La Santa Taqueria: Pop up in Midtown Garden Center
Found hidden in the Wynwood/Midtown district is a pop-up bringing authentic Mexican fair to hungry Miami locals. La Santa Taqueria is the creation of chef Omar Montero, a Mexico City native who spent years traveling and working with some of Latin America’s and North America’s finest restaurants and hotels, including most recently The Setai, and Cantina La Veinte. Chef Omar's childhood revolved around the family kitchen while watching his family’s catering business evolve. That early introduction to authentic Mexican cuisine led him to receive professional culinary training in Mexico City at University Anahuac.
La Santa, Chef Omar’s first personal project, opened in July of 2017 as a small pop-up in the Midtown Garden Center where people can BYOB and enjoy the open-air atmosphere as they taste simple, traditional tacos and drinks. A more permananent location is in the works.
A few of the dishes we were invited to sample included both classics and Chef Omar’s street food interpretations:
Elote is a favorite street-food of Mexican locals. Sweet corn is grilled and then smothered in toppings like mayo, cayenne pepper and cheese. Add a squeeze of lime and you have a perfect bite. The sweet corn with the kick from the cayenne and the bite from the cheese makes this a messy, delicious appetizer. Wash it down with a beer and you’re ready for some tacos.
The Suadero taco is a perfect example of the simple but delicious street-food that you can find all over Mexico. A warm corn tortilla topped with tender beef, cilantro and onions. That’s it, and that’s all you need.
The beef is soft and juicy from being cooked low-and-slow, the cilantro and onions add a freshness that cuts the fat from the beef, and the corn tortilla soaks up all the juices as you take that first wonderful bite. This taco proves that you don’t have to go to Mexico to eat real tacos.
This taco is a classic that you’ll find in any taco shop. But here at La Santa, they do it with extra attention to detail. The pork is marinated overnight in an achiote marinate, giving it some heat and that gorgeous red color.
The taco is then topped with a guajillo sauce, cilantro, onions and a slice of pineapple. The marinated pork gives the taco a gentle heat that creeps up on you only to be extinguished by the fresh pineapple. Wash down with some Mexican soda and go for another bite.
Quinoa & Sweet Potato/Cauliflower Al Pastor (vegan)
Chef Omar made sure not to forget about the vegan crowd here in Miami. For those still trying to get a taste of real Mexico, they can opt for one of his vegan-friendly items. The very colorful Quinoa & Sweet Potato tacos give you roasted sweet potatoes and a mix of quinoa and herbs.
For those wanting to try the Al Pastor without the pork, Omar created the Cauliflower Al Pastor. Cauliflower chopped and marinated in the same achiote sauce as the original. Both just as delicious and just as satisfying.
Head over to the Midtown Gardens for a relaxing atmosphere and real Mexican cuisine.
2600 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33137