Dining With Denise Neil

Tacos El Tlahco is a new Wichita business specializing in a unique Mexico City dish

Día de los Muertos brings out the living and the dead

(FILE VIDEO - 2017) Wichitans enjoy performances, face painting, food and festivities while celebrating the dead at the Nomar International Market.
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(FILE VIDEO - 2017) Wichitans enjoy performances, face painting, food and festivities while celebrating the dead at the Nomar International Market.

There’s a new type of taco in town, and the women who make and sell it are hoping to have their own restaurant by the end of the year.

Tacos El Tlahco is a new Wichita business that serves tlacoyo, which are a “pre-Hispanic” type of taco served in Mexico City. They’re thick, oval-shaped corn tortillas that are stuffed with beans, cooked, then topped with cheese, cilantro and nopales, which is cactus.

China Pena of AzTeca’s Boutique, a business that operates in the shipping container mall Revolutsia, owns the business along with her friend, Dinna Carrelo. Pena, who also helps organize a weekend Hispanic market called Mercadito Hispano Nomar, said she met Carrelo when she came through town as part of a Sister Cities excursion. Carrelo is from Mexico City, and one of Wichita’s sister cities is Tlalnepantla, Mexico, which is just outside Mexico City. During her trip to Wichita, Carrelo stayed with Pena, who also hails from Mexico City.

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Tacos El Tlahco operates at the weekend market at NoMar Plaza, but its owners hope to have a stationary restaurant soon. Courtesy photo

Pena said she was impressed by Carrelo’s cooking, and she asked her if she’d like to join her in opening a business selling tlacoyo, something that isn’t widely available in Wichita. Carrelo is back, and she and Pena have started their business as a mobile food stand at the Mercadito Hispano Nomar at the NoMar International Market, 21st and Broadway.

They’ll be back in action at the market this weekend, which runs from 3 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. In addition to tlacoyo, they’ll serve tepache, a traditional Mexican drink made using fermented pineapple, spices and different fruits, and they’ll also serve street tacos. They’re making both tlacoyo and street tacos using blue corn.

Pena and Carrelo hope to start a stationary restaurant within the next five months, Pena said. They have an idea where they will open but aren’t ready to share details yet. I’ll let you know when they are.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.


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