Blue Corn Tacos, a new restaurant specializing in street tacos from the south-central region of Mexico, opened on June 1st at 1515 Main St., Unit 5, in Longmont.
Owner Jose Serna knows every job in a restaurant because he’s worked them all, from dishwasher to cook to general manager. And after ten years in the industry, he’s both excited and nervous to be running his own place. Jose works alongside his wife, Aidee, and their kids in what he says is very much a family business.
Serna says his street tacos are not what most people expect. “This food is authentic Mexican food from south-central Mexico,” he says. “A lot of people don’t know about this kind of taco. They expect only meat, only cilantro — that’s the traditional north Mexico taco.”
His tacos, he explains, have a bed of rice, meat, and vegetables. Each taco is garnished differently, with ingredients such as sesame seeds or pico de gallo.
“No one else around here makes the mole taco, the chile relleno taco, or the cactus leaf taco,” he says. The chile relleno