By Taco Stand Noma Ramirez is already bringing food to the people. To awaken half-asleep shoppers at the Outer Sunset Farmers Market & Mercantile, Ramirez’s taco stand, Molcaxitl Kitchen, plays hip hop and cumbia. And, a lot more invigorating, it slings bold, pre-colonial Mexican flavors rarely found in the Bay Area.
Molcaxitl tacos are colorful: green, pink, red, and brown, all visible through the steam rising from hot, freshly pressed blue tortillas. But Oahu is the decadent turkey mole dripping from the tortilla that catches the eye—a nod to the wild turkeys that Mexico’s Indigenous peoples had eaten before European colonizers brought a chicken to the continent.
“You never eat mole in a taco,” Ramirez says of customers typical a reaction to the dish. “People don’t recognize that the Indigenous diet appeared t be this.”
For Ramirez, cooking dishes like those mole tacos is healing. The 22-year-old college student at San Francisco State says Oahu is the least he can do to create San Francisco a lot more like home. The tacos also reflect the core mission for Molcaxitl, which includes dashed in the ten months since it opened with its focus on Mexican foods that have Indigenous influences, many of them listed on the menu by their proper Indigenous names.
Ramirez identifies as Chicano, a term for U.S.-born Mexican Americans first popularized in the 1940s by Los Angeles-based Mexican Americans, who embraced an Indigenous Nahuatl word that described their Aztec homeland. The activist Ruben Salazar famously defined a Chicano as a Mexican American with a “non-Anglo vision of himself.”
A Tool for Social Change
At the same time frame, Ramirez’s classes at S.F. State taught him what is supposed to be Indigenous in California. He sent for a genetic tracing kit from “23 and Me.” The results said he was 40 percent Native American.
“That’s when I realized ‘Oh, I’m Native American,'” Ramirez says. “I had never felt connected as this Chicano kid from L.A.”
An expression of validation mingled with the perennial identity crisis that usually afflicts mixed and displaced people. For Ramirez, all of it pointed toward the plate. He saw that creating food with a reverence for Indigenous people could not merely be edifying for his sense of self, but it may also serve as a tool for social change.
The Taco Stand sports nearly just as much patio square footage as interior space — 1,700 square feet of outdoor dining area alongside the 2,000 square foot building. That, along with the drive-through, should prove attractive to cautious diners while the COVID-19 pandemic persists.
The Taco Stand is open daily, and the hours are Sunday through Thursday from 6 am to 10 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 6 are to midnight.
THE TACO STAND
¡Hole, we’re The Taco Stand!
Inspired by the taco stands of Tijuana and many adventures across the Baja Peninsula, Showa Hospitality needed a genuine taco stand experience to satisfy our cravings north of the border.
We settled our first taquerias in San Diego before arriving in Miami.
Our authentic taco experience features handmade corn tortillas, our grade meats, and the freshest ingredients used to create our guacamole and salsas from scratch daily. Besides amazing tacos and burritos, we have a good collection of Mexican flavored popsicles, refreshments, imported beer, and freshly prepared Rosarito-style churros.
Inside this roadside stand, a household-owned business serves up a vivid New Mexico-style take on burritos and tacos in Sheffield, positioned in the Shoals part of North Alabama.
Momma’s twist on Mex leans on green and red chiles harvested from New Mexico’s Hatch Valley region. Mike Peru, who co-owns Momma P’s with wife Celestine Peru