Chef Pete’s Tiburon Taco

Saturdays and Sundays start early for Pete Morales, one of our line cooks in Miami who runs a weekend taco stand at the Yellow Green Farmers Market in Hollywood, FL.  You won’t encounter many farmers in the surrounding booths, but last weekend I found Pete and his girlfriend Silvana working hard and churning out some good food and drink, including breakfast and lunch tacos, quesadillas, and ice cold canned and bottled drinks like fruit juices (without corn syrup, a sign proclaims), and ethnic sodas including Jarritos and Mexican Cokes.

On the day of my visit Pete had chicken and chorizo tacos, which he now offers in $1.00, $2.00 and $3.00 set-ups, the most expensive including a full monty of toppings like shredded cabbage, cheese, tomato, sliced radish, pickled red onion, cilantro, and sour cream. You then knock yourself out at the hot sauce bar (many of the bottles are also available for purchase.)  The tacos fillings are made from scratch.  Tortillas come in corn, flour, and whole wheat.  I got one chicken and one chorizo taco all the way on corn and topped with Crazy Cactus Chipotle Hot Sauce — all washed down with a Toronja (grapefruit) Jarrito.

I happily devoured my tacos. Really well-balanced. You can taste every layer of flavor.

The two started the stand in December 2010 and sell about 75 to 100 tacos a weekend to hungry shoppers mulling through rows of booths full of everything from cured olives and pickles to pottery, clothing, and beaded jewelry.  Pete also purchases some of his ingredients from surrounding stalls, like eggs, tomatoes, and tortillas.  It’s convenient and cheap, and he’s able to support fellow vendors — who in turn patronize Tiburon Tacos.  It all makes for a fun weekend afternoon diversion, especially when supporting one of our own.

Pete explains how tacos just made a lot of sense. Taco stands are sort of a requisite at markets.  The product is cheap to produce and not too labor intensive, which keeps prices low, not to mention who met a taco they didn’t like?  They’re crowd pleasers.

Silvana works front of the house, while Pete cooks, assembles, and plates in the back.

Pete and Silvana’s booth is one of the most original and colorful on the floor at Yellow Green’s open air warehouse, decorated with hot sauce bottles, potted flowers, metal crafts, and photos of Pete with some of the famous chefs he’s met along the way in his work.  Then there are the menus on what seems like every surface, printed on colorful paper strung up on the cage frame, on the counter, and inscribed on a white board easel. Pete even hand-painted the wood plank Tiburon Taco signs that hang above, of course with appropriate bite out of one end. This business is really personal.  Follow these tacos sharks on Twitter @TiburonTaco.  They’re open for business today until 3:00 p.m. (sometimes a little later) and Pete is trying out a new Chili Con Carne taco.  Or make a note in your calendar for next weekend.  They’ll be there setting up by 8:00 a.m.!

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