Tampa, FL

Tampa Man Creates Ultimate Taco Experience

Collegeandchocolate

Have you seen those mouth watering tacos layered with cheese and then dipped into the amazing sauce that is all over social media? Intro the quesabirria taco, a California dish that has made its way across the country and here to our very own city of Tampa at the Tampa Taco stand. Don't sit there waiting and drooling on Instagram and TikTok because I have a sneak peak at a little Tampa stand where you can finally get a bite of these popping tacos.

Tampa Taco was opened by a local Tampa man on the corner of W. Chestnut St. and Habana at the El Ranch grocery store in downtown Tampa. He told me his son had asked him to make these quesabirrias and before he knew it his friends and family were asking for them. Selling out of his house, he soon gathered quite a following until he decided to open his business to the public. Now set outside of a small local grocery store with nothing more than a grill and a cash box, he has elevated the local Tampa Taco culture. But you better hurry because he is selling out EVERY SINGLE weekend. Tampa Taco is open Fridays and Saturdays serving all sorts of up and coming Mexican trends. Due to Covid-19, they are currently set up shop outdoors and are only doing to go orders to maxmize safebeing for themselves and their customers, however their company and personalities will make you want to hang around the tent with them all day long. They are truly running a family business that is full of love for their craft, food and each other.

What is a Quesabirria?

The best selling items on the menu most famously include the California quesabirrias. Birrias originated in Mexico as "street food" but soon became a popular item trending all across social media pages. In order to prepare the quesabirria, the tortilla is first dipped into a consome sauce and placed onto a flat top grill. Consome is a broth based soup/sauce that is often used not only to flavor the tortilla as the birrias are cooked but also as the dipping sauce for the birria tacos at the end. As the tortillas are sizzling on the fiery grill, they are then layered cheese and stacked on top of one another, similar to that of a typically quesdailla. The cheese melts and oozes between the layers of homemade tortilla.

The quesabirria takes form when it is filled with the all important protein. Depending on the location, availability, and of course the chef, these could be filled with all different sorts of meats. The quesabirria tacos were originally served with goat meat but they have expanded into all of the classic taco fillings including pollo, carne asada, pork and even sometimes fried fish. Once the quesabirria tacos are crispy, cheesy and full of the best flavors, they are finished on the hot top. They are perfected with a simple onion and cilantro topping, and a squeeze of lime and voila your very first quesabirria taco!

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The Tampa Taco man served his carne quesabirrias with his own unique Consome as well as guac, and some salsas on the side. These quesabirria tacos are going to be a new staple for me on the weekends and definitely something that you need to try if you have not jumped on this California band wagon yet. At the Tampa Taco stand, you can feast on 3 of these incredible tacos for only $10 and you will be full for the rest of the day, but be sure to save a little room for his other items and even a few spicy candy treats.

Other Menu Items

If you are in the mood for something else (or if you want to try the entire menu like I did), do not worry!! Tampa Taco has a variety of other new Mexican Trends to explore as well off of their menu including loaded carne asada waffle fries. These hot, crispy waffle fries are layered with homemade carne asada, guacomole, tomato salsa, queso and sour cream. Your mouth will be in foodie heaven and you won't stop picking up more and more of these loaded fries. This waffle fry dish is gigantic and perfect to share between two alongside your tacos and is served for only $12.

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A unique and quite unexpected item on the menu were the hot and spicy ramen bowls! These tempting hot and spicy ramen bowls were elevated to a new level with a beef broth, meat, veggies, and even topped with avocado slices for $8. If I were to describe what the taste is similar to, it actually really reminded me of my Grandfather's beef noodle soup with a deep salty broth and exquisite flavor.

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One last Mexican Trend you have to jump on while you are out picnic-ing with the family of Tampa Taco are their Kingcorn elotes preparados. A Mexican street food staple served as an ear of corn on a skewer, lathered in mayo, lime juice, queso fresco and a variety of mexican seasonings. It's only $3 for an ear of corn so you may want to order 2.

Chamoynito Serves Flavor to Tampa

Right next door to Tampa Taco is another neighborhood fellow on instagram @chamoynito. This stand is also located at the corner of W. Chestnut and Habana. Chamoynito sells a variety of fruity drinks (called aguas frescas) served with sherbet and rimmed with a spicy seasoning mix that pairs perfectly with the quesabirria tacos with a refreshing cup in Florida heat. While waiting for your food to cook, check out Chamoynite for the variety of home seasoned, small batch mexican style items that the stand sells. including mango caliente, Tampa nite Tamarind and sandia picante seasoning mixes depending on which level of spiciness you are willing to brave. These seasoning mixes can top everything from the rim of your beer or agua fresca, to your food, your fruit and even your candy. But don't worry because Chamoynito has you covered with a variety of already flavored candies including my personal favorites: sour patch watermelon, gushers, and skittles.

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Next time you are looking for a new local place to try, gather your family and head over to Tampa Taco and let them know I sent you!! I guarantee your experience with the people and food there will be unmatched and you will become a repeat customer helping them to continue to grow Tampa Taco. **Rumor has it, they are going to expand from their weekend hours to include Taco Tuesdays as well so stay tuned!!**

Thanks for reading, please follow for more local foodie content and share!! Love, Collegeandchocolate

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Tampa, FL
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