Rusty Taco has only been open a couple of months, but word of mouth and Facebook exposure has brought steady crowds, from SMU and high schools students, searching for hip new trends, to office workers near their location at University and Greenville, hoping to grab a quick tasty bite.
First, the name. Owner Rusty Fenton, who co-founded Uncle Julio’s in the 1980’s, is a veteran restaurateur with a penchant for fresh ingredients and homemade tortillas. The joint’s signature dish, the Rusty Taco, gets its rusty color from the spices mixed with anchiote pork and charred pineapple. And the best part is the price – all tacos are $2.
The ambience of the transformed Just Brakes might be former garage, with liftable rolling doors and concrete floors, but everything is new and clean from the open-style kitchen to the corrugated tin walls to the communal picnic tables. The covered patio can seat more than 100 diners, and it has a Taco Shack feel, for those who frequent the Austin fast-taco chain. You’ll find Pat Green and the Rolling Stones on the jukebox (okay, not on the same song), and you can reach for a cold bottle of beer icing down in the open tubs or a frozen margarita or a fountain soda.
My favorite menu item was the breakfast taco with egg, cheese and jalapeno sausage, but the chorizo and bacon versions were delicious, too. I liked the Rajas Taco for lunch, with its grilled poblanos, mushrooms and queso fresco, but I also enjoyed the brisket taco, which was moist and flavorful.
Rusty Taco is open weekdays from 7 am to 10 pm, Saturday 8 am to 10 pm, and Sundays 8 to 8, so you’re likely to find them open when you’re hungry. But parking is another story. The postage stamp of a lot has trouble accommodating the crowd. If you find a spot, consider buying a lotto ticket – it’s your lucky day.
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