A new food truck on the city's east side is making a name for itself in Fort Worth food circles for serving two distinctive items: grilled tacos and ramen.
Called Calisience, it's permanently parked at 3318 East Belknap St., and is the first food endeavor from Jacqueline Anaya, a native of Los Angeles and self-proclaimed foodie who has been cooking since age 11.
"I'm the oldest of six kids and my mom worked a lot, so I often cooked for the family," Anaya says. "What started out as a chore turned into a passion."
Her signature item is grilled tacos made with birria, a traditional Mexican dish consisting of goat or beef cooked as a stew with different spices and a mild pepper.
"The birria recipe comes from my grandmother, who's from Guadalajara, the city where this style of taco originated," Anaya says. "It used to be that the only meat used for birria was goat. But now people use beef, pork, veal, and lamb."
For her tacos, Anaya uses beef, simmered in spices for six to seven hours, which get folded inside local corn tortillas along with Monterrey Jack cheese. They're grilled for several minutes, melting the cheese and giving the tortillas a nice crispness.
"They're birria tacos but the cheese and how they're grilled – that's a California twist," Anaya says.
Tacos come three to an order, plus diced red onions, cilantro, sliced radishes, and a jalapeno-based hot sauce. Every order comes with a side of beef broth consomme for dipping.
The truck's other signature item is ramen, which Anaya makes using traditional ramen noodles and the broth from the birria. "I add a few more ingredients, like my own hot sauce, which gives it a touch of spice," she says.
Other menu items include burritos, quesadillas, street tacos, and rice and beans. To drink, there's housemade strawberry horchata.
Calisience first opened before COVID-19, but took a brief hiatus. When Anaya recently reopened, she reworked her space to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
"There's enough room to park and you can either stay in your car and order or come up to the window, whatever you're comfortable doing," she says. "And then we’ll bring the food to your car."
Anaya moved to Fort Worth in her teens, and graduated from Eastern Hills High. After a stint in Austin, she returned to Fort Worth and started selling her food out of her home via social media.
"I was still trying to find myself, figure out what I wanted to do, when I moved to Austin," she says. "But Austin didn’t work out. When I got home, I decided to post some pictures on Instagram of my food, and people started saying, 'Can you make me this, this and this?' Everything took off from there."