Tacos Mariachi taqueria near Trinity Groves offers fresh huitlacoche tacos and big tastes of Mexico
“Mr. Hiller, it’s so nice to see you again!” says Jesus Carmona, extending his hand to welcome me into Tacos Mariachi, the tiny but pretty taqueria he recently opened a block west of Trinity Groves in Dallas.
“Do you remember me from Spoon and then Knife,” he asks, gently reminding me that I probably recognize him from those two Dallas restaurants, where Carmona worked as a server before setting off on his own. Prior to the place-setting gigs, Carmona spent a few years with Rosewood Hotels, working at their primo hotels in Dallas and Cabo San Lucas while weaving in trips to Mexico City and Tijuana in his free time.
Tacos Mariachi is full of other wonderful surprises. Take the huitlacoche tacos, for example. Carmona brings in ziplock bags full of fresh huitlacoche every few days, trucked in from a farm near Mexico City. Tacos Mariachi’s chef, Moises Rico, tumbles freshly roasted corn kernels and a slice of portobello mushroom with the corn fungus, slides the mix onto two excellent, warm corn tortillas locally made from coarsely ground masa, adds asadero cheese and a tangle of microgreens, then presents the plate with a flourish of three housemade salsas. “Use the roasted serrano-cilantro-lime salsa with this one,” he advises. “And put some of it on the octopus taco, too,” another two-tortilla taco that arrives coddling chunks of pan-seared octopus marinated in cilantro and lime, a slice of ripe avocado, gooey Oaxaca cheese and a squirt of Mexican crema.
“Does the octopus arrive fresh or frozen,” I ask.
“Everything we serve is fresh. The pulpo comes fresh from Seafood Supply, the tortillas are made nearby, the salsas are made here, even the mole is made from scratch.”
Carmona’s menu is seafood-centric — ingredients and combinations he learned during taco-intensive trips to Tijuana while working for Rosewood. But Tacos Mariachi also ventures inland, to Mexico City and Oaxaca and Puebla, for traditional tacos including barbacoa, al pastor, carnitas, lengua, plus Austin-style breakfast tacos.
“I hope you will come back soon,” Carmona tells me on my way out.
I most certainly will.