Eats Beat

All-you-can-eat tacos for under $10: Here’s where to find deals for National Taco Day

What could be better than National Taco Day?

How about unlimited tacos every day?

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Bigotes Mexican Restaurant in east Arlington serves all the simple cheese enchiladas and crispy beef tacos you can eat daily at lunchtime only, including this Friday for National Taco Day.

The price: $7.35 weekdays, $8.35 weekends. (It’s an extra $1 for a different sauce or filling.)

Bigotes (“whiskers”) has been doing this 30 years, yet it’s still a well-kept secret at 1821 E. Abram St., near Ballpark Way.

The Lopez family’s restaurant is tiny. Some of the tables and booths still have Christmas tablecloths.

At some all-you-can-eat restaurants, the servers bring the check with the first helping and then ignore you.

But not at Bigotes. The other day at lunch, the server actually came back repeatedly asking, “Did you get enough? Are you sure?”

The tacos are old-fashioned Tex-Mex style, with lettuce, tomato and shredded cheese.

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Bigotes is really known for breakfasts. But it’s also a simple, old-timey Tex-Mex restaurant with chiles rellenos, carne guisada, steak tampiqueña and a family-style fajita dinner with nachos ($25.99 for two, $45.99 for four).

Bigotes is open for breakfast and lunch daily except Tuesdays. It’s on East Abram Street 1½ miles south of AT&T Stadium and Globe Life; 817-274-1350.

Bigotes’ special is good year-round.

Here’s a look at some other National Taco Day specials Oct. 4:

The Dallas-based On the Border restaurants also will offer all-you-can-eat tacos. Their “endless tacos” special is $8.99, or $10.99 for brisket or Southwest chicken tacos.

On the Border is open daily for lunch and dinner at nine Tarrant County locations plus Roanoke and Weatherford;

At the big Austin-based Chuy’s chain, you get a free entree if you dress like a taco.

Chuy’s is also offering a crispy taco for $1 with any entree. The company has two Fort Worth locations, plus Arlington and Southlake;

Hometown Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, which made National Taco Day a phenomenon by giving away free tacos, now limits them only to prior users of the restaurant’s smartphone loyalty app. (No latecomers — download it before Friday.)

Fuzzy’s is also celebrating National Taco Eve with $1 taco specials all day Thursday. Fifteen regional locations;

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The Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos shops are giving to charity for Taco Day.

For every “Trailer Park” fried chicken-poblano taco sold Friday, Torchy’s will donate $1 to the Phoenix-based Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Torchy’s has two locations in Fort Worth, two in Arlington and one in Southlake, with a Mansfield location coming soon;

The new “secret taco” debuts Friday at Bartaco, 1701 River Run, Fort Worth.

It’s a Oaxacan spicy chicken taco on kohlradi slaw. Bartaco also sells everything from roasted duck street tacos — they’re excellent — to sesame ribeye, glazed pork belly or the more basic fish, carnitas, chorizo or portobello.

Bartaco is open daily for lunch and dinner; 817-663-8226,

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By next year, the new Toro Toro Pan Latin Steakhouse in the remodeled Renaissance Worthington hotel will be open to join the Taco Day fun.

Colorado celebrity chef Richard Sandoval is behind it, with chef Jason Harper handling the local role. Harper closed his North Richland Hills restaurant, Trio, to go to the Worthington;

The most authentic taquerias don’t have a “crispy taco,” or a national taco holiday.

But for the best in genuine tacos, try someplace like Fort Worth’s Mariachi’s Dine-In, 301 S. Sylvania Ave., or the Salsa Limon or Taco Heads restaurants, Frezko Taco Spot in north Fort Worth or Southlake, El Piquin in Grapevine or the little Fort Worth taquerias like Juanito’s on Hemphill Street or Guajardo’s or Tres Betos on 28th Street.

If you must eat chain tacos, bypass the Bell.

Fort Worth-based Taco Casa has the best crispy or soft tacos at a drive-through window, and a remarkable number of special deals and text-message coupons.

Taco Casa’s tacos are 100 percent beef and come with an optional green sauce for extra fire.

There are about 20 locations in and around Fort Worth

The best old-timey crispy beef tacos are at the oldest continuously operating restaurant (same location) in Tarrant County, The Original Mexican Eats Cafe, at 4713 Camp Bowie Blvd. since Geronimo and Lola Pineda founded it in 1930. It’s open daily except Mondays;

Or maybe they’re at Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Dishes, 2201 N. Commerce St. since 1936. If you’ve only gone at night, there’s a larger menu at lunch including a taco plate;

Or maybe they’re at Dos Molina’s Mexican Restaurant, 404 N.W. 25th St., a classic neighborhood Tex-Mex restaurant with bargain prices and particularly well-seasoned taco beef. (It’s open for lunch every day, dinner Thursdays through Sundays.)

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Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.
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