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Juan in a Million: Pun of a Kind Mexican Food

Juan in a Million: Pun of a Kind Mexican Food

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Pun of a Kind Mexican Food

Probably the most striking aspect of Juan in a Million is its lack of a striking façade: it still looks like just kind of a shack on East Cesar Chavez. The thing here, undoubtedly, is the food.

The food’s inexpensive at Juan in a Million: not cheap, because to use such a word would be to understate the quality. To start, the chips and salsa are bar none, but don’t let that distract you from the main meals. The menu has a specific section for its “Legendary Tacos,” and boy, does one in particular live up to the myth. It’s the “’Don Juan’ EL TACO GRANDE,” which deserves its capital letters. This titanic hunk of food in the form of a potato, egg, and bacon taco is remarkably good for such a cheap price, $4.50.

That’s Juan in a Million: reliable and zesty. As a joint known particularly for its breakfast tacos, a unique niche, it forms an indispensable part of the peculiarly and wonderfully heterogeneous landscape of burgeoning culinary Austin.

Seriously Delicious Mexican Recipes That Aren't Tacos

Like all cuisines, Mexican food consists of many diverse ingredients and recipes, many of which are overlooked by Americans who think Taco Bell is all Mexican cuisine has to offer. But Mexican food has a rich history, which is celebrated in the ingredients still used today, like corn and chile peppers, according to Saveur.

Iliana de la Vega, a popular chef based in Austin, Texas, told BBC that it took a while for Mexicans to take pride in the food they made. In Mexico City in the 1960s, she says, "it was not fancy to receive people at home and serve Mexican food. That was everyday cooking. We would serve only foreign dishes, nothing Mexican at all." It's easy to see how this deferential treatment has been adopted by Americans — in the U.S., it's common to see Mexican food priced extremely low compared to other cuisines.

"I think it's the most undervalued, under-appreciated world cuisine with tremendous, tremendous potential," Anthony Bourdain said of Mexican food — and he wasn't just talking about tacos. "These are in many cases really complex, wonderful sauces particularly from Oaxaca, for instance, that date back from before Europe. I'm very excited about the possibilities for that cuisines, and I think we should pay more attention to it, learn more about it, and value it more" (via Remezcla). Here are some recipes — beyond tacos — to get you started.

Taco Tuesday Slogans

  • Taco Tuesdayeriffic!
  • Passion For Taco Tuesday.
  • Super Taco Tuesday Is Almost Here.
  • Taco Tuesday, The Clever Way.
  • That Taco Tuesday Look.
  • It’s Nothing But Taco Tuesday.
  • Taco Tuesdayize Me.
  • Taco Tuesday Is Forever.
  • Live Everyday like its Taco Tuesday.
  • I’m Just Here For the Tacos.
  • It’s Taco Tuesday Ya’ll.
  • Taco Dirty to Me!
  • Wake Up and Smell the Tacos.
  • Feed Me Tacos and Tell Me I’m Pretty.
  • The Only Bad Taco is the One You Don’t Eat.
  • Roses are Red. Tacos are Delicious.
  • Peace, Love, and Taco Tuesdays.
  • I’m Voting for Taco Tuesday.
  • If you can’t remember my name, just say tacos and I’ll come running.

-Designated Parking for Online & Pickup Orders- 1. Arrive at time quoted on order.2. Park in designated spaces with green signs. 3. Follow instructions on sign.4. We'll bring YOUR order to YOU!

In 1954 Juan & Bessie Gutierrez started their first restaurant, The Chile Pepper, on First Street in Yuma, Arizona. That began the tradition of serving their customers reasonably priced food, using high quality ingredients, made fresh daily.

In 1960 they opened La Casa Gutierrez on South Orange Avenue in Bessie's mother's historic home. This also was the place where they began producing corn & flour tortillas. Thus the beginning of their tortilla facilities.
* After serving the Yuma community for over 50 years, we have decided to retire La Casa Gutierrez restaurant on August 15th, 2013. Juan & Bessie Gutierrez opened this restaurant in their maternal grandmothers home. After much thought & consideration, we have decided to honor our mothers wish to preserve this historic home that was built in 1895. We thank our loyal customers for their support over the years.

