It’s two o’clock on a Wednesday and you’re at work. You have a hole in your stomach and if you don’t eat soon it might be impossible to go on. Nothing can fix this craving better than an authentic, homemade taco.
If you happen to be in the Roma colony, feed your hunger at the Chavita Taco stand. The business began 57 years ago as a street market for quesadillas and at the request of customers it began to incorporate guacamole, chicharrón, green sauce, beans, Oaxaca cheese, and stews. It is the perfect place for fast, healthy, and cheap food.
Don Chavita arrives every morning at one of the most crowded corners of the colony loaded with boxes, buckets, and freshly made stews made by several members of his family. They all share the work and the recipes.
Within five minutes, Don Chavita has transformed his belongings into a real street stall. Four beach umbrellas shelter the area; several draperies cover low tables with floral hues; and versatile plastic buckets cover the space: the bucket-tortillero, from where he removes the mysteriously hot corn tortillas, the bucket-pile, where he accumulates the dirty dishes; the bucket-trash; and the bucket-seat from which he works. Don’t forget the lunch boxes of all sizes and colors that contain the ingredients.
It seems like a makeshift setup, but his methodology gives us the understanding that nothing is improvised. One hand holds the tortillas open in his palm while the other serves the rice, stew, and guacamole. He presents the taco in a plastic dish: “Here you have, Miss.” Without moving from his seat, he manages to do everything. Prepare, serve, speak, smile, ask, and listen. At peak times, his torso remains in action without giving him even a moment to look up.
The stews are classic and rich. You cannot be shy and must ask for what you want directly. Any option is good, it all depends on how hungry you are. The most requested dishes are the mole chicken, potatoes with chicharrón, beef hash, potato pancakes, stuffed chili, and pear with cheese. And, of course, the chicharrón and the green sauce are not to be missed!
Hours: Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Text: Livia Arroyo Cella
Photos: Guénola Bally