Made-to-order seals the deal
Pressing and cooking corn tortillas to order is a rarity in the restaurant industry, at least in the US. It’s much easier to leave tortilla making to the factories, and just reheat to order. But Hernandez was adamant about serving the tortillas of his childhood.
“I remember standing by the wood stove in my grandma’s house with my little brother. That was her thing. Making tortillas from scratch. Every morning, we would stand there, waiting for her to finish a tortilla. We’d scoop it up, add butter and salt and BOOM! There it goes,” he said.
The tortillas are, if not mind-blowing, certainly extraordinary compared to other taco joints. They’re impeccably soft, imperfectly round, and deeply corn-flavored. Not too thick, not too thin, and because they’re cooked only after you order them, it takes a smidge longer to get your tacos than at other places. But a couple minutes for a cooked-to-order tortilla is a small price to pay.
The state of Chihuahua is meat-centric: cattle, hogs, chickens, goats, and sheep. Agriculture is big, too: corn, potatoes, squash, and beans. And of course, chiles. So it’s not surprising most of the taco fillings are meat-based, although they are slowly introducing some vegetarian options. You’ll find chunky carne asada (skirt steak), juicy carnitas with a hint of smoke (thanks to the smoker the couple purchased from the previous tenant), and chicken (grilled breast, marinated in a cilantro oil). There is lengua (beef tongue) and tripa (carefully cleaned, boiled, and fried crisp). And then there is the signature Tacos Chiwas, loaded with carne asada, ham, hatch chile, jalapeño, and bashfully smothered in queso asadero.