It is a known fact that Argentina just can’t do authentic Mexican food. After many have tried and failed miserably, here comes a neon pink and yellow diamond in the rough, bringing little Mexico to Buenos Aires. This upscale taquería hybrid combines Mexican street food with a Palermo twist, without any pretention, attracting hungry taco eaters from all walks of life to join in on the Mexican fiesta.
Located in a prime spot on Gorriti, steps away from Plaza Serrano, La Fabrica del Taco uses bright colors, Iconic kitsch décor of Mexican pop art, and genuine flavors to form a simple menu of damn good food serving the real deal to diverse crowds by the hundreds. When Mexican owner and creative director, Federico Lobeira, opened the doors in 2009, he knew he wanted to offer simple, delicious food in a visually stimulating environment for the ultimate sensory experience, combining tastes, smells, and colors reminiscent of his upbringing in Mexico. That’s right - this is no Argie knock-off, d-listed version. La Fabrica del Taco is a legit Mexican joint – from the over the top lucha libre wresting masks and Virgin de Guadalupe statues covering the walls to the cooks who hail from the homeland, cooking familiar food from the soul.
The tacos (AR$8-15) will bring you back to any street food cart in DF with their fillings of meat, chicken or vegetables. Try the Campechana taco, loaded with carne asada and carne pastor that have been slow roasted to tender perfection, or taco pollo, filled with plump chunks of chicken wrapped in the choice of a flour or corn tortilla - or even a lettuce wrap for all you health conscious veg-heads, although you must expect heckling and severe ridicule if you skip out on the homemade tortilla. And all you burnt cheese lovers are in luck. The quesadillas have a thin layer of burnt cheese, on top of more delicious gooey cheese. The menu has recently expanded to include other Mexican favorites like flautas, and not so Mexican favorites, like hamburger and veggie burgers. Add a few dashes of hot sauce to the mix and homesick expats will feel reborn. It’s highly recommended to wash it all down with La Michelada, a special concoction of beer, lemon, salt, and a special secret ingredient or bartender extraordinaire Juan Manuel’s Mango Margarita.
Like the classic Mexican taqueria, La Fabrica del Taco succeeds in appealing to the masses. We witnessed customers hanging out at the sidewalk counter sipping on the bright red agua del chavo (agua de Jamaica, or hibiscus juice) with a front row seat to watch talented cooks carve meat off of a shwarma-style rotisserie spit. A group of buddies, throwing back beers in the Cantina, with a bucket filled with icy Coronas. A local family sitting on picnic-like tables scarfing down homemade chips and guacamole while admiring the dolls, figurines, and tribute to Chavo, the beloved Mexican character. The hopping 20-something crowd lounging in the outdoor garden patio, stylishly sipping on top of the line cocktails under mellow tiki-lighting and a large Mexican flag. This is exactly what Lobeira had in mind - to bring people together, from diverse cultures, backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, all in the love of quality food, drinks and having a good time.
With business booming, there is never a slow night at La Fabrica del Taco. Lobeira has plans of expansion, building the restaurant’s third bar on the rooftop, as well as more ambitious plans replicating Palermo Soho’s Factory in other parts of South America. When we met up with Lobeira, we caught him in the midst of a brainstorming meeting for his latest project, a telenovela he is writing and producing, which is set to be incredibly cheesy yet widely entertaining.