The Takoma Park Farmers Market will host a pop-up with Washington, D.C.-based breakfast taco purveyors La Tejana this Sunday, according to an email from Main Street Takoma.
“Partners Ana-Maria Jaramillo and her fiance, Gus May, a Takoma Park native, are the team behind La Tejana, and make everything by hand, including the tortillas,” the email reads. “Veg options available too. Get them before they sell out!”
The Washington Post’s Tim Carman has heaped praise on La Tejana, naming them as one of “three taco shops that you need in your life right now” and one of “the D.C. area’s 10 best casual restaurants of 2020“:
Like so many people who move to Washington and can’t find their favorite foods, Ana-Maria Jaramillo decided to make her own. She even took it a step further: She and her fiance and business partner, Gus May, launched La Tejana, a pop-up taqueria that specializes in Rio Grande Valley breakfast tacos. Jaramillo is a Texas native who has had a lifelong love affair with breakfast tacos, the kind found in countless homes and taquerias along the Texas-Mexico border. Under Jaramillo’s guidance, May handles much of the cooking, including the housemade flour tortillas, which are the key ingredient, just as quality bread is the key to any great sandwich. These tortillas are handmade with leaf lard, producing rounds that are flaky, rich and toothsome, perfect for whatever filling you desire. As for me? I love the el frijolito, a refried bean-and cheese combo, which reminds you that some of life’s finest pleasures are also the simplest.
La Tejana’s owners described the story behind setting up shop in Washington, D.C. in a June 2020 interview with Washington City Paper’s food editor Laura Hayes:
Jaramillo, who moved to D.C. two years ago, is first generation Colombian American and grew up in the small Texas border town of McAllen, where breakfast tacos are comfort food currency. She went to a 98 percent Mexican-American school growing up and was once reprimanded for truancy because of her obsession with the Rio Grande Valley’s signature dish.
“My first period home economics teacher said as long as I brought her breakfast tacos, I could skip half of the period,” Jaramillo says. “I would bribe the security guard to be able to park at school and also bribe my home-ec teacher … The security guard eventually came to house and said, ‘Your daughter been absent 67 times.’ It’s breakfast tacos, it’s a way of life.” Jaramillo jokes that “the Rio Grande Valley invented the breakfast taco, San Antonio perfected it, and Austin took credit for it.”
“Most people on the whole East Coast, especially D.C., have not had a breakfast taco unless they’ve been to Texas,” says May, who grew up in Takoma Park. There are other places serving breakfast tacos in the District, including Republic Cantina and District Taco. “We want to be the ambassador of this food. We see ourselves trying to pay homage to classic breakfast tacos Ana grew up eating.”
The outlet will be serving Rio Grande Valley-style breakfast tacos from 10 a.m. Sunday at the exit of the Takoma Park Farmers Market, located at the corner of Eastern & Laurel Street, N.W., across from the Takoma Streetery.
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Photo: La Tejana/Facebook