Authentic Mexican restaurant springs up from college project

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HOUSTON, TX – When it comes to Mexican food, there’s really only one thing you need to know: there’s Tex-Mex, then there’s Mex-Mex. This is 100% Taquito.

“The first time I asked somebody if they wanted pineapple with their pork tacos, they looked at me like, ‘why would I want pineapple on my tacos?'” owner Marko Garcia says.

Don’t expect enchilada combos or heaping piles of nachos when you walk in the doors here. This is street food, straight out of Mexico City.

“You know, I got accused of not being Mexican for not having chili con queso, I got accused of not being Mexican for not having burritos or enchiladas or so forth.”

Marko Garcia grew up in Mexico city, eating tacos from the street vendors in the Paseo de la Reforma.

“That’s what I wanted to recreate,’ Garcia says, ‘the food that you would find in the streets of Mexico.”

From the cobbled street scene to the painted statue of El Angel to the authentic Mexican taxicab parked inside the store, the restaurant is homage to Garcia’s hometown, but chew on this: when Marko Garcia moved to Houston as a boy, he had no plans of owning a restaurant.

“I thought I was going to be an artist, but I never thought I would have a restaurant, that was the last thing I thought I was going to be.”

It was a school project at UH that changed his plans.

“We were basically told that we had to open some sort of business and I decided that Houston needed an authentic Mexican restaurant.”

The plan worked so well on paper, when he graduated he went to it, starting with a simple trailer, then opening the restaurant. Fourteen years later: the authentic taquitos and Mexican street-scene tucked away in this Houston restaurant.

“Opening up a restaurant is a lot harder than people expect,’ Garcia explains. ‘It only took me twenty-years to become an overnight success.”

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