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How A Small Taco Stand In Mexico Earned Its Big Michelin Star

In a first win for Mexican food joints, a Michelin star has been awarded to a taqueria in Mexico City. Named after a celebrated bullfighter, the taco stand has been known to be the best in the city.

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Shreya Mariam Vimal
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Michelen star, PHOTO: SILVANA FLORES / AFP / GETTY IMAGES

PHOTO: SILVANA FLORES / AFP / GETTY IMAGES

In a first and a win for Mexican food joints everywhere, a Michelin Star has been awarded for the first time in history to taqueria in Mexico City. Taquería El Califa de León is situated in the San Rafael neighbourhood and has been named after the celebrated Mexican bullfighter Rodolfo Gaona. 

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The owner, Mari Hernandez, says that his parents had opened the taqueria over 50 years ago to sell tacos. But even half a century later, what keeps the 10-by-10 food joint going is the simplicity of their recipes. "My father said, "Do you want to know the secret of the meat? There is no secret. Only love and effort." Hernandez told the DW.com. 

What Taquería El Califa de León Serves

The taqueria has four simple recipes on its menu. They use two different sauces, but their meat is all the same. Although the price is high compared to typical taquerias, most believe that it is only fair given how great their tacos taste. Some even believe that Tacos El Califa De Leon is the best in the city. 

The chef, Arturo Rivera Martinez, swears by the quality of their meat, emphasising that is how, despite the lack of variety of ingredients, the tacos still taste absolutely delicious. "Thinly sliced beef filet is expertly cooked to order, seasoned with only salt and a squeeze of lime. At the same time, a second cook prepares the excellent corn tortillas alongside. The result is elemental and pure." says the Michelin Guide. Of course, the chef believes that all of it tastes better with Coke. 

What Are The Michelin Guides?

The Michelin Guides are restaurant guides published by the tyre company Michelin, awarding up to three stars to restaurants. Initially begun in 1900 as a guide to the best hotels in and around Paris to help and encourage motorists, it soon became a prestigious thing in and of itself. Historically, how many Michelin stars a restaurant has influenced its performance, making the Michelin star a critical performance indicator, not just to mention a highly prestigious rating for a restaurant to have. 

Recently, Michelin has opened a guide to the restaurants in Mexico, awarding two Mexican restaurants, Quintonil and Pujol, two stars, the highest so far. Michelin loved the crab and shards of blue corn tostada at Quintonil and the scallop ceviche in Pujol. 

 

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