Restaurant Toma Taco that began as a to-go concept becomes growing downtown dining spot

Mini taquitos: Five mini taquitos are served with charro beans, grilled onion and chile toreado. Mini taquitos have the option of carne asada, pastor, carnitas or chorizo. ($9.49) (Photos by Eric Weilbacher/Community Impact Newspaper)

From the age of 13, Hector Garnica began working at stand-alone taco stands in Mexico. He moved to San Marcos several years later and began working in the restaurant industry.

In 2019, Garnica and his brother Oscar opened Toma Taco on the corner of South Edward Gary Street and South LBJ Drive.

After a rough start a few months prior to the pandemic, Toma Taco opened back up as soon as it could after the statewide lockdown, and it has enjoyed a robust customer base ever since.

“Before COVID[-19], it was pretty slow; then we were closed. It’s weird; after COVID[-19] it wasn’t a business problem. For us it was better,” Oscar said.

The restaurant features Mexican cuisine distinct from traditional Tex-Mex offerings.

“A lot of the restaurants in San Marcos are more like northern Mexico, but we have worked in places that are more like [what you would find] in Jalisco, which is quite different,” Oscar said.

The molcajete, for instance, is a medley of beef and chicken fajita, shrimp, chorizo, country sausage, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes served in a stone molcajete—a bowl used to grind and mix ingredients to make salsa and other things—and covered with roja nopal, or red prickly pear; onions; cheese; and chile toreado.

Another Toma Taco specialty is the bistec ranchero—beef fajita served with grilled onions, tomato and jalapenos. The green jalapeno and avocado salsa is a favorite house of staff and regular customers alike.

While Toma Taco specializes in Jalisco-inspired dishes, it does not lack in other Tex-Mex offerings, and it features burritos, enchiladas, chalupas and tortas as well.

Toma Taco also serves breakfast tacos and breakfast plates from 7-11 am and a limited breakfast menu after 11 amThe name of the restaurant came from the original idea for the location. Toma Taco—“take a taco” in Spanish—was originally intended to be more of a to-go orders only location.

“At the end of the day, we decided we were going to make it a restaurant. And it was going to be a long process to change the name because we were about two weeks from opening,” Oscar said, laughing.

Toma Taco

179 S. LBJ Drive, San Marcos. 512-667-7867. www.tomatacosmtx.com

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 7 am-10 pm, Sun. 8 am-10 pm

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