By 1963 they were ready to expand and purchased the old Taco Lita Drive-In on Fourth Avenue and Fifth Street and renamed it Mr. G Drive-In. That building's life ended in 2008 when a new Mr. G Drive-In replaced it at the same location.

After years of being located in Palm Plaza Shopping Center, in 1991 Bessie relocated The Chile Pepper to a new building on West 24th Street. She dedicated it to her husband Juan, who passed away in 1989.

The Gutierrez's Restaurants, still family owned & operated, would not have been successful all these years without our committed employees and loyal customers. We are grateful to the Yuma community and feel it is important to give back. We are strong supporters of the Yuma Community Food Bank and Crossroads Mission, as well as local school programs.

How to come up with restaurant names

Let’s look at some ways you can start coming up with your restaurant name.

Step One: Start With Some Questions about your Customers:

  • What cuisine will your restaurant be offering? Eg: Chinese, Indian, Fusion, etc
  • What is the ambience of your restaurant? Eg: Bar, Cafe, Food truck, Restaurant, etc.
  • Which neighbourhood, state or place is your restaurant located? Eg: Soho, New York City, Manchester, etc.
  • What type of customers are you attracting? Eg: Couples, Family, teenagers, etc.

Step Two: Pull Inspiration from Your Values and Experiences

You may also like to think about your restaurant’s values first. What are you offering your customers? What story will you tell with your name? Words like Tasty, Food, Diner, Eat reach out to customers by letting them know your business values. Eg: Excellent Experience, Dine Fine, Finest Dining.

Personal experience may also serve as an inspiration. You may be inspired by the unique concept used by another restaurant and choose a unique name based on the ambience you desire for your restaurant.

Drawing inspiration from within gives more authentic ideas, before you search outwards.

Step Three: Look at other Restaurant Names for Inspiration

A great place to start is Eater list of James Beard Award winners. These aren’t just names of restaurants – but successful restaurants. Their name isn’t the only reason they succeeded, but it’s a great place to start looking.

Alternatively, you can use lists of restaurant names to spot patterns and trends for inspiration:

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5 Sandwiches You Should Eat in Mexico

Thinking the Mexican sandwich is limited to the widely known torta is like the medieval belief that the earth is flat. Not only is it dead wrong, there are whole other worlds to explore. Mexican sandwiches have expanded to all sorts of fillings and techniques that leave some of our proud American sandwiches trailing in the evolutionary chain. Here are five you should eat, and these are just the beginning. What are your favorite Mexican sandwiches?

The Torta

At an enclosed street cart called Tortas al Fuego on a corner in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, a father and his daughter griddle up a typical version of Mexico's best-known sandwich. The torta is simple and straightforward—grilled ingredients arranged on a bun—and is the basis for many of the other sandwich varieties found throughout Mexico. The tortas of Mexico City are smaller, simpler, more focused on filling than what is generally served in the U.S.

The father builds the torta by slicing open an encased chorizo sausage, emptying out the crumbled meat on the heat. The cheese layer is grilled on its own, directly on the flat-top, a change from the typical, melted-in-sandwich style seen in American sandwiches. As the cheese and chorizo finish up, a buttered roll joins them over heat. The roll gets a smearing of beans before being carefully stacked with the meat and cheese, as well as avocado, tomato, and lettuce. The torta is best enjoyed standing against the counter at the cart, watching the old man grill up the next torta, trying to ignore that the finished sandwich sat atop the same cutting board as the raw sausage.

The Cemita

Follow the line of people at all hours of the day, or look for the five staff members devoted solely to the stringing of cheese, through the Mercado del Carmen, and you'll find Cemitas Las Poblanitas, home to the quintessential cemita.

While the town of Puebla lays claim to the creation of the torta (also the Mexican traditional sauce molé and another national dish, chilies en nogada), its current sandwich loyalties lie with the cemita. At its most basic, the cemita is distinguished from a torta primarily by the eggy, sesame-seed speckled bun. It's not hard to understand why this sandwich is a point of pride. This is a sandwich that will keep you full for days and cover pretty much all the food groups: fried meat (in the form of a breaded cutlet called "milanesa"), lunch meat (a thick layer of sliced ham), cheese (quesillo, the cheese that requires oh-so-many stringers), and of course the cemita-specific bread. There are even a few vegetables, if you count the avocado and a spicy slaw of pickled peppers and onion.

