Just about every adult “of age” has been THERE before. It's a right of passage into, roughly, the second quarter of adulthood. You wake up to what you think is an early Sunday morning, but quickly realize it's more along the lines of an early afternoon. Two things pop into your head as you make your way out of your bed fortress: 1.) What the heck hit me last night? 2.) Where’s the B12?
Oh yes, dear (over 21) readers, we're talking about that dreaded, la cruda realidad. It whacks you on the head like a ton of bricks and lasts longer than your abuelita’s red lipstick on your cheek, after she kisses you “hello!”.
As you “mature”, the superpowers you once possessed in your early 20s begin to deteriorate. You need something that will literally and physically bring you back to life. So, proceed with caution past the third decade of your lives. *wink*
Gaby: Hi! All good?
Trisha: Yup, just vegging.
Gaby: You hungry?
Trisha: I just scarfed down a grilled cheese sandwich.
Gaby: Oh! Well then text me when you're hungry.
Trisha: Well then I guess I’ll be seeing you in an about an hour and a half? lol
Gaby: *slightly confused AND amused, but happy that food was in short sight* Soooo, I know of a place where all your dreams can come true!
Trisha: Hold up. Pausing Netflix. Okay, you now have my full attention.
Gaby: Meet me at the corner of Dove and Ware. These type of things require the rejuvenating powers of the one and only Taqueria Tepeque. Fyi, the whole gang is hurting for nourishment, so they’re coming too.
Probably one of the best kept secrets, Taqueria Tepeque has been open for just a bit over 5 years. Well, at least from what we can tell, since that’s as far back as their Facebook posts go. These are your not-so-typical street tacos for a few reasons: a.) they are not in some taco cart/truck and have an actual indoor establishment; b.) all we could see were females working every single station, including the cooking and dicing of the meat with a cleaver; c.) instead of offering you the common man’s chips and salsa, they serve you slightly fried strips of tortillas drenched in refried pinto beans and queso fresco; d.) lastly, they brand their food as “estilo Michoacan”.
INSIDER’S TIP: Add some avocado salsa to really make that appetizer pop!
Michoacan food is world-renowned for its ingredients, utensils and 1,000 year-old techniques. Its roots are based on pre-Hispanic cultures and influenced by the Spanish. Michoacan gastronomy has even been added to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. We may not be UNESCO, but take it from us! Taqueria Tepeque is, as the kids call it these days, lit!
As we made our way into the establishment, our heavy eyes and empty stomachs were soon lifted as the smell of the carnitas permeated through the air. We passed the cashier and the open cooking station and sat at our table. Within seconds we were greeted by our server as she smacked down two plates of those delectable tortilla strips we just mentioned, plus 3 salsas; hot, hotter and hottest. First thing to order, choriqueso! You can tell what kind of undiscovered gem or hot mess you’ve walked into with just the first bite into a freshly made corn tortilla filled with cheese and chorizo. Also, don’t get your undies in a twist just because they only gave you two tortillas. Believe us, that is more than enough. The tortillas were the size of our faces!
Our table of five looked like it was a table for 10, after our orders came out. We recommend ordering the Combo #1 that includes 5 tacos (corn or flour) plus a soda or an agua fresca.
PLATINUM INSIDER’S NOTE: You can mix and match your taco order. You do not need to make the sacrifice of choosing just one meat. Choose between asaada, trompo con piña, chorizo, cabeza, cachete, labio, birria or lengua. We know these might read completely unpleasing to you, but you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Word of advice, if you have multiple people ordering several papas asadas, make sure that they are committed to eating a 5-pound potato with cheese, butter, sour cream, salt and pepper (and your choice of meat to top it all off, if you dare). Listen to us people, sharing (your papa) is caring.
If you just so happen to visit Taqueria Tepeque on Saturday or Sunday, make sure to take full advantage of their homemade menudo, birria (spicy goat or beef stew) or their carnitas estilo Michoacan prepared just like in Mexico. You can buy carnitas by the pound which includes tortillas and all the fixings like their specially made sauce and pickled red onions.
Taqueria Tepeque is located at 3700 West Dove #700, McAllen, TX. Their hours of operation are: Monday, closed; Tuesday through Friday 10:00 a.m.-12:00 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. For more information, you can call them at (956) 563-2816 or keep up with all their delicious concoctions by following them on Facebook @taqueriatepequergv, Instagram @taqueriatepeque and Snapchat @taqueriatepequ3.
Gaby Jones and Trisha Watts work hand-in-hand with the service industry. Jones is in charge of craft and imported beer for L&F Distributors-South Texas and Watts is a freelance writer specializing in the marketing of the service industry. Each week they will have a new adventure and provide an opinion on multiple locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org