Listen to the podcast of this discussion
We're running a monthly series called "Food for Thought," in-depth conversations with groundbreakers who run farms, restaurants, wineries, breweries and bars around California and are shaking up the way we eat and drink.
Our third talk is with "Los Autenticos," four well-known restaurateurs known for their Mexican cuisine. All of them have opened up new hotspots in Sacramento during the past year, and they're intent on serving authentic food and drink the way it should be prepared -- and serving it up in settings that reinforce the fact you are indeed eating the "real" thing.
To get an early start on celebrating Mexico's Independence Day (no, it is not Cinco de Mayo) on September 16, we talked with the four señores at Casa de Español, a great place to celebrate Latin American culture, about how their cultural roots and backgrounds led them to their present roles as Sacramento's ambassadors of Mexican cuisine.
* Art Aguilar and Max Archuleta - this dynamic duo teamed up to open the open-air Midtown's Cantina Alley in February. The goal: Serve the street foods of Mexico, along with the cocktails and craft beer typically served in Mexico, in a place filled with the art and decor of Mexico, so that you really feel like you're in Mexico. It worked: the outdoor cantina has been jam-packed all summer, even when the thermometer reaches 105-plus degrees.
* Ernesto Delgado - he grew up in Napa, and came to Sac State to study graphic design. Working in the design business, and living in Sacramento, is what heightened his appreciation for Latino culture. He started with Tequila Museo Mayahuel on K St, particularly notable for its tequilas and mescals. This summer, he opened La Cosecha on Cesar Chavez Plaza, and partnered with "Food for Thought" alumnus Chris Jarosz to create Mesa Mercado, opening soon in Carmichael's Milagro Centre.
* Lisandro “Chando” Madrigal - he helped his dad open and run a tortilla factory in Tijuana, where he learned about the recipes and flavors of the local street food. In Sacramento, he opened Chando's Tacos, a hole in the wall that's generally considered the best tacqueria in town. His latest place: Chando's Cantina, next door to the Governor's Mansion, which has higher-end but just-as-authentic food.