Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Restaurant Review: Chevron’s Taqueria on West Gentry
Chevron’s Taqueria on West Gentry really puts the service into service station.
If you’re not from North Tyler, you might miss the taqueria inside the Chevron service station at the corner of West Gentry and Belvedere. Belvedere runs diagonally into West Gentry; across that street is Cash America Pawn Shop. CVS is nearby on Glenwood just south of West Gentry. This fine taqueria doesn’t even have a name, but the Chevron has signs posted on the outside about the wonderful food inside. Soft corn tacos are 99 cents, and flour tacos are $1.50. Taqueria toppings differ from the better-known Tex-Mex hard corn tacos—just onions and cilantro. You get a choice of red and/or green hot sauce; the latter is tomatillo based without avocado.
The “Chevron Taqueria” is the only place in Tyler where you can find barbacoa de borrego (cheek of lamb). I’d compare borrego to a light carnitas, the well-known shredded pork dish. Barbacoa de borrego is served on the weekends and maybe Monday morning if you’re lucky. Another one of my Chevron Taqueria favorites is deshebrada (shredded beef). I noticed it’s a roast cut from paying attention at the meat market of La Michoacana. By the way, both of these dishes are very lean—no globs of fat to dodge.
The tacos al pastor (spicy pork) are tasty as well. Pastor combines sweet purple guajillo peppers together with spicy red arbol and maroon semi-spicy ancho, adobo, or chipotle. Pineapple chunks top the dish. For more of the fascinating history of pastor, go to this link for the table of contents of my publications at the site. Scroll to “Pastor (Spicy Pork): the Most Popular Mexican and Mexican-American Dish—But Unknown in Mainstream U.S.”, learn of pastor’s Lebanese origins, and find some recipes!
Besides familiar favorites, Chevron Taqueria has rayos de queso, bell pepper slices in melted cheddar cheese. Chevron Taqueria offers milanesa, the Mexican chicken fried steak too. You can find cube-like fajita beef, ham, and chicken. Their tortas (Mexican sandwich) is one of the best bargains on the menu at $2.99. Chevron serves tortas the traditional way: a firm oval bolillo roll with refried beans spread on one side, topped by your choice of stew meat with lettuce, onions, cilantro, and avocado slices. Quesadillas come in three sizes!
The Chevron Taqueria is also open for breakfast complete with breakfast tacos—egg-based treats with sausage (chorizo), bacon (tocino), or hot dogs (salchichas). Hey, this taqueria is inside a service station that also has a couple of aisles of canned goods and sells trendy T-shirts. Chevron’s Taqueria on West Gentry really puts the service into service station.