Milagro Taco Cantina opened July 6 and is the new restaurant of Jesus Carmona in the Trinity Groves area. Carmona had owned Tacos Mariachi which gained fame after being featured on Diners, Drive-In and Dives and spawned the opening of a second Mariachi. During spring of 2020 Covid shuttered both. Milagro means “miracle” in Spanish which is what re-opening a Tijuana street taco spot meant to Carmona. The place has a large patio area out front and is adjacent to a free parking garage. Inside is a long counter where you place your order and then get a number to take to the table and they bring out your order. The paper menus describe the options but you have to use the signs on the wall to get the prices. Non-alcoholic drinks are self serve opposite the counter and margaritas and beers are at the counter. Service was friendly and welcoming – it’s a fun place for a casual meal.
I was there to have lunch with a friend not seen for some time so we started with some chips that come with up to 3 accompaniments. We got them all – salsa, guacamole and queso. The chips were crisp with good corn flavor. The guacamole and queso were mildly flavored with good consistency. The salsa was basically mild with a small after kick.
There are 3 hot sauce bottles brought to every table. The 4th one on the wall is the mild and no longer offered. The green one is a serrano tomatillo, medium spicy. The orange is a hot mango habanero and had a fun sweetness to it. The dark red is the hottest – a chile de arbol. It did pack some kick but not horrible.
My friend got a Pollo al Pastor taco that comes with anchiote citrus, marinated chicken and grilled pineapple. Next to it was a ceviche tostada which was a crispy corn tortilla piled high with avocado, heirloom cherry tomatoes, diced cucumbers, onions, fresh lime juice, serrano peppers, evoo and a combination of pulpo (octopus) and shrimp. Underneath was a guacamole tostada. She is very much into food and said all were very good.
I tried an assortment of 3 dishes.
Chef for Farmers was a double corn tortilla with julianne carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, cilantro-pesto, pico de gallo and cotija cheese. This one was a favorite of the girl who took my order and had lots of flavors and textures in it. It was good but I preferred the ones with protein.
Gobernador was a flour tortilla topped with sauteed shrimp, chile de Arbol sauce, asadero cheese, pico de gallo and crema fresca. The super fresh shrimp were cooked perfectly and blended with all the vegetables and creamy sauce. It was a good one.
A traditional taco with carnitas contained shredded pork confit Michoacan style, cilantro and onions on a double corn tortilla. This was a version I’ve eaten at other places and it compared well. The moist tender pork was well flavored and mated nicely with bits of tomato, pepper and onion. Add a little sauce and you’re gold.
The Thursday Daily Special is Birria Tacos which featured beef birria with asadero cheese in a corn tortilla alongside birria consomé. They were warm and folded over. Inside was the tasty beef and runny cheese. The accompanying sauce was very good but I really liked them with a squirt of the dark hot sauce. This was probably my favorite.