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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Tortas in the Park: Family carries on the tradition for 63 years 

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Claire Tyrpak
Claire Tyrpak
Claire Tyrpak retired to Mérida in 2021 after a career managing programs for nonprofits, government and a university in the United States. She has been a world traveler since the 1980s and Mexico is the fifth country in which she has lived.
Taqueria Don Beto in Parque Las Américas. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Strolling through charming Parque de las Américas in García Ginerés, considered one of the finest parks in Mérida, offers many appealing options in its four-block expanse. In addition to lots of green space, a library, an amphitheater, and a large fountain, the food cart Taqueria Don Beto is a much-loved long-time fixture.

While there are many food carts around the city, what sets this one apart is its length of time in the park and consistent availability. Also serving tortas, Taqueria Don Beto began 63 years ago and has been in the same location in the park since the beginning. 

Taqueria Don Beto in Parque Las Américas. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Founder Don Beto Tecrodes moved to Mérida from Chiapas and started the business, which is still family-run after his death 15 years ago. After four generations, today’s hard-working family is led by Don Beto’s son-in-law Josue and includes cousins, second cousins, and brothers. It is the only permanent food service in the park. Others are set up only for festivals and events.

The menu remains the same daily and includes tasty tacos, tortas, burritos, carne asada, hamburgers, and a vegetarian burro with mushrooms, onions, and cheese. The most popular dish is the Torta Tradicional, which includes meat, beans, cheese, and shredded carrot with a special homemade sauce, for 28 pesos.  

Taqueria Don Beto in Parque Las Américas. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Although not a sit-down restaurant, Taqueria Don Beto sets up tables and chairs in front of the food cart. It is a pleasant place in the park near an attractive large fountain.

Taqueria Don Beto in Parque Las Américas. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Most of the taqueria’s 300 daily customers are regulars from the surrounding houses and offices. Many visit twice a day. Some tourists stop by, including some from the Turibus tour bus that passes nearby. There is even a regular couple that comes all the way from Campeche, Josue said.

The truck is open Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. and then from 5 p.m. until 11 at night. 

While Parque de las Américas is their main location, they more recently established food carts in Francisco Montejo, Ciudad Caucel, and Macroplaza in Itzimná. They also offer daily home delivery.

Find them on Facebook or reach them via WhatsApp at 999-323-7385. 

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