Huntsville – Over the years on The Texas Bucket List, we have tried a variety of Mexican food all over the state. From tacos at a car wash in El Paso, barbacoa in Brownsville, breakfast tacos in Bryan, to tamales on Galveston island, and now we can add Hunstville’s Taqueria Carmelita to the list.
Now I never expected to find a taqueria in the middle of the woods but Taqueria Carmelita is sure to impress. “This is the best one too, in this part of the woods for sure,” said customer Felix Magallanes.
High schooler Miguel Duran is the youngest of four children and since he’s the only one left at home, he spends his time helping his parents, Leticia and Miguel Sr., run the taqueria that took off in 2015. Miguel Sr. is very happy to have his son there to help him and his wife run the business along with maintaining their reputation for really good food. With Miguel Sr.’s contagious smile and Leticia’s joyful singing, there is always happiness in Taqueria Carmelita. “The food is always good, and the people are always happy and jovial and (Leticia) is always singing so that just makes it a whole eating experience,” said Magallanes.
Miguel Sr. used to have a restaurant in town a few years ago, but when rent became too expensive, he did what every restaurant owner wouldn’t do and moved to the middle of nowhere. Thanks to his reputation for really good food, the people came. “I mean we weren’t really worried because he’s always been a good cook, so we think that wherever you are people are still going to follow you,” Miguel Jr. explains.
“We were really happy when they opened up here… we heard Miguel was moving over here and it’s been a godsend ever since,” said customer Michael Castell. “They’re living the American dream, and successfully doing it, in a good, positive way.” said said Magallanes.
Miguel expresses his happiness and enjoyment with working at the taqueria. While at the taqueria, both Miguel Jr. and Sr. took me to the tight kitchen, where I got to taste two of his signature dishes, a gordita and a torta. When it came to the torta, it was surprising to see the amount of mouthwatering meat that can go into it. When Miguel busted out the telera bread for the torta, I knew I was in for something big. “It’s like the biggest torta you’ll find in Walker county and you can’t eat the whole thing. Me and my wife usually split one,” warned Castell.
The torta was prepared with a layer of refried beans and beef, then topped with lettuce, cilantro, onions, tomatoes, fresh avocados and mayo. The gordita is stuffed with beef, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes, like a little meat pocket. So where do you start? An enormous sandwich or a little gordita. I started with the freshly made gordita that was hot to the touch, and it was excelente! The huge torta was also delicious and every little bit had something special. Every bite just makes you want to take another.
“It’s very authentic, being born and raised in Laredo, Texas we know Mexican food and this is the closest we get to home when I don’t want to cook,” joked customer Bertha Flores.
Well you gotta have a taqueria on The Texas Bucket List and if you happen to be going through Huntsville and you’re looking for some tortas and gorditas, Taqueria Carmelita is well worth the stop!
“It’s not just a onetime thing, it’s never a hit or miss, it’s always perfect every time,” said Castell.