro and queso fresco.

And speaking of brisket, we added the protein to our quesadillas ($6.50), and reveled in the cheesiness, the perfectly cooked meat and the crunchy tortilla.

For Taco Heads rookies out there (of which there must only be a handful), it should be noted that the tacos here are of the “street” in size. Small appetites would do well to order two; larger, well, you should plan on ordering more.

Or, you can eat more of the elotes ($3.75), a decadent mix of roasted corn, chile aioli, garlic butter and cotija cheese. It’s ridiculously good, and emblematic of what the restaurateur — who is aiming to open another location south of downtown in the future — embraces.

It’s no-fuss, plenty of muss, and the stuff of very good dreams.

Taco Heads

  • 1812 Montgomery St., Fort Worth
  • 817-615-9899
  • tacoheads.com
  • Hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, 7 a.m.-midnight. Thursday-Saturday
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