Dining With Denise Neil

Mystery taco purveyor who keeps winning awards in KC, Wichita once had a restaurant here

They won first place at the KC Taco Fest earlier this month — both for best taco and best salsa.

Then, over the weekend, they competed at the Wichita Taco Fest and earned second place in the best taco category and first place for best salsa.

Now, attentive taco fans want to know: Where can I get this apparently amazing Tacos Pina taco?

The answer for now: Book a catering.

Tacos Pina, which makes Wichita’s winning-est taco of late, for now is just a catering business. Owned by Agripina Garcia and run with the help of her family, it will cater just about any event you can think up and it does more than just tacos.

Soon, says Garcia’s son Ray Anzures, Tacos Pina will also have a food truck. The family was hoping to have it on the road by now but some unexpected problems have pushed it back. They’re hoping they can open it “in a few months.”

Tacos Pina is actually not a new business in Wichita.

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Tacos Pina spent July winning all the big taco awards in Kansas. Its specialty is three different preparations of beef. Courtesy photo

When the family relocated here from Orange County, California, six years ago, it opened a restaurant called Tacos Pina at Harry and Ida, but it wasn’t a good location, Anzures said, and the restaurant lasted only four months. They’ve been catering ever since and recently decided to get into the food truck business.

When Wichita-based FestiveICT, which has put on the Wichita Taco Fest for the past three years, decided to put on a Taco Fest in Kansas City this year, they invited a few Wichita vendors to set up there. The event, which happened in The Crossroads in early July, also had a panel of judges that chose the best taco and best salsa of the event. Tacos Pina won both awards in a blind tasting staffed by all Kansas City-based judges.

Then, at Saturday’s Wichita Taco Fest, Tacos Pina won second place for best taco and won first place in the salsa competition.

Anzures, who works with his mother, said she grew up in Morelos, Mexico, and her recipes have been passed down in her family for years. Her specialty is three different preparations of beef: suadero, barbacoa and tripitas. And she does more than just tacos, too.

Those who want to find Tacos Pina before the food truck opens can visit the Facebook page.

The owners also plan to keep serving at competitions like Taco Fest. It’s worked for them so far, they said.

“We’re excited to keep on joining all these events,” Anzures said.