Taqueria "El Tío Juan," or as I like to say, "Uncle John's Tacos," is located at the busy intersection of Av. P. Elias Calles and Calle 13, a.k.a. Calle Miguel Hidalgo, and this restaurant stays busy serving tacos to both the locals and to the many norteamericano tourists, which flock to the beautiful town of Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico, which is located at the extreme northern end of the Sea of Cortréz.
Photo: Taqueria El Tío Juan after dark, on early Monday evening March 12, 2007. Photo taken on Calle 6, looking across the unpaved street.
Photo: Although Uncle John's features an open air dining room, it's kept spotlessly clean. Taqueria El Tío Juan is a very classy operation.
Uncle John's is a locally owned and operated restaurant, and it's been in the same location for over 30 years and is owned and operated by the Pérez family, who are long time residents of beautiful Puerto Peñasco. Its a very popular restaurant, as its located just a few blocks from the beach, and the restaurant caters to both locals and tourists. Like most Mexican street restaurants, Tio Juan features a very limited menu, and advertises that they serve tacos de carne asada, pollo, pastor, pescado, tripa and camarón. Their menu also includes quesadillas and several types of burritos, and it's hand-written, and posted on a wall, to the right of the kitchen window, next to where cases of empty soft drink bottles are stored. It's informal, to say the least!
Photo: The menu is posted to the right of the kitchen. Notice the empty soft drink bottles, as Mexican restaurants use primarily recyclable bottles, which reminds me of the U.S., in the late 1960's.
Photo: A peek into the kitchen shows four generations of the Pérez family hard at work, with talkative Martha Pérez in the foreground.
Uncle John's is a big, busy restaurant, located only a couple of blocks from the beach along busy Calle 13, which seems to be a major artery for locals and tourists. The restaurant and kitchen is located outdoors, facing the street, in the style of almost every Mexican restaurant in Mexico, and offers covered, open air dining. Uncle John's is staffed by almost every generation of the Puerto Peñasco Pérez family, as you see everybody from young children to grandparents wearing Uncle John's trademark red apron, and helping in the business. I couldn't believe that so many family members were actually working together at the family business, so I asked a niece friendly and talkative, Martha, about the dynamics of the business, she pointed out who is cousin who, aunt so-and-so, her mom, brothers, uncles, aunts, and many other family members working at the business. Uncle John's is truly a family affair, as Taqueria El Tío Juan really does employ family members from three generations of the Pérez family, and if you count the visiting grand babies, you could even say four generations of the Pérez family are working at Taqueria El Tío Juan.
Photo: Mom and daughter prepare tacos on the griddle.
Photo: Another look into the kitchen shows how Uncle John's prepares delicious tacos.
Photo: Inside the kitchen of Taqueria El Tío Juan, with the staff hard at work. Note the wood-fired oven near the right of the photo, that's used to make many of their fine dishes.
Photo: Martha, to the left, and cousin Nancy grin for the camera. Both of these girls work with the family in running the business. Martha was very talkative and was eager to tell me all about her family members.
I ordered a carne asada taco, and I enjoyed talking to the very friendly family members who took my order, prepared my taco, and presented me with a tray of garnishes, which included diced cabbage, diced red onions, salsa cruda, guacamole, diced cucumbers, sliced key limes and cilantro. One of the nieces, Martha Pérez , was a very sweet girl, as she introduced me to various family members and she gave me the high-level overview of who is who does what in the business, who makes what, and practically any other question that I asked.
Photo: This is my favorite part of the meal, when the delicious condiment tray arrives.
Photo: My tripa taco, with all of the condiments. Tripa happens to be grilled, small beef intestines, which happens to be one of my favorite varieties of tacos.
Taqueria El Tío Juan produces fine tacos, at a restaurant that is operated by friendly, wonderful family members, but you'll enjoy your taco at a price, at MEX $20.00, Uncle John's tacos are priced quite steep for street tacos, even in a beach/resort town like Puerto Peñasco. However, the tacos are delicious, the restaurant is great, and it's located close to the beach, and the folks who make the tacos and serve them to you are truly wonderful, friendly people. Despite the steep price of the tacos, the author recommends Taqueria El Tío Juan for delicious tacos, when you're visiting Puerto Peñasco.
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