Amado Monroy came to the United States at 15 and found work as a dishwasher. In the course of a career spanning nearly 40 years, he worked his way up to cook and pastry chef in fine dining restaurants including the Tower Club and Bob’s Steak and Chop House at the Omni Dallas Hotel.
His longtime dream came true last year when he and his family opened a restaurant in a former gas station on Zang. All of the recipes at Taxqueño are Monroy’s. He blends his own spices and makes four kinds of salsa — a red and a green that go with chips as well as red and green salsas that go with tacos.
Monroy’s wife of more than 30 years, Maria, makes corn tortillas, gorditas and sopes by hand. And her recipe for ribs — costillas en verdes — is on the menu as well. Three Monroy daughters — 30-year-old Virginia, 22-year-old Alicia and 19-year-old Amanda — all work in the restaurant when not at work or school. Grandson Ricky, 16, also works there after school.
The name Taxqueño pays homage to Amado and Maria’s hometown, Taxco, in Guerrero, Mexico. They open at 7 a.m. serving breakfast tacos, and keep cooking through lunch and dinner. Amado and Maria often are there until 10 p.m. or later, cleaning and prepping for the next day. “I don’t know how they do it,” daughter Virginia says. “Their work ethic is amazing.” But Maria says she doesn’t mind the hours. “It’s fun because all the family is here,” she says.
El Taxqueño Taquería
207 W. Suffolk at Zang
Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.;
Did you know?
El Taxqueño has a volleyball net out back.
Four more terrific taquerías
Taco Rico No. 2
Texas Monthly recently named Taco Rico No. 2’s taco al vapor de deshebrada (that’s a steamed taco with shredded beef) one of the 120 tacos you must eat before you die. And one never knows when she could be hit by a bus, so hurry on over.
2850 W. Clarendon Drive
This Mexico City-style taquería also made the Texas Monthly list for its chuleta con queso or pork chop taco with Monterey cheese, but everything on the menu is delicious, and we dream about the choriqueso.
3404 W. Illinois Ave.
Great tacos, delicious salsa and excellent service are the hallmarks of this cute taco joint on Clarendon at Hampton. Try the volcan, a corn tortilla topped with melted cheese, meat, onions, cilantro and salsa.
2324 W. Clarendon Drive
Fito’s Tacos de Trompo
The specialty at this locally owned chain is trompo de puerco, marinated pork cooked on a spit and served in tacos.
3113 W. Davis
and three other Oak Cliff locations