Tag Archives: Mexico City

An Interview With Chef Antonio Marquez of Lazaranda Modern Kitchen & Tequila

Chef Antonio Marquez

TacoWeekBannerI love Lazaranda‘s sweet, rice-and-beans layered lobster taco, an homage to the resort town of Rosarito Beach in Baja California. But the Dallas-area restaurant—co-owned by Mario Letayf and chef Antonio Marquez, partners in other restaurants Mexico—offers more than tacos. Its name refers to the restaurant’s specialty—grilling—and the preferred tool—la zaranda (a grilling basket). During a week-long visit from Mexico, Marquez, who ditched economics for culinary school in Paris, took time to answer some of our questions.

Taco Trail: Lazaranda specializes in grilling with a zaranda. Why did you and your business partners decide to go with that concept?

Antonio Marquez: The advantage of that implement is that you can cook in the grill any type of food using it, some food direct to the grill whit the basting, marination’s and sauces, will be difficult to handle in the direct grill, small pieces too are very easy to work with the zaranda.

TT: How did it influence what dishes were put on the menu?

AM: Monterrey is a grill-lovers city, the families and friends every weekend or event, meet in patios or terraces with all the different types of grilling equipment, they share their recepies and secrets. So using the zaranda gives diners that type of taste experience.

TT: When it came to adding tacos to the Lazaranda menu? Were there tacos you insisted be available? How did you decide what tacos to offer?

AM: First of all, grilled tacos, that’s because the grilled corn tortilla get’s a better flavor. They are easier to handle and last longer before getting soaked and the tortilla start to break. We can do all types of tacos. Remember that the tortilla becomes a plate to taste the flavors inside it. And I always try to put flavors and techniques for all the different customer preferences, grilled items, roasted, barbecue, fried, etc. Continue reading

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Filed under Addison, interviews, Lengua Sessions, Taco Week

Mexico City: Tacos de Guisado

A favorite tacos de guisado stand in Mexico City

Las Cazuelas tacos de guisado stand

While Mexico City may not have New York’s skyscrapers, it’s every bit as big — bigger — and its people every bit as busy. Urban life doesn’t always allow for a home-cooked meal. So in DF, the home-cooked meal has come to the street in the form of tacos de guisado. Continue reading

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Filed under Best of, Mexico City, Reviews

Introducing Taco Trail’s Newest Contributor, Nick Zukin

Taco Trail contributor, Nick Zukin

When I received Nick Zukin’s email invitation to join him on a taco crawl along Maple Avenue in Dallas, I had no idea who he was. After reading the email, I knew I could learn some things about tacos and eat damn good tacos if I accepted the offer from the Portland, Oregon, resident. Since then, Nick has been a kindred spirit and my taco reference book mule. On his way back to Portland from Mexico, Nick has passed along essential reading material.

But Nick is more than a taco enthusiast and trafficker of the printed word. He’s also a food writer, restaurateur, cookbook author, tireless debater, tour guide, friend and, now, a Taco Trail contributor.

Let’s get to know him before moving on to his first post.

Taco Trail: You’re involved in myriad aspects of the food and restaurant world. How did you go from writer to owning and operating your own restaurants, a deli and Mi Mero Mole, a taqueria—even writing a cookbook, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home?

Nick Zukin: I get bored easy. That’s basically it.  I was a computer programmer who got tired of sitting behind a computer screen all day and decided to make my hobby my career instead.  I knew it’d mean a pay cut and longer hours, but for me it’s more about building something. Writing a cookbook, writing reviews, researching obscure Mexican antojitos—those are all things I’d do anyway just because.  There’s not much pay in food writing, as you know, but it’s nice to know that my reviews made a difference for the bottom line of restaurants where people care enough to put out a good product. And my mom gets to have a book on her shelf with my name on it.

TT: When and where does your passion for and knowledge of Mexican cuisine, specifically tacos, come from?

NZ: My mom is from Arizona and my dad from California. I grew up eating Mexican food several nights a week. When we went out to eat, it was either Mexican or pizza. My first cooking memory is my dad showing me how to fry tortillas for crispy taco shells. In college, Mexican was about the only food I could afford to go out and eat that didn’t come from a drive-thru, but even then I wanted to find the best. And then when I started traveling, Mexico being relatively cheap and close and having food that I loved was an obvious destination. It just snowballed from there, especially once I started food blogging, buying Spanish-language Mexican cookbooks, and chatting with people more knowledgeable than me on the internet. I still keep in touch with people I met online and shared a love of Mexican food with, like Steve Sando, Cristina Potters, Sharon Peters, Ruth Alegria, and Nick Gilman. All of us are professional Mexican food nerds of one kind or another now.

TT: How has it changed your view of Mexican food?

NZ: I guess my view has just broadened.  There’s just so much more to the landscape of Mexican food than I could have realized as a 5 year old learning to fry tortillas. I think it can be difficult for an American under the age of 40 to really understand the diversity and regionality of Mexican food because the regionality of American food has disappeared so much. Continue reading

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Filed under interviews, Lengua Sessions, Mexico City, Portland

Taco Party, Dallas’ Newest Food Truck

Last weekend’s Taste of Dallas is more than a food expo. It’s a testing ground for nascent culinary ventures, like Taco Party, the city’s newest food truck. Taco Party is so new, the rig doesn’t yet have a branded wrap. Instead, posters covered parts of the truck, formerly of Dos Paisano’s Salvadoran-Mexican operation, during what was Taco Party’s public service debut.

Part of the annual event’s Taste Curbside, a new component featuring Dallas’ hottest edible trend, Taco Party is owned and operated by cousins Rafael Rico and Eduardo Ramirez. It’s Dallas’ first Mexico City-style gourmet taco truck.

While Rico and Ramirez, Mexico City natives, were busy dishing out Taco Party’s fare, Lourdes Palomares, Rico’s wife, took some time to answer my questions regarding the lonchero (taco truck). Continue reading

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Filed under Dallas, DFW, News