Taqueria La Violeta
Deep in the rolling plains of South Texas lies a ranch. Years and memories pile up amongst the cattle and the cactus. Cold mornings, hot coffee and huge, bubbling Calderos filled with smoky Carne Guisada and Charro Beans roil over a mesquite fed open pit. Sheets of Pan de Campo give up steam and wait to be slathered with butter. Every January for the past 60 years, La Violeta Ranch has hosted hundreds of ranchers for their yearly Beefmaster cattle auction and every year these ranchers are greeted with a hearty lunch before settling into the auction barn for the sale.
On the other side of town is a Mexican restaurant called Paco’s. Over 75 years old, Paco’s is where Chef Ricardo Gutierrez first learned to cook, standing on a bucket of flour to help Hilda, his grandmother, make tortillas. 34 years later, his tortillas are almost as good as hers. The food, the atmosphere, the outgoing nature of Paco and the soul and technique that went into Hilda’s cooking all provided a lesson in running a restaurant that no school or textbook could offer.
Growing up with a cattle ranch on one side of the family and a Mexican restaurant on the other side, sustainability and authenticity play an important role in Ricardo’s approach to cooking.
Many of the recipes used at Taqueria La Violeta come from Ricardo’s grandmother, who ran the kitchen at the family restaurant for over 40 years. Many more are the result of Ricardo’s studying of the cuisine and the style and standards set by Hugo Ortega, Diana Kennedy, Zarela Martinez and countless others.
If we can make a dish in-house from scratch, we will. Salsas, Tortillas, Tacos & Ice Cream are all made on site by our culinary team. This ties into our sustainability and our ethical sourcing. By cooking from scratch, we can ensure that we know exactly what is going into our food. No by-products, no artificial ingredients, nothing we don’t want.
We talk about a clean product in this kitchen. We talk about a fit test; we talk about benchmarks. What this means is that we source ingredients that fit our concept and our ethics. When possible, we source locally. Without exception, we source ethically. We bring in our food from reputable sources like 44 Farms, Tenderbelly, Clearfork, Betsy Ross Beef and Red Bird.
Grilled Swordfish Tacos $14
Pickled Red Onions, Cabbage, Mango Habanero Pico de Gallo
Three Sisters Tostada $12
Black Beans, Calabaza Squash, and Roasted Corn on a Fried Corn Tostada