El Mariachi Street Tacos, a Small Portion of Mexico in Anchorage
BY ISABELLE MERCADO
The taco, a world-famous dish because of the flavors it offers to the palate, is the central character of El Mariachi Street Tacos, an emblematic food truck that is gaining strength in Anchorage due to its succulent dishes and cheerful decoration. Its owners, Arlen Ambriz Romero, along with her husband, Robert Bonilla and Erick Ambriz, her brother, opened the business in 2020, however, due to the worldwide pandemic had to close down.It was not until March of this year that they were able to reopen.
“The idea is to offer a piece of my culture to the public.A culture of which I am proud of because it is so rich in colors and flavors. Mexico is renowned for having amazing cuisine, so we want everyone to experience the flavors and seasonings from over there. So far, Americans have liked our food and the Latino community too,” said Arlen Ambriz.
The menu has as its protagonist the corn tortilla, with a variety of fillings such as carne asada, chorizo, fish, or al pastor.It also offers quesadillas, chalupas and huaraches, all accompanied by fresh lettuce and radishes.The menu also includes elotes (corn on the cob), nachos and burritos. The name of the business was selected because the mariachi is associated with Mexicans and they wanted to give that identity to their space.
To make sure their dishes are fresh and tasty, the team at El Mariachi Street Tacos tries to use all-natural ingredients whenever possible.The highlight of their dishes is their homemade green sauce, in which they mix peppers, salt and secret ingredients to achieve a guacamole-like consistency. It is so good that they don’t even rule out the idea of marketing their salsa in jars.
The space, located at 502 W 58th Avenue #C, also stands out for its decoration, designed by a friend of the family who is also Mexican. It brings together traditional symbols of Mexico, such as papel picado (tissue paper with cut out shapes), mariachi hats and paintings with vivid colors that invite the passerby to come in.
Arlen Ambriz Romero originally from the state of Hidalgo, Mexico narrates that she came to the United States at the age of 18 with the intention of earning money to pay for her studies, after a few years, she met Robert Bonilla, who has been a chef in different restaurants in the United States for years, and it was last year, that together with Erick Ambriz, decided to start her own business.
The entrepreneurial family wants their children to learn the importance of earning money honestly. “Our whole family works in the business, everyone is assigned a task and every task is important, since they all go hand in hand, we want our children to learn to work and know how to make a living, so we include everyone.” Arlen Ambriz adds that she really enjoys living in Anchorage “I love the nature offered by Alaska, it is certainly a place full of beauty with its landscapes, the Northern Lights, the giant glaciers, the wildlife that looks so happy and free, it is a place that has truly received me very well, although of course I miss things from my country and my family above all.” And she expects the business to continue to grow and to be welcomed by the entire community.
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