We’re going on a taco tour of Tyler!

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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.

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.

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Tasneem Raja is the Editor-in-Chief of The Oaklandside. A pioneer in data journalism and local nonprofit news startups, she co-founded The Tyler Loop, a nationally recognized community news platform in East Texas. She was a senior editor at NPR's Code Switch and at Mother Jones, where the team she led helped built the first-ever database of mass shootings in America. She started her career as features reporter at The Chicago Reader and The Philadelphia Weekly, and lives in Oakland with her husband and two imperious terriers.
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