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Industry News: Original Taco C gets a facelift, fancy new Mexican dishes at NAO and La Fogata

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Taco Cabana (multiple locations) is celebrating 35 years of low-cost Tex-Mex by renovating the original Monte Vista location to look like it did when it opened in 1978. The renovation started in late August and will end with a grand re-opening on September 21. Bean and cheese tacos will be 35 cents at all TCs that weekend. College students, cheapskates and night owls, mark your calendars.

NAO New World Flavors (312 Pearl Pkwy) already serves a variety of Latin American flavors, but now they’ve started doing a deep-dive into individual countries. The Celebration of Cuisines, as it’s called, has started with the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Until October 23, you’ll see Oaxacan dishes with flavors like serrano-lime water and chayote. Other countries coming up will be Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Spanish Caribbean and Venezuela.

La Fogata (2427 Vance Jackson) is known for their traditional Mexican dishes and their big-ass margaritas. Just...huge. Oh, and their enormous patio. Really, almost everything is big there. It looks like La Fogata’s branching out in the culinary department, too, with new items like pumpkin blossoms and marinated pork from Yucatan. But do these dishes pair well with margaritas? Just kidding, everything goes with margaritas. Especially big margaritas.

If you’ve ever wondered if Dough Pizzeria Napoletana (6989 Blanco) is as authentically Italian as we all think it is, you can stop. Aside from adhering to traditional Neapolitan techniques, chef and owner Doug Horn recently received the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani certification “Attestato di Partecipazione al Corso per Pizzaiuolo.” The APN is the Association of Neapolitan Pizza Makers, so they know their Neapolitan pizza. What does all this mean? That in addition to being really freaking delicious, it’s authentic. And speaking of Dough, the wine bar addition is still in the works. Those of us that have spent an hour roasting on the patio waiting for a table are looking forward to it.

Broadway has what looks like a real Italian deli. Fratello’s Market & Deli (2503 Broadway) sells Italian goods like San Marzano tomatoes and Italian pastas, and serves pizzas, paninis, antipasti and salads.

Anyone checked out Urth Juice Bar yet on McCullough? If you haven’t, you can pick one up at Zedric’s (9873 I-10 and 5231 Broadway), makers of gourmet healthy food to go. Zedric’s specializes in allergen-free foods you can pick up and take with you. Next time you’re buying a pasta-free spaghetti bolognese, pick up an Urth juice, too.

Restaurants that don’t offer online reservations confound me. I am much more likely to book a restaurant online than on the phone. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (255 E Basse) is rewarding those who make reservations online this month with a special deal. Until September 30, booking online will get you a two-course meal of filet mignon and crab-stuffed shrimp for $32.95.

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