Taco Mesa: Local Taquería Celebrates 25 Years Organically

Taco Mesa Tortillería Organica & Café

3533 East Chapman Avenue, Orange, California, CA 92869 | (714) 633-3922 | www.tacomesa.net

Taco Mesa borders the line between gourmet and takeout; offering specialty, Mexican cooking at value prices. From the non-GMO corn tortillas to panadería-style pastries to the Modbar, Chef Ivan Calderon’s expansion of the GMO-free Tortillería & Café continues to elevate the level of craft associated with Mexican cuisine.

Until now, the menu hadn’t changed much over the past 25 years. They have only made a few minor changes to it over the years, but nothing of this magnitude! Taco Mesa opened its first location in Costa Mesa in ’92, already offering dishes not typically found in authentic Mexican restaurants. Much of its menu stems from Oaxacan cooking – a cuisine based in honoring local ingredients.

Did you know? Taco Mesa started out selling stuffed jalapeños for 25 cents, and today they continue the tradition and are still marinated overnight in citrus juices and tossed in unbleached flour. An iconic dish of Oaxaca is the tlayuda, either served open face or folded and, like a tostada, is usually fried. Tlayuditas at Taco Mesa are baked corn chips topped with pinto beans, mole pipian, panela cheese, purslane, watermelon radish and heirloom tomato – a whole bite of crunchy goodness.

Local farmers, including Future Food Farms in Brea and Black Sheep Farms in Riverside, provide the restaurant with colorful produce like edible flowers that bloom with subtle spice and organic, live greens that add breadth to each plate.  And the star of the show: the non-GMO, organic, heirloom corn that accompanies most of the dishes, comes from the fertile soil of Rancho Cucamonga.

“Without good tortillas, you cannot have good Mexican food,” — Chef Ivan Calderon, Taco Mesa

We all know this to be true, but did we expect it to be this good? Taco Mesa’s tortillas are made in-house daily and are priced at 2 dollars for a dozen – an unheard of sale, especially for this level of quality.

Taco Mesa will offer tortillas to-go, but the Orange location will be the only restaurant with the Modbar espresso station and panadería, presenting health-conscious and sustainable coffee and pastries. Chef Ivan plans to take the GMO-free tortillas to market soon. Stay tuned!

Taco Mesa Tortillería Organica & Café is located at 3533 E Chapman Ave, Orange, CA 92869 and is open daily from 7 a.m to 10 p.m.

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