Ocoee Taco Company makes name as popular spot for fresh, authentic Mexican food
| 10:20 p.m. August 12, 2015
West Orange Times & Observer
Since Julia and Francisco Enamorado bought a food truck eight years ago and started selling homemade tacos at the corner of Marshall Farms Road and Colonial Drive, they have built up a following. The truck is open weekend nights, and customers return time after time to get a taste of fresh Mexican food.
But a few months ago, the couple opened a permanent taqueria, Ocoee Taco Company, as a response to the growing demand for their authentic cuisine.
“A lot of customers are so happy for us, because they asked me when they came up to the truck, ‘When are you having a restaurant?’ But I never had an answer,” Julia Enamorado said.
The menu is simple, and the atmosphere is festive. Some customers have said they feel as though they are transported to Mexico itself when they walk in the doors. But behind the color, music and spice, there is a central motivation for everything that happens at Ocoee Taco Company.
“Cooking for me is cooking with love, passion and soul,” Enamorado said.
STEEPED IN TRADITION
Julia Enamorado’s parents owned a meat market in their southern Mexican town, and her mother was known for her delicious and creative cooking.
“The salsa that I use here for the chips and salsa, my mother used to make it in my house,” Enamorado said. “My mother passed on recipes. That’s why our menu is a little different from the other Mexican places here.”
One of the menu items seems strange to people who are familiar with authentic Mexican cooking, but many of those customers have grown to like it. Enamorado calls it a “quesataco.”
The quesataco, a taco with melted cheese, was what Enamorado’s mother prepared when some of her children wanted quesadillas and others wanted tacos, but she didn’t want to make two different dishes. So she came up with a compromise to please everyone.
Enamorado’s mother died last year, and her father died a few months ago. But they both had been supportive of Julia and Francisco’s successful taco company and their use of family recipes.
“They knew that we were doing this, and they were so proud of us,” Julia Enamorado said.
The sign that reads “Mi casa es su casa” makes it clear that everyone at Ocoee Taco Company is treated like family.
“I talk to everybody; we become friends,” Enamorado said. “It makes me happy.”
The Enamorados have watched some of their longtime customers grow up. Children who were in grade school when the truck first opened are now driving their boyfriends or girlfriends to the truck or restaurant, Enamorado said.
All menu items are customizable to some extent. The staff is more than willing to make meals spicier for those who like it that way, substitute avocado for meat or accommodate customers in whatever other ways they are able.
Inside the taqueria, the decor is notably Mexican. Tables are dressed with colorful, striped blankets, and there are a number of decorative pieces that came from the home of Enamorado’s mother.
Customers can also dine on the patio, which is adjacent to the railroad tracks. Enamorado said children and adults alike have been excited to see the trains pass by as they eat their lunch outside on weekdays.
The owners at Ocoee Taco Company have noticed a comical phenomenon among their customers and taco lovers everywhere. When someone picks up a taco to take a bite, his or her head inevitably tilts to the side so that the taco can stay upright and the fillings won’t fall out. The “Taco Neck” has become an icon at Ocoee Taco Company, even seen as the central artwork on its T-shirts.