JT’s Tacos A Diamond in the Rough
JT’s tacos is no longer open.
Driving through the area of 4th and Walnut in downtown Oklahoma City, you’ll see an old (closed, I think) Conoco store sitting lonely and desolate on the side of the street.
Look at bit past the building and you will see a commotion happening in the parking lot behind the Conoco during lunch hours.
What’s going on you ask? What are all those people doing braving the 100º sun and the 80 m.p.h. Oklahoma winds to sit outside and eat in a parking lot for?
This just goes to show that the whole “location, location, location” thing is a farce. Make good food and people will come.
And good food is to be had at JT’s Tacos.
Specifically good tacos are to be had at JT’s Tacos.
The taco truck brought to you by Marc Dunham and his wife Jenny is the newest treat for Oklahoma City…a diamond in the rough, so to speak.
Marc, graduated from Texas State University and then continued on to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. After leaving The Ranchers Club in Stillwater where he was executive chef, he did a brief stint over at the culinary program at Platt College before heading over to become the director of the brand new multi-million dollar culinary arts at the Francis Tuttle Technology Center at the Rockwell campus in Oklahoma City.
Jenny (JT stands for her initials using her maiden name) has some credentials of her own. She grew up right here in Oklahoma in Nichols Hills and Quail Creek, and then went on to graduate from Trinity University and the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona. She was an intern in New York on television’s Food Network, where among other things, she sous chef’d with yes, THE Julia Child along with Sara Moulton, of (Sarah’s Secrets) and former editor of Gourmet magazine. JT’s Tacos is Jenny’s baby and…
We are all the happier because of it.
But enough of the pedigrees of these two talented chefs. Let’s talk about tacos.
You’ll see a menu posted on the side of the trailer next to the window where you order.
This was my first visit, and after pondering and worrying about missing out on one of these delicious sounding tacos, I decided on The Hangover Taco and the Westside Taco. Two tacos and a drink will cost you $7.00. You’ll grab your drink out of the cooler on the table to the right of the window.
(Special thanks to The Food Dood Dave Cathey (food editor for the Oklahoman) for being in every one of my pictures…watch for a video of him starring all us dorky foodie writers in a few days.)
JT’s also serves breakfast tacos and I believe the special there is 2 tacos and a drink for $5.
In addition to the regular tacos, JT’s offers a monthly special taco you can view on the website. OH! And they make their own homemade tortillas…yumm!
I first tried my Hangover taco.
The Hangover taco features Carne Guisada, potatoes and jalapenos. What’s Carne Guisada you ask?
It’s just the most delicious meat that’s been stewed down and cooked with chilies and, I believe Marc said he had cooked these Sous Vide method (vacuum sealing and slow cooking for days in a water bath) The beef pieces were super tender and succulent as were the potatoes…at JT’s, you get a choice of two salsas -a milder one called Salsa Guajillo, a wonderful concoction of dried guajillo chiles and also Salsa Pasilla, another chili with a little more heat. Not your ordinary tomato laden salsa folks…good stuff!
I tried both..both were fantastic and not your average salsa. Marc draws on his early roots of ingredients from his earlier days in Austin and New Braunfels, Texas so you’ll get some great authentic flavors in their taco and salsa recipes.
I also ordered the West Side taco made up of barbacoa, or a slow simmered beef with onion and sauce (usually basted after cooking) with lime and cilantro as toppings.
This also was delicious, although not near as tender as that Sous Vide cooked Hangover.
I thought I was done, but then one of my lunch companions commanded us all, in no certain terms, that if we hadn’t ordered the Chopper taco, we must immediately go get back in line at once, so, being the good girl that I am, I got back in line for this baby.
And okay, he was dead on with this one..this was so good. Filled with beef picadillo, another stewed beef dish, potatoes and queso chihuahua (a soft white Mexican cow’s milk cheese). This was moist, greasy and full of absolute goodness. I had to borrow baby wipes after this taco to clean my hands, but it was so worth it. This was my favorite of the trip.
I believe Marc and Jenny are thinking about some extended hours for the taco truck to be open on Saturday…this would be good for me as I don’t work in the downtown area during their current hours…what do you think?