The Pelona

Each time someone wants to eat at Antojitos Los Portales, the cook has to roll her cart out of the way—boiling pot of oil and all—to let the patron enter, then rolls it back into place. The oil in her vat is used to fry the small roll on which the pelona is served, leaving it with a shiny, bare top, presumably the source of its name, which means "baldy" in Spanish.

The fried roll sets the pelona apart from other sandwiches, creating a contrast between the cool, runny cream and the crunchy bread, still warm from the oil. Inside, shredded beef spills over a bed of lettuce and chopped avocado, doused in crema (the thin Mexican dairy product, vaguely related to sour cream), and your choice of sauce (red or green). The small-ish pelona is considered but a snack on the way to bigger sandwiches, yet its fresh vegetables and fried shell of bun make it a worthy stop along the Mexican sandwich path.


The vividly red, nearly glowing color of the chile sauce surrounding chanclas makes it a notable choice at many of the snack stands around Puebla. Antojitos, or the snacks served here, are generally meal-sized and vary from jellied cow's foot tostada to the brilliant-hued, deceptively simple chanclas.

A pair of sandwiches set afloat in a sea of chili sauce is not the easiest thing to eat while standing on a street just north of the El Bajio market. For chanclas, though, it's worth it. White bread is sliced and stuffed with shredded beef, avocados and onions. The slightly spicy and blindingly red sauce is ladled over the top of the pair—and they come only in pairs, like the flip-flops for which they're named. Yes, like huaraches—the oblong fried masa base—chanclas are a member the elite club of Mexican foods named after sandals.

The Pambazo

The ingredient list for the pambazo includes at least three ingredients with the word "fried" in it: fried potatoes, fried bread, and refried beans. As you'd expect from such a hearty sandwich, it sells well from carts located near bars. This shredded beef version came from the town center of San Juan del Rio, where the locals described it as "típico" of the area.

The mighty pambazo, heavyweight of the Mexican sandwich world, picks up where the chanclas and the pelonas give up. Named for the type of bread used, the pamabazo is dipped into a sauce (made from guajillo chiles), giving it the same flavor-sponge properties as the chancla, and then it's fried in oil, similar to the pelona. With fillings that read like a college kid on a dining hall bender, it starts with either shredded beef or sliced ham, gets a little extra starch from a sprinkling of home-fry-like potatoes, a liberal smattering of cheese, a thick layer of refried beans, and a barely there, nearly symbolic addition of lettuce. A messy assemblage of ingredients barely capable of holding themselves together, the pambazo is the far end of the sandwich evolutionary chain from the simple, neatly organized torta.

Juan Gabriel was Mexico’s gay icon &#8212 but he never spoke of his sexuality

With his glittery capes, slinky dance moves and ultra-romantic lyrics, Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel was an unlikely king in a country known for its machismo. He never spoke about his sexuality, yet was widely assumed to be gay.

It’s no surprise that the singer was an icon in Mexico’s gay subculture. But how was it that he came to be celebrated by the country’s Catholic, conservative and often homophobic mainstream?

1:02 PM, Aug. 22, 2019 An earlier version of this story misspelled Alberto Aguilera Valadez’s name as Alberto Aguilera Valdez.

Juan Gabriel, whose sudden death Sunday at age 66 cast Mexico into a state of mourning, navigated both worlds by saying nothing at all.

“It’s his life,” said Ricardo Monroy Martinez, who came to pay his respects Monday at a statue of the performer in Mexico City’s Plaza Garibaldi, where fans were gathered, singing.

Juan Gabriel’s sexuality wasn’t important, Monroy said, and he never felt the singer needed to articulate it. What mattered were the songs. “They reached my heart,” said the 63-year-old.

Juan Gabriel, the stage name he preferred to his given name, Alberto Aguilera Valadez, remained coy about his private life from the 1960s, when he started his career singing on the streets of Juarez. He maintained that posture into his later years despite a shift in public opinion on gay and transgender rights.

He never married, conceived four children via artificial insemination with a female friend and repeatedly refused to answer questions about his sexuality, even after a male former personal secretary wrote a book alleging they had a romantic relationship.

In 2002, a few years years before Mexico City legalized gay marriage, the famously effeminate singer shut down a journalist who asked if he was gay.

