In a snug, historic Westside building, Best Meat Co. chef Dedrick Daniels serves up a particular kind of comfort food: taco burgers. “A taco burger is simply the same thing as a taco, but we put it on a toasted bun,” explains Daniels, who runs Best Meat Co. with his wife, owner Quan Ware. “There’s ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, and we also use taco sauce and sour cream if the customer wants.” Shredded cheddar cheese completes the Mexican-American sandwich.
Daniels and Ware opened the brick-and-mortar location two years ago after starting out with a mobile barbecue rig; they also smoke pork ribs, beef brisket and other Southern-style viands.
Not familiar with the concept of a taco burger? They were offered at famed Southwest U.S. chain Naugles, which was absorbed by Del Taco. (Del Taco will make you a “bun taco,” but you have to go off-menu to get it.) Best Meat Co.’s taco burger is a tribute to a different bygone local version, however. “We had a place in town, Hamburger Heaven, [that had a taco burger],” Daniels says. “We wanted to bring that back to the community. It’s really a signature Las Vegas sandwich.”
A cousin of the sloppy Joe or the Midwest’s loose meat sandwich, taco burgers aren’t towering stackers impaled with steak knives or dripping with photogenic, gooey cheese. Their fillings can tumble out from the side, like from a grocery store Old El Paso corn shell. And while Daniels and his kitchen staff toast their seedless buns, they serve the burgers in wrappers, with the foil tent providing a hint of steam, a la White Castle. They’re best washed down with a can of Shasta Tiki Punch, the sweet, bright-red elixir of childhood dreams.
Best Meat Co. 2362 Lexington St., 702-296-7956. Daily, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.