Fly to Taqueria Monarca for authentic Mexican cuisine

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CHLOE ALVERSON

After more than 20 years of working in other people’s restaurants, a local married couple is finally serving their own dishes. Prepared fresh in a trailer adorned with dozens of monarch butterflies, the newly opened Taqueria Monarca is the latest spot for authentic Mexican cuisine in Lansing.

While it opened last week in the parking lot of the Sunoco gas station, owners Mario Quintero and Ana Cavazos first had the idea of ​​opening their own food truck when the pandemic hit. After encouragement from their three college-aged daughters, the couple decided to bring their own recipes to life.

“In restaurants, a lot of people would say the food is good,” Quintero said. “But this food was not made with my recipes. Now we can create these menu items my way, with our own flavor. »

Both from Mexico, the couple mixes the flavors of their roots on the menu of their trailer.

Quintero is from Michoacán, a state near the center of the country, and Cavazos is from Tamaulipas, a state near the southern border of Texas on the Rio Grande. The home state of Quintero is known for its sopes and gorditas, while the state of Cavazos is famous for its carne asada tacos. Cavazos said Taqueria Monarca offers “a combination” of both.

“People can appreciate that our food comes from our family’s traditions,” Cavazos said. “[That’s] the most important thing for us.

The concise menu consists of 10 dishes, like tacos, quesadillas, and burritos, though it can expand to include weekly or monthly specials from other countries, like Chinese-Mexican cuisine.

For those in a hurry, all current items can be crafted in 10-15 minutes. Quintero said the dishes are “quality food in record time.”

“It’s a small food trailer and people are in a rush to eat,” Quintero said. “We don’t want people to have to wait half an hour for lunch.”

As for the inspiration behind the name, Cavazos explained that monarch butterflies migrate from central Mexico, where Quintero is from, to North America.

“The butterfly represents immigrants, and we are immigrants,” she said.

Follow Taqueria Monarca on Instagram at @taqueriamonarca.

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