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Taquería El Bueno, located along Federal Highway 2, on the west side of Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico, is a unique operation, in that its open 24 hours a day!  In all of my travels to Mexico, this is the first taco restaurant that I've ever had the pleasure to dine at that's open around the clock.  What isn't unique about El Bueno, is that they're owned by a husband and wife, they serve a very limited menu, and that your meal is made from fresh ingredients, and cooked on an outdoor grill, right before your eyes.  You know, I love Mexican "fast food!"

Photo:  Here's an exterior view of the restaurant.  The green car, parked to the left, is my trusty 1996 Camry, at the time of this writing, has over 130,000 miles on it.

Photo:  Jaime is busy preparing my lunch.  Note the TV and boombox to the left of the photo...

Taquería El Bueno is located on Bvd. F.C.O. Eusebio Kino (Highway 2) just east of Calle Julio Quiros, on the west side of Sonoyta, and is quite an impressive operation.  The place is owned and operated by husband and wife Jaime and Nellie Hernandez, who are the classic example of a local couple who have worked hard, and have established a successful business, that serves delicious tacos at a rock-bottom price.  El Bueno is typical, in that the kitchen is located outside, and consists of a propane-fired griddle, with several side burners, located under an awning, with a bar around the kitchen if you like to be up-close and personal to the action.  If you prefer outdoor dining, tables and chairs are located on the covered patio, but if you prefer to dine indoors, just walk inside, and there are several tables and chairs inside the completely enclosed dining room.  Also unique is that El Bueno has a baño, for customer use only, naturally.  El Bueno is quite an operation.

Don't even think about a menu, as in many small restaurants in Mexico, they don't have one, nor do they even know what a menu is.  I walked up and asked Jaime what they were serving today, and he told me carne asada and tripa, and I said I'll take one of each.  So he placed a couple of tortillas on the griddle, and spooned a couple of large spoonfuls of meat onto the griddle, and started my meal cooking.  Meanwhile, I walked into the dining room, and grabbed an icy-cold Coke from the refrigerator, walked outside, sat at a table, and watched the show unfold.

Jaime cooks the food in style, as his kitchen feature an electronic entertainment suite, including a boombox that was playing Mexican polka music, and a television, which wasn't turned on.  If the place is open 24/7, the cook just has to do something!  Give the guy a break!  As he cooked my tacos, we chit-chatted, and in talking to him, I found out a lot about him, and their operation, and gave me a lot of insight for this article.  He and his wife inherited the business from his parents, and they've been operating it for the last five years.  Mom and dad help out sometimes, as Jaime and Nellie have a life outside the restaurant, and often need relief from operating the business.  Jaime is a very open and friendly guy; this is one of the great things about eating at a roadside taqueria, as you get to meet the locals, and gain a lot of insight into local culture and cuisine.

Photo:  Smoke arises from the griddle, as Jaime grills my tortillas.

From my observation it appears that Jaime is the cook and clean-up guy, and Nellie chops vegetables, busses tables and makes change.  During my visit, they were both very busy, despite the fact that there were only a couple of other customers besides myself.

Nellie placed condiments on the table in front of me, consisting of the typical runny guacamole, runny salsa verde, fresh salsa cruda, key limes, shredded cabbage, diced cucumber, and diced red onions.  Remember now, you're in Sonora, so the onions are red, not white like you find further west.  I asked Nellie if I could take her photo, and she declined, as she seemed to be very camera-shy.  Although she's a beautiful woman, she didn't want her photo taken, and I didn't press the issue.

Photo:  The condiment bowl and my tacos, ready for condiments.  Unlike many other restaurants, each taco included only one corn tortilla, but the tortillas were rather robust, as they didn't break apart when I ate them.

Photo:   When it comes to tacos, I love it all, so I loaded up my tacos with shredded cabbage, salsa and runny guacamole.  The carne asada taco is on the left, and the tripas is on the right.  I couldn't decide what to order, so I solved the problem by ordering one of each!

Of course my carne asada and taco de tripa tacos were cooked perfectly, as they were placed in front of me, just off the griddle, hot, delicious and juicy; just the way I like them.  I piled on my favorite condiments, including the guacamole, diced cabbage, deiced onion, salsa cruda, and I squeezed one of the lime halves over my tacos, as per the local taste.  Oh boy!  Tacos at Taqueria El Bueno are the sort of tacos that draw me to Mexico several times a year.  Not to mention the inexpensive price of MEX $27.00, for two delicious tacos and a Coke.

If you're visiting Sonoyta, Sonora, be sure to visit Taqueria El Bueno, for an outstanding taco.

Taqueria El Bueno
Bvd. F.C.O. Eusebio Kino and Calle Julio Quiros
Sonoyta, Sonora

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