“You don’t ask about what can be seen,” he said.

Like the flamboyant pianist Liberace, who some say maintained that he was straight out of fear that the truth would hurt his appeal to mainstream America, Juan Gabriel’s stance could in part be viewed as a business decision.

“It would have been a career killer to come out,” said Hector Carrillo, who grew up in Mexico and is now a professor of sociology at Northwestern University. “That was part of the calculation for people who had a very public persona. They would never name it. They would never say it. It was a strategy of silence.”

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” had long been the policy in Mexico when it came to the sexuality of those in the limelight. Famed Mexican singer Chavela Vargas waited until 2002, when she was 81, to publicly come out as a lesbian.

Although Gabriel never publicly claimed the gay community, that community certainly claimed him, with his romantic Spanish-language ballads belted late into the night in drag bars on both sides of the border. Many gay fans saw coded messages in the lyrics of Juan Gabriel’s songs, such as “Es Mi Vida” (“It’s My Life.”)

It’s my life, very much my life, and I don’t have to give any explanations.

I have my reasons, which no one will care to know.

Many have credited Juan Gabriel with opening the door to greater expression of gender and sexuality, even if he never explicitly called for it. Like Prince, or David Bowie, Juan Gabriel was known for his gender-bending clothing and occasional touch of eye makeup.

“I think he made a deep cultural change not by talking about his sexuality but by living it out on stage,” said Alejandro Madrazo, a law professor in Mexico who is an expert on the legal battle for same-sex marriage in the country. “Juan Gabriel taught us how to be feminine.”

Madrazo recalled seeing Juan Gabriel perform before a large crowd at at cockfight, a sport that exemplifies Mexico’s machismo culture.

“He would dance in a way that was sexy and provocative in front of all these stereotypes of a Mexican man,” Madrazo said. “He would literally shake . in their faces, and they would go crazy.”

Madrazo said he thinks Juan Gabriel never opened up about his sexuality because there may have not been just one label that fit him. “I think his sexuality was probably far more complex,” he said.

In an homage to Juan Gabriel published on the website of Mexico’s Millenio newspaper Monday, journalist Alvaro Cueva recalled friends making fun of Juan Gabriel for his effeminate stage presence. At some schools, his name was used as an anti-gay slur.

Cueva called Juan Gabriel subversive. “You . became an idol in a country of macho men,” he wrote. “You made homophobic people sing and dance.”

Mexico has changed considerably from the days Juan Gabriel was beginning his career.

In 2005, the federal government instituted an anti-homophobia campaign. Gay and lesbian characters now appear on Mexican sitcoms and soap operas. And public opinion polls show Mexican people are warming toward gay marriage, which is legal in several states and Mexico City.

“Mexico got ahead of him,” said Carrillo. “Homosexuality kind of came out of the closet, but Juan Gabriel never did.”

While Juan Gabriel himself shied away from political causes, some in Mexico are using his death as an opportunity to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has championed that cause and is seeking congressional approval to amend the country’s constitution. But his plan has been met with fierce resistance from church leaders and even officials in his own party.

“Mexicans are crying for Juan Gabriel,” newspaper columnist Yuriria Sierra wrote on Twitter. “But they would continue to deny the legal right to love.”

Cecilia Sanchez in The Times’ Mexico City bureau contributed to this report.

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In reality, prosecutors allege, Kramer would begin construction and never complete the project beyond its initial stages. Because most of the clients were in Mexico, they could not regularly visit the locations. Kramer would talk to them by phone and emails and lie about the ongoing construction or provide excuses, the indictment said. Meanwhile, the couple used the funds for themselves or to pay other investors who complained.

If that failed, and the would-be franchisee refused stakes in other businesses as an alternative payment, Kramer and Pastor would allegedly threaten to sue the investors for breach of contract.

The couple’s business partners, Noel Olguin and Karina Hernandez, allegedly fished for investors at business fairs and conferences throughout Mexico, where they advertised Kramer and Pastor’s extensive experience with these kind of ventures.

Olguin and Hernandez, who were part owners of a company that helped Mexican nationals interested in starting a business in the U.S., were paid $20,000 to $25,000 for each contract they secured, the indictment said. Kramer also promoted the Las Quesadillas businesses by allegedly displaying false and fraudulent accounting to prospective buyers.

