Wichita Taco Tour awards best taco to south-side restaurant
One restaurant moves out, and another moves right in.
Just a week after Cortez Mexican Restaurant vacated the spot at 344 W. 29th St. North, where it had operated for 34 years, a new Mexican restaurant has already taken it over and is now open for business — even though the details like menus and signage aren’t quite ready.
The last day for Cortez was Saturday, Aug. 24. Owners Mary and Enrique Cortez removed the sign from the front of the building a couple of days later, and new tenant Tacos Porfias opened in the space on Sunday, Sept. 1.
I stopped in on Tuesday to give it a try, and although the owners don’t yet have a permanent sign up — and the menus haven’t yet arrived — one section of the cavernous restaurant was full of diners enjoying Durango-style gorditas, street tacos, burritos, tortas and more.
Owner Jaime Cazares was there welcoming customers to the space, which appears largely unchanged from Cortez’s last day. For the time being, he said, he’s opening from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Soon, he said, he’ll extend the hours to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
The menus didn’t arrive on time, a waitress told me, but she was able to rattle off the highlights and recommended that I try tacos, which had been my plan anyway. (It is, after all, called Tacos Porfias.) I had the taco plate, featuring street tacos on corn tortillas filled with three different meats and served with a side of rice and beans. It cost $7.99 and was quite filling.
Cazares first opened Tacos Porfias as a concession trailer 15 years ago then moved it into the space at 2247 N. Broadway six and a half years ago.
When he decided to take over the Cortez space, he initially had hoped to keep the North Broadway store open for a while, too. But he decided to go ahead and close it, Cazares said. He just didn’t have the staff to run both places.
Another Mexican restaurant is planning to take the old place over, he said. I’ll let you know when I have more details on that.