WORDS BY ALYSSA STEVENSON, IMAGES BY WILL MILNE
Down the street, around the corner, and up a tiny alleyway lies a little taco shop that we seriously dig. Flatlander's Tacos moved in just around a year ago as they made the leap from food truck to brick and mortar. Now that we don't have to track them down on twitter, we've been working our way through the menu, trying everything out just for you. (Okay, also because tacos.) Read on to find out what our favorite thing between two slices of bread is right now and why your life sucks if you aren't eating their churros on the regular.
Flatlanders was started by Tyler and Ashley Hall who spent some time in the restaurant industry growing their family's business before branching out on their own. Once they learned the ropes and saw how restaurants grew, they felt confident enough to branch out on their own. They started small with a food truck, and their hard work paid off. The Flatlanders Taco Truck was soon highly sought after for large events, weddings and celebrations. They moved into a brick and mortar spot next to Oak Street Draft House, and created a bright, light and colorful space.
Okay, enough history, let's talk tacos. Tyler and Ashley have a pretty serious commitment to using super fresh ingredients and making as much as possible from scratch. Many of their meats are marinated in scratch made sauces for lengthy amounts of time before they go near the flames of the grills. They also have created and crafted an impressive menu that is the perfect size for giving us plenty of options, but not overwhelming us with too many choices. A few of our favorite tacos are their crawfish taco, steak taco, and pork taco. The crawfish is marinated in spicy pastor and is served overflowing in a tortilla with roasted pineapple habanero pico, refried black beans, queso fresco and a healthy dose of the avocado salsa. We love that they fill their tacos to the tortilla brim - they are almost better eaten with a fork for a few bites before picking them up and finishing them up.
We can also attest to the fact that they make some pretty killer breakfast tacos. Now, Flatlanders isn't open when we are normally in need of breakfast tacos, but we think they'd make an awesome late night nosh when you're out at doing the craft beer crawl east of the square, and make an awesome meal when you're recovering a little later in the morning from one of those nights. We'll also point out that while we are mega-meat eaters over here - we love that Flatlanders has a super decent selection for vegetarians and vegans alike. Cactus, tofu, potatoes and avocados get all kinds of fancy before they're served in a tortilla or stuffed into a pepper. We have a feeling you could also get a few things put on one of their excellent torta rolls, if you're feeling like eating something a little heftier than a taco.
One of our favorite menu items (the kind we get insane cravings for on a regular basis) is the barbacoa torta. The barbacoa is a slow roasted perfectly spicy, deeply flavored brisket and they pile it high on a toasted torta roll slathered with mayo, a smear of refried black beans, fresh avocado slices and pico. It is hearty, satisfying and just plain good. The guajillo burger is another must try. We know what you're thinking - a burger at a taco joint is criminal. But, you see, it's not. It's a great life decision actually. When you try the guajillo burger, you'll quickly come to realize that you my friend, are winning at life. This is a hand formed and hand mixed burger with from scratch guajillo chile adobo. If you're unsure about what that means, just know that it's a sauce made from tasty chile peppers mixed into one of the best burgers you're going to eat this month, possibly this year. We're serious.
Flatlanders also has a few other non-taco items to take notice of, including their stuffed poblano pepper. Filled with quinoa, corn and black beans, topped with avocado, this pepper isn't playing around. We also super dig their Sunday brunch menu with some super legit huevos rancheros and migas going on. Of course, you can't leave without sharing (or not sharing, which we totally support) a batch of the churros. These divine little sticks of cinnamon sugar heaven are only made better with the chocolate espresso sauce alongside them. Or, grab a latte and enjoy an order with a side of caffeine - definitely not a bad way to end a meal.
Any way you slice it, Flatlanders is worthy of your attention and tastebuds. Now that it's officially picnic season on the square, we suggest you grab some tortas, agua frescas and churros to go and revel in the fact that you live in what must be the greatest little city in Texas.