Tony Morales knows how people feel about Mexican street food.
"People love street tacos," the manager of Taqueria Guanajuato in Springdale said. "People often think of tacos as coming in a hard shell with just ground beef and stuff like that... Taco Bell kind of stuff."
They do it differently at Tony's family Taqueria.
Our carne asada tacos and al pastor tacos are served in a soft tortilla," he said. "We have soft tacos and home made meat. It's all made here. We put onions and cilantro on them. I think people like that. It really separates us from what some people eat when they want tacos. Ours are traditional."
A family affaire
For more than a dozen years, Tony and his family have operated the family business in Springdale. Originally from Mexico, Tony's parents and uncle found success after moving from California and opening their Springdale restaurant. Tony, who started working in the restaurant at an early age, manages day-to-day operations and his parents provide the quality control. The family prides themselves on serving up high quality traditional Mexican favorites. Maybe the most popular are their tacos.
"It's the original to-go food," Tony explained. "Get it and eat it on the go, or standing on the side of the street. It's like people who buy hotdogs on the street. You can get a quick bite, eat and you are in your way."
The Taqueria's taco selection includes beef (carne aside), pork (al pastor), chicken (pollo), carnitas (pork), tripe (tripa), tounge (lengua) and cabeza... which, in culinary terms, translates in Spanish to "beef head."
People love our carne asada tacos and al pastor tacos," he said. "With al pastor, we let that marinate and it helps it get the flavor that it really needs," Tony said. "When the customer orders it we cook it, but the extra step to make the food taste good is letting it marinate. That's not something that everyone does. It makes it better than ground beef. All of our meats marinate for at least 24 hours.
"The meat is marinating," he said. "Then, we put in on the grill when the customer orders, cook it and give it a little extra spice on the way out to the table."
A perfect meat
While many area residents may be familiar with beef , pork and chicken taco fixings, they may not quite have wrapped their cabezas around the idea of tripe, tongue and brain in tacos.
Tony, however, believes that they all are great meats to use in traditional street food.
"I think lengua is perfect meat to eat," he said. "It's such a soft meat. When you think of tongue you don't think it' going to be a soft juicy and meat. Once it's cooked and chopped it's great. It's something that we offer to kids because it's so soft and easy to eat. It's probably one of the juiciest and most flavorful meats you can eat."
He feels the same about cabeza.
"We do cabeza tacos every day," he added. "It's a little bit different than the lingua. The cabeza is a little more fatty, but it's just as good and is rich in flavor."
Taqueria Guanajuato offers all of their signature street tacos on Tuesday at a special price.
"All the tacos are .99 on Taco Tuesday," he said. "It's any taco you want on a small corn tortilla... asada, al pastor, carnitas, lingua, cabeza, tripas... all that good stuff is available on Tuesday for .99 and you can sit inside or you can eat outside or get it to go. It's a good way to try a taco for .99 and make sure you like it before you pay $2 for it on other days."
You can get four traditional Mexican street tacos for under $5 on Taco Tuesdays at Taqueria Guanajuato.
Hours of operation:
Sun -- Thurs, 8am -- 12am
Fri, 8am -- 2 am
Sat, 8am -- 4 am
Word on the street... and social media.
"This food was so good. True authentic Mexican food. Everyone was extremely nice. Service was great. Prices were great. Highly recommended."
"Fast friendly service and absolutely delicious authentic Mexican food at very reasonable prices. Excellent portion sizes."
"So far the best Mexican food joint I've been to since leaving Cali."
Bruce W.NAN Dining Guide Cover on 02/19/2018
Print Headline: Talkin' tacos with Tony