San Antonio-style tacos — puffy flour tortillas with fillings like bean and cheese that are rarely ever seen in New York City — have been returning weekend after weekend to a bar in Williamsburg.
Chata’s Tacos, which pop-ups at the Rosemont, at 63 Montrose Avenue, between Lorimer and Leonard streets, on Saturdays and Sundays each week, is the latest project by Brooklyn drag icon Horrorchata.
Horrorchata, along with her partner Fischer Sherin, are primarily focused on selling breakfast tacos. The couple order their flour tortillas from San Antonio-based tortilla producer La Milpa — it’s part of the reason they’re limited to serving two days a week — and add traditional fillings like potato and egg; bean, egg, and cheese; and migas, among others. The couple is also serving up several non-breakfast tacos like a vegan chorizo option with black beans, lettuce, pico de gallo; and one with picadillo, the stewed ground beef dish eaten across Latin America and parts of the Caribbean.
“They have a soft fluffiness,” says Horrorchata, describing the tortillas she grew up eating in Texas. “It is hard to explain, it is heaven in your mouth.”
Chata’s Tacos now joins a growing list of Tex-Mex spots in the city including Gueros, a longtime Crown Heights favorite, and Yellow Rose, a relatively new East Village establishment,
Part of the impetus behind starting Chata’s Tacos, which got underway in January this year, was a financial necessity. With indoor entertainment on pause due to the pandemic, drag queens are among artists and performers whose livelihoods have been severely impacted or curtailed, and many have had to rely on online shows to make ends meet. But Chata’s Tacos also allows Horrorchata to pursue another passion of hers: cooking.
The pop-up builds off of the Disco Taco parties Horrorchata has hosted over the years where she served different versions of these tacos. Those events were more similar to catered events with pre-prepared food, she says, while Chata’s Tacos allows for more personalized orders. Horrorchata and Sherin handle all the prep work for the pop-up at their home, but the tacos are prepared at the Rosemont, with the eggs cooked fresh to order on a griddle.
Horrorchata has also created three different salsas to accompany the tacos: a classic green jalapeño salsa, one with roasted tomatoes, and a third one that combines the two. For now, the salsas are only available at the pop-up to drizzle atop the tacos, but she hasn’t ruled out selling them commercially in the future. “We have a small, basic menu, and we’re just getting used to the rhythm right now,” Horrorchata says.
In the coming weeks and months, Sherin says the duo plan to add more items to the menu, including chips and queso, and carne guisada. The demand for the pop-up has been growing slowly each passing week, the couple says, and they’re struggling with the amount of refrigeration and cooking required for the pop-up. But they’re working to find a solution, they say, and are looking forward to an expansion, first by adding an additional day to their Rosemont pop-up, and eventually finding a brick-and-mortar location further down the road.
“Our goal is to open up our own place one day,” says Sherin. “If we did open a place, it would be drag shows, Latina, frozen margaritas,” adds Horrorchata. “That’s the dream.”
Chata’s Tacos runs Saturdays and Sundays at the Rosemont from 12 to 6 p.m.