The staff members at Tortilleria La Buena Vida abides by the idea that "the tortilla makes the taco," which is why they crank out fresh corn and flour tortillas each day. They fill these tasty tortillas with a variety of fixings, including chicken, pork, and shrimp, drawing from recipes that span Mexico. To wash down meals, the casual taqueria offers authentic Mexican drinks including aguas frescas which are fresh water fruit drinks.
The culinary wizards at La Parranda appease appetites of all types with fresh dishes that take residence on a cantina-style menu of zesty Mexican cuisine. Amid a casual setting, coronate a meal with friends by dunking triangular tortillas into a small order of chili con queso ($3) or skinny-dipping shrimp into a pool of shrimp cocktail ($10). Growling tummies will be tamed by hearty beef enchiladas ($9), while the carne asada—a 10-ounce fajita steak—($13) halts hunger pains with more facility than a piñata stuffed with meat. The classic tacos de pescado ($12) leave taste buds swooning like 1950s teenagers at a Franz Liszt cover band concert, and recently earned a spot in Erin Miller’s Houston Classic Mexican Recipes cookbook.
When discussing his kitchen's culinary techniques with reporters from Community Impact Newspaper, David Reyes explained, "The difference here is we are not just laboring—we are putting our feelings in the ingredients." By honoring his family's recipes in everything from salsa to mole, Reyes nurtures a passion for his native country's cuisine. The staff echoes this feeling in the care and attention they put into each dish. They marinate pork in a savory blend of achiote, orange, and garlic before slow-roasting it for their signature cochinita pibil. They fire-roast poblano peppers and grill tender beef for tampiqueña plates. And they spend hours on the mole sauce, which, in accordance with Reyes' grandmother's recipe, has 25 separate ingredients.
Out in the dining room of both restaurants, guests sip fresh-fruit licuados and aguas frescas or indulge in BYOB amid walls of blue and yellow, and strings of colorful paper flags stretch across the ceiling. At the Fonda Santa Rosa location, Mexican paintings, ceramics, and framed copies of Reyes family recipes speckle walls with a touch of history.