We’re going on a taco tour of Tyler!

Vancouver Bites/Flickr

Update: We’re thrilled to announce that we reached our funding goal for this project in just two days! A huge thank you to everyone who pitched in — we can’t wait to deliver a fantastic guide to the best tacos in Tyler. We also got a flood of interest in joining our tour; y’all really like tacos, huh? The panel is now closed, and please stay tuned for the fruits — er, carnitas? — of our labor!

The Tyler Loop is putting together a guide to the best tacos in town. We’re looking for a few discerning palates interested in joining us to check out local mom-and-pop taquerias, food trucks, big Tex-Mex chains, and anywhere else tacos can be found in and around Tyler. (And yes, we will be including Taco Bell.)

Of course, not everyone has the same tastes when it comes to tacos. Some like it hot. Some not. Some think onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime are the only acceptable adornments. Others need to see lettuce, tomato, and shredded orange cheese.

That’s why we’re hoping to create a small panel of fairly diverse tastes — and budgets and ages, too. We’ll meet once or twice a month, on evenings or weekends, and The Tyler Loop is picking up the check.

Which brings me to another request. We’re a volunteer-run site, and we’re inviting our readers to help pick up the tab over at GoFundMe. Your donation will go toward meals reviewed by our esteemed panel of local taco lovers. Donations of $5 to $10 (a three taco plate, drink, tax, tip) would rock our world!

Want to join our panel? Send a 1-2 line email to hello@thetylerloop.com about your taco tastes (spicy? Tex-Mex or nah?), your age and where you live, how much you’d typically like to spend on a taco plate, and the reason you think you’re a perfect fit for the Tyler Loop’s taco tour. (Please note: the panel is now closed; see update above.)

We won’t be able to bring everyone on board, but this isn’t the last crazy crowdsourced project we’ve got in the works. We’ll try to rope you into something else soon enough!

Thanks for reading this story. Just one more thing. If you believe in the power of local journalism here in Tyler, I'm hoping that you'll help us take The Loop to the next level as part our winter membership drive.

Our readers have told us what they want to better understand about this place we all call home, from Tyler's north-south divide to our city's changing demographics. Power, leadership, and who gets a seat at the table. How Tyler is growing and changing, and how we can all help it improve. Local arts, culture, entertainment, and food. To tell those stories, we're hoping to add 50 new members this year. For $15 a month—the cost of a nice lunch—you can significantly increase our ability to do the big, hard-hitting, complex Loop stories and interviews you know and love in the coming year.

If you're one of the first 25 new members to sign up, we'll be delighted to share with you one of our first-ever Loop t-shirts, featuring our new piney-woods inspired colors and logo. Hot off the presses, folks!

We can't do this alone. If you believe in a more informed, more connected, more engaged Tyler, help us tell the stories that need to be told in our community. Get free access to select Loop events, behind-the-scenes updates about the impact and goals of our work, and, above all, a chance to play a part in bringing more fresh, in-depth, unexpected journalism to Tyler.

Support The Tyler Loop—and get one of our new t-shirts!

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Tasneem Raja is the Executive Editor of The Tyler Loop, a nonprofit journalism startup that explores policy, history, and demographics in Tyler, Texas. She is an award-winning journalist who has reported for NPR, The New Yorker, the Atlantic, Mother Jones, and other national outlets. A former senior editor at NPR, she launched a popular podcast exploring issues of identity and race with NPR's Code Switch team. At Mother Jones, she specialized in data visualization and led a team that built the first-ever database of mass shootings in America. She's a pioneer in the field of data-driven digital storytelling, a frequent speaker on issues of digital journalism, and a die-hard fan of alt weeklies, where she got her start as a local reporter. She lives in Tyler with her husband, her stepson, and two imperious terriers.
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