The taco revolt continues, this time on the mainland, as Wapo Taco gears up its rotating spit to start dishing out succulent slabs of grass-fed pork sometime this summer. The authentic Mexican taqueria, which has its American debut in Hallandale last Mexican Independence Day (September 25, not Cinco de Mayo), is now bringing its organic tortillas made on a traditional comal to Coral Gables at 2526 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
This little taqueria has quite the history too, earning street cred for pioneering the charcoal method of cooking in Mexico City when it first opened as El Farolito circa 1962. Owners and cousins Francisco and Luis Musi then expanded to include 25 locations throughout their native country, but they wanted more. "Our chef brought a comal directly from Mexico and police even stopped him on his way into U.S.," says managing partner Michael Berkman. "If you don't use this the tortillas stick and don't taste the same."
Tortillas are ultra versatile at Wapo Taco. Sure, there are copious amounts of tacos, from rib eye and sirloin to al pastor chicken or pork and veggie mix, but there's also gringas, volcanes, and costras. If you haven't heard of any of the above yet, don't fret, you will know their taste soon enough.
"There is no authentic taco offering in the U.S., or at least we don't believe so," Berkman says. "What we find is lots of Tex-Mex and that's what worked but we want to bring something authentic to the table."
Photo by Carla Torres
Hence costras, which stuffs cheese into a crisp like chorizo omelet and serves it atop two flour tortillas. In similar fashion, gringas slather pork al pastor straight from the spitfire grill mixed with melted Manchego on two flour tortillas and, in true al pastor fashion, crowns it with fresh sliced pineapple, onion, and cilantro.
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All of Wapo Taco's proteins are grass-fed, their tortillas organic, and their chips, guacamole, and bevy of Mexican salsas made from scratch daily.
The decor will resemble the Hallandale location, with a U-shaped bar where 22 diners can order up tacos and watch as their tortas are cooked to order and their meat roasted on a pedestal, as well as several tables, TVs, and a colorful tiled mosaic to get you in a festive mood. And because Coral Gables has quite the corporate crowd, Wapo Taco will boast a happy hour Monday through Friday with two-for-one beers and micheladas, as well as a late night in-the-biz offering. As far as pricing goes, you'd be hard pressed to find anything on the menu that's over $10.