Tucked away on Tavern Road between the Mogul Restaurant and Mammoth Premiere Reservations, the Latin Market Taqueria offers delectable tacos in an unassuming setting.
The white tent of the Taqueria has been the subject of recent controversy (see previous Sheet story, “World class destination flea market”), and Town Permit Technician Jamie Wolff did explain that while Latin Market owner Benigno Murgia has permission from the Health Department for the food portion of the Taqueria, staff is currently talking with the Planning Department to ensure that the tent is in compliance with the Town’s municipal codes.
While the tent, which Murgia aims to keep up until the winter snow brings the taco business indoors, stands, visitors can enjoy what has rapidly become a local favorite stop for tacos. These tasty and affordable tacos, served with a choice of onion, cilantro, radish, lime, and green and red salsa, make the Taqueria well worth the visit.
Murgia, who opened the Latin Market a year and a half ago, began making tacos for parties; he quickly realized they were a hit. He opened the Taqueria five months ago, and currently offers asada, carnitas, pescado, pollo, chorizo, lengua (tongue), tripa (tripe), and adobada tacos. Adobada, beef marinated with spices for two days, is especially tasty.
Other Taqueria offerings include tortas, with mayo, lettuce, tomato, avocado and onion; burritos; quesadillas; homemade tejuino, a cold drink made from fermented corn; and elotes, or Mexican corn on the cob, served with mayo, cheese, and chili powder.
Inside, the Latin Market offers still more treats: Mexican candies such as chipileta, ricos besos and locochas; Mexican sodas like Jarritos, Sidral Mundet and Chaparritas; as well as homemade pan dulce (sweet bread) and local favorite chicharrón, or pork rind.
Murgia makes the pan dulce up to three times a day, he says, given the demand. He also makes specialty birthday and wedding cakes, and cakes for all occasions.
The store also provides a selection of dry goods like beans, rice, and herbs and spices, including a wide range of dried chilies, in addition to produce.
Murgia came to Mammoth from Jalisco, Mexico in the mid 1990’s when he was 15.
“When I came, my father [who was in Mammoth] laughed and said, ‘In order to live here in this town you have to work: to eat, to pay rent, and to buy clothes.’ My father left two days after and returned to Mexico.”
Murgia has made his own way since then, working for Schat’s Bakery for eight years, and currently baking for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.
He explained the success of the Taqueria, which some locals swear has the best tacos in town, as owing to its traditional feel. “People comment that it’s more authentic, across the border style food,” he said. And whether served up outside or inside, Murgia’s Taqueria will continue to offer a true taste of Mexico into the fall.
The Latin Market is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Taqueria is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.