Tacos are a universal favorite in communities across the United States due to its simplicity and the fact that most of us millennials have grown up eating them in some way. The taco is so beloved in the United States that we’ve even dedicate every single Tuesday to it with many restaurants offering lunch specials for the food.
Despite its murky history the taco, as we know it made its way onto our plates like most of America’s favorite dishes did – immigrants in the early 20th century. Research from taco historian and University of Michigan professor, Jeffery M. Pilcher, points to second generation Mexican Americans being the first of make tacos with meat, iceberg lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. Despite the American friendly innovations, very few were able to successfully market the food to Americans as street vendors.
He later points to Glen Bell – founder of Taco Bell – being the first American to successfully franchise and market Mexican food to non-Mexican Americans in effort to bridge the gap between Mexican and American culture. This gave way to a slew of newly Americanized “Southwestern” styled chains such as Moe’s and Chipotle.
There are many equally entrepreneurial minds here in Greensboro, one of them being Kris Fuller, who is the founder and owner of The Bistro at Adams Farm, Crafted: Art of the Taco, and Crafted: The Art of Street Food. Kris has developed and progressed through her culinary career for 15 years, garnering a slew of awards for her dishes.
This past weekend, I visited Kris’ Crafted: Art of the Taco location at 219-A S Elm Street, in downtown Greensboro, neighbored by Blue Denim and Sushi Sapa. It’s nearly impossible to miss with its huge arrow-shaped sign pointing to the door which reads “Taco Joint.”
It’s important to note that Crafted does not aim to provide a typical taco experience, as its website states: “We’re not a Mexican restaurant, we’re a taco joint.” If you’re looking to get an “authentic” Mexican or Southwestern-styled taco, this spot may not be for you.
The restaurant is very colorful and has décor that is reminiscent of diners from the early 1950’s, coupled with wooden furniture that seems like it came straight from the Appalachian.
Drinks are served in nifty Mason Jars and they complement the eccentric menu items.
The setup of the meal is relatively simple: you get to pick from two tacos and a side. If you have a refined palette or wish to adventure into an interesting take on the taco, then there is no shortage of options to choose from. You can get the “Big Truck,” which has pulled pork, Mac n’ Cheese, tobacco onions, scallions and bacon BBQ sauce or get something tamer, like the “Mericanized” taco which just has lettuce, tomato, sour cream and shredded cheese.
Side options are Chips and a variety of dips, Duck Fat Braised Collards and Pimento Mac & Cheese, which was somewhat underwhelming for the cost.
I decided to go with the Big Truck, substituting the pork for Chofu (Chorizo style tofu), and the Bowtie. The Bowtie, which consists of beer-battered fish (subbed with Fried Tofu), roasted corn and poblano salsa, sweet chipotle aioli and honey mustard was a little too sweet for my liking, so the Big Truck was my personal favorite of the two.
Overall, if you are looking for a quick-bite to eat while downtown, Crafted is a great spot to check out. You can visit the Greensboro location at 11a.m. to 10 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
If you would like to go beyond tacos, Crafted: The Art of Street Food, aims to explore the food of street vendors from all over the world featuring things such as Cubano-styled sandwiches and Kimchi burgers. You can visit The Art of Street Food at 600-C Battleground Avenue Greensboro, NC 27401. For more info visit http://www.eatatcrafted.com/.