My Beloved Taquerias

Three tacos with rice and beans in a styrofoam container.
Three taco platter from the Shell station taqueria on University Blvd.

By Rob Curran

To fall in love with Mexican food is to fall in love with the Mexican people, and there’s no better venue for these love affairs than the neighborhood taquerias that have sprung up all over Denton in recent years.

Taqueria autenticas, I call them – the ones that generally newly arrived immigrants open for their generally newly arrived customers, and that we gringos discover like portals to Tamaulipas tucked away in surprising locales.

My regular taqueria autentica is La Estrella Mini Market (602 E McKinney St, Denton, TX 76209) on McKinney Street at the fringes of downtown, just around the corner from the courthouse. It's a short walk from where I sometimes work (and sometimes avoid work), Stoke Coworking. Estrella is located in a building that has all the trappings of a gas station, except gas itself. On my first visit about six years ago, the only clue that Estrella was not a gas station was the shade of yellow chosen to paint it – too bright and cheerful for the gas-station palate –  and the presence of a hot plate behind the otherwise classic convenience-store counter. Like many of the taqueria autenticas, La Estrella also sells Mexican-leaning groceries and snacks, and provides immigrant services like a big red telephone – the hotline to the homeland.