Prosecutors say the defendants scammed at least eight victims.

Pastor filed bankruptcy for the couple’s restaurant business in October last year, court records show.

Attorneys for the defendants did not return calls asking for comment by publication time.

Juan in a Million: Pun of a Kind Mexican Food - Recipes

It is important to remember that though tacos are of Mexican origin, there is not an archetypal kind of Mexican taco. Mexican people incorporate the recipes and cooking styles of indigenous and European people into their own. According to Tacopedia, an informative tome written by Déborah Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena, the taco is the focal point of Mexican cuisine. The taco, simply described as a tortilla wrapped around food, is known worldwide for its Mexican roots, and known in Mexico as part of the Mexican culture.

The phrase, “echarse un taco,” to grab a taco, has become so prevalent in Mexico that it is now synonymous with getting any kind of food. Many Mexican sayings incorporate tacos as well, including but not limited to, “Le echas mucha crema a tus tacos,” which means you add a lot of sour cream to your tacos, and describes someone who thinks very, possibly too, highly of himself or herself. Though this is certainly interesting, it is not the only way tacos have been integrated into Mexico’s general culture.

The process of nixtamal is also well-known in Mexico and used to create the tortilla- the soft outer shell of the taco that holds all the ingredients. Maize is boiled in diluted quicklime, and the kernels are left out over night. This allows the mixture of cornmeal and maize flour to become malleable and cohesive. This process dates back to 1,000 and 500 B.C. when the taco was “created” as an edible spoon. Due to its ability to hold a number of foods, Holtz and Mena note that there are many variations of the taco, and they are all ubiquitous in Mexico.

The hard taco shell was created so that Mexican food could travel beyond Mexican culture. The traditional tortilla does not last very long sitting out for twenty-four hours can leave the tortilla stale. The hard shell, however, is fried, wrapped in plastic, and can sit until it needs to be used. This is helpful when goods are being transported out of Mexican communities and spread all over the world.

Even with the many different versions produced by the Mexican people, Tacos still continue to be redesigned all over the world. For example, if one were to ask for tacos in California, he or she may be served smoked marlin tacos: marlin wrapped in a tortilla with cilantro, cabbage, tomatoes, and red onion. If this same question was asked in Sweden, it is likely one will get a Gringa Taco: corn tortilla filled with cheese and seasoned beef, served with salsa, cilantro, and onion. Due to their presence worldwide, tacos have become a defining aspect of Mexican culture.

As you can see, the taco is a strong part of Mexican culture. Its variance makes it even more popular worldwide, and Mexico can take pride in the fact that they have an international presence. This is evident because of the many chain restaurants that were created to serve Mexican food. Just a few examples are Taco Bell, Chipotle, Blue Burrito, and California Tortilla, and interestingly enough, these all exist either on campus or downtown.

3 Comments on The Culture of the Taco


I remember the first time I realized the versatility of the mighty taco. It was at a birthday party, and up until then, the tacos my mother made were always the same consistent recipe. It blew my toddler mind that a taco could have chicken or pork instead of beef. And reading this makes me feel the epiphany all over again. I also think it’s hilarious that saying someone adds too much sour cream to their tacos is a slight at someone’s lofty ego, and I had no idea that the tortilla was such an old concept. I’m feeling tacos tonight.


I never thought of a taco as an edible spoon but this realization is kind of mind blowing because that’s really exactly what it is! I will probably never get over that, honestly. I think it’s super interesting that saying “grab a taco” could mean getting any type of food now. It reminds me of how there are some places that call all soda Coke. It’s interesting to see how food and culture are intertwined and how it can even influence language!


Mmmm I may just head to Chipotle after reading this! The history of the taco is quite interesting. That’s amazing that the hard shelled taco can last until ready to be eaten. I have always wondered about the story behind the different types of taco shells. It seems that a taco means something different in each culture and that is cool to see how something changed over time in each culture and what it means in each one!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 4ࡪ baking dish or 10-inch skillet and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the buttermilk, and the eggs until well combined. Then, add melted butter, jalapeno peppers, green chiles, corn kernels, Monterey Jack, and cheddar cheese. Thoroughly mix to incorporate all ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. If desired, sprinkle extra grated cheese and jalapeno peppers. Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until light golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool for about 10 minutes. Cut and serve.

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