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The greatest tacos ever to grace a greasy shell in DFW are almost always found inside an unsuspecting gas station. This is Texan knowledge 101. It goes in the same handbook that requires Texans to love anything dealing with longhorns, brews, queso, margaritas and recently, Topo Chico. By the Horns Brewing has not only read this handbook, they’ve turned it into doctrine.

Located in Mansfield, By the Horns Brewing is the latest brainchild of Chef Jason Boso. He’s the man behind the comfort food classic concepts, Twisted Root Burger, (there’s also one next door) and the forever bustling Truck Yard. Some who’ve spent a little time chasing cheesesteaks and suds at the Truck Yard can spot a few of the similarities in his latest establishment. The brightly colored chairs on the patio, string lights, and of course that perfect mix of family friendliness and giggling boozers.

If you haven’t caught on by now, this place oozes Texas pride, but it takes a look inside to know how deep it goes. Having once been an old gas station, it has a sort of choppy, but cool look about it. Pieces of the original filling station still remain. There’s even a couple of old pumps and an extra ancient looking truck facing the freeway which sits near their massive fermentation tank.

By the Horns doesn’t have a long list of beers, but they’ve still managed to produce some crowd pleasers. The Helles Lager is the most popular amongst guests. It’s smooth and easy to drink. Think Bud Light but good. Other brews include the Doppleblock, Pale Ale, Agave IPA and Brown Ale. If you can’t decide which brew is for you, try them all in a flight. Of course, not everyone loves the belching bliss of beer. By the Horns has that covered too.

All alcohol served here, from beer, to the hard stuff is made in Texas. If you’re skipping the brews, try one of the popular Ranch Waters. Each flavor is served in a Topo Chico bottle and mixed with Tequila 512 Blanco and your choice of pineapple, guava or mango. Not a tequila fan, no worries. They also serve a happening Cuba Libre, Mexican Cherry Limeade, and the cocktail of many hours, the Frose.

You’ve settled on a drink or two, now it’s time to grub. Start with one of the sides aka appetizers like the Drunken Queso, made with wheat beer and peppers. Go green and guilty with the Avocado Fries. These panko crusted chili spiced avocado slices are served with fried and served with their ever so essential jalapeno ranch dressing. Which can and should be drank by the cupfuls. Keep it common with the Traditional Guac, or chips and salsa, or take a full leap outside of the box with the Oaxacan Grasshopper Tostada. That’s a traditional tostado served with, you guessed it, real life dried grasshoppers on top. Because, everyone needs protein.

By the Horns understands the importance of a good foundation, so all of their corn and flour tortillas are house made. They have over ten taco options to choose from here. If you’re all about the beef, try the Pepper Crusted Ribeye topped with Mexican avocado chimichurri, cotija, and fresh cilantro all served on a flour tortilla. If chicken charms you, choose from the Rotisserie Chicken, Crispy Rolled Chicken, or my absolute favorite, the Fried Chicken Taco. Made on a flour tortilla, a fried chicken strip is tossed in honey cholula, then finished off with their scrumptious jalapeño ranch slaw.

Keep it light with the veggie option, which comes with their crunchy, creamy fried avocado, purple cabbage slaw, sweet potato straws and cotija. Consider skipping the shells and get your T & A Bowl on. It’s an all-encompassing medley of fresh Romaine lettuce, half an avocado, sweet potato straws, purple cabbage slaw, brussels sprouts, and your choice of vinaigrette or that lovely jalapeno ranch dressing.

When you’re in Mansfield looking to throw back an ice-cold craft brew, chow on some gringo tacos and do it all in a chill atmosphere then this is the place you want to be. So, pull up a colorful patio chair and get ready to take your palate By the Horns. TxmB