Kman and I were ramblin' around the Cleburne area this Sunday. Looking at 100 year-old houses and dreaming how we could manage a move to a nice little town, and still drive into Cowtown for work. Would be a little further commute, but much farther from our aging mothers.
We took the county back roads per our habit of avoiding big city traffic when we can. Find some breathing room.
Headed west out of Cleburne on Hwy 171, we just about blew through the tiny hamlet of Godley when we spied a couple of extra big barrel barbecue grills belching out large amounts of brisket scented smoke at an old gas station-turned-taco stand.
Kman took one big drag of that perfumed air and whipped his Dodge truck in a Yewie (U-ie?) and pulled into a parking spot: Del Norte's Tacos
Seems the owner is a bonafide gourmet chef that just got tired of all the big city crapola and decided a move to the country with his young bride was just the ticket.
Chris Garcia calls Houston home, but every summer as a child, he sat in his beloved grandmother’s kitchen in South Texas learning all the family secrets from mesquite smoked chicken to the exclusive chocolate… he has vast experience from years at Pappas Seafood Kitchen, the Houstonian, to Marriott Westchase as the head Sous chef. Studied under Executive chef Tim Keating at the Four Seasons and then moved with him to Austin to increase business at The Oasis on Lake Travis. Most recently helped open the Grove with Executive Chef Robert del Grande and Executive Chef Ryan Pera. Moving on, Chef Chris is marrying his love, Mary Wills. They have moved to Johnson County to open their own operation, Wind Hill Catering Company.
With many job experiences, passion for great food and family, Chef Chris most enjoys fishing, hanging out with family and grilling.
Kman had a smoked chicken fajita burrito that was as big around as the business end of a baseball bat. I had the blackened fish tacos: a double soft corn tortilla filled with moist perfectly smoked tilapia ( I think it was tilapia) with a topping of spicy/sweet onion and cabbage slaw. Oh buddy!
The "dining room" was originally the repair bay of the old station, and the old hydraulic lift was still implanted in the painted concrete floor. A large wooden table was straddled over the lift so's no one would trip over it.
Del Norte's is BYOB, perfect for our budget - who wants to pay $5.00 a bottle when you can bring a six-pack of Mexican beer (Dos Equis Amber) for $7.50? On Friday and Saturday nights, canned beer is complimentary to the Del Norte diners.
Free beer and out-of-this-world Tex Mex in an old fillin' station; don't get much better, compadres.
Ya'll give me a hollar and I'll treat you to a taco or a burrito!