love to dine at small, family owned restaurants during my visits to Mexico, as you get to enjoy local cuisine, prepared right before your eyes from fresh, locally-grown ingredients, you get to meet the man or woman who prepares your meal, and in many cases, you get to eat with him or her. When I visit Mexico, I never visit American-style fast food restaurants, nor do I visit "fancy" restaurants that cater to tourists. I prefer to eat at the many small restaurants and vendors, that can be found on the streets of any Mexican city or town.
Photo: Taquería La Doña, located in the commercial center of Sonoyta. Note the kitchen is separated from the main building. It's early Monday afternoon, March 12, 2007, and I'm ready for some FOOD!!!
Photo: José places my corn tortilla on the griddle. The kitchen is quite compact!
Taquería La Doña is located in the commercial heart of the small town of Sonoyta, Sonora, near the intersection of Blvd. Benemerito de Las Americas and Calle Lazaro Cardeñas, which translates loosely to one block south of the main highway intersection of highways 2 and 6. To find Taquería Doña, just head south on highway 6 for about a half block, and you'll see them on the right side of the street, just across from Rico's Taquería. Doña advertises many fine selections, such as tacos de cabeza, birria, carne asada, and tamales, but when I visited them, they had a big pot of tamales heating on the griddle, and the only meat they had at the time was birria, which was ok with me, as that was what I was hungry for.
Taquería La Doña is quite interesting, as the small kitchen is on the street side of the sidewalk, and actually juts out into the street. The building that serves as a dining room, storage area and food preparation area is on the other side of the sidewalk, and the roof of the building covers the sidewalk, and partially covers the roof of the kitchen. It's an arrangement that is rarely seen, but considering the circumstances, it appears to be quite practical. There don't appear to be any doors or locks, so I suppose they rely on the honor system when the business is closed.
Photo: José spoons birria from the pot to my taco. The large pot contains tamales.
Photo: Josefina brings condiments to my table, as Doña looks on from behind the counter.
Like most small restaurants in Mexico, Doña is family owned and operated. José, the father cooks, Doña, the mom waits tables, cuts vegetables, makes change, and the daughter, Josefina, also waits tables, and does whatever else needs to be done. The restaurant doesn't feature a menu, and doesn't even post a menu above the counter, so you just ask them what they're serving and make your order. As I mentioned before, today they had tamales and birria, so I sat myself down at a table, grabbed a coke from the refrigerator, and ordered two birria tacos. Within a minute or so, a smiling Josefina brought me a covered tray of condiments, including salsa cruda, guacamole, cabbage, diced red onions, diced tomatoes, and quartered key limes.
Photo: Doña, from behind the counter. Note the corn tortillas, as they purchase ready-made from the tortilla factory just two doors down.
Photo: Josefina poses with freshly made condiments. Note the air conditioner in the background, as I wonder how much good it does, considering that the restaurant is open to the sidewalk.
Have you ever eaten a taco de birria? Birria is stewed goat meat, chopped, with various spices added, and it's delicious. Birria is mostly a breakfast food in Mexico, but its also a popular food for lunch as well; the idea is to use up the excess meat. I chatted with José, and he told me when they were sold out of the birria, than they were going to switch to carne asada, which he told me is their best afternoon and evening seller. Since tamales are made in advance, Taquería Doña always has a large pot of them warming on the griddle, along with a pot of, you guessed it... beans!
Photo: My lunch of a taco de birria, a coke, and all of the condiments.
Photo: My taco de birria, before I spooned on the guacamole. My lunch was delicious!
Oh boy, what a delicious lunch! I loaded up my taco with my favorite condiments, and enjoyed a meal that is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any taco lover. For the price of MEX $20.00, I enjoyed a delicious taco de birria, the wonderful condiments, and an icy-cold, Mexican coke. Not to mention the company of a friendly, hardworking family. If you want to enjoy the culture of Mexico, I highly recommend dining at a small restaurant, such as Taquería La Doña, as it doesn't get more authentic than this.
Don't just pass through Sonoyta on your way to Puerto Peñasco, instead stop by Taquería La Doña and enjoy a delicious meal. You'll be glad you did!
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