Where Tacos and Barbecue Come Together

In Texas it can be said that barbecue is king.

One thing that’s better than barbecue is a barbecue restaurant that has tacos on the menu.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, there are many choices when it comes to the barbecue, many of them on Texas Monthly’s Top 50 list. And since COVID-19 has taken over, more barbecue restaurants have added tacos to their menu, and we’re pleased about that. It’s a way for the businesses to incorporate the smoked meats and anything they might not sell into an item people can enjoy.

Here’s how some in the Dallas area are adding tacos to their concepts…

Panther City BBQ in Fort Worth was started by friends Chris Magallanes and Ernest Morales as a food truck in January 2018, and by October 2019, they expanded into a brick-and-mortar at the same location.

Magallanes said COVID has reduced business by about 30%, and they’ve worked to overcome and adapt by offering curbside and to-go service. La Pantera is the name they use for the taco side of the business (La Pantera has been put on hold since the bars were closed because bar-going customers were the primary audience.) Panther City has always offered brisket tacos accompanied by the barbacoa (beef cheek), an occasional special.

Magallanes says the popularity of those tacos along with the need to use the trimmings from the daily meats is what led toward a full late-night taco menu. As for La Pantera, it focuses on blending the smoked meats and flavor profiles with traditional street tacos that are a favorite in Southside Fort Worth. Since restrictions were changed, La Pantera will resume operations shortly.

If you can’t wait for late-night tacos, Pantera is blending the flavors into breakfast taco offerings 7 to 10 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. From that, the popular “Flaco Taco” was recently born: the taco is a griddled corn tortilla stuffed with asadero cheese, cilantro, onion and your choice of brisket or barbacoa.

Panther City BBQ, 201 E. Hattie St., Fort Worth. Open 7 to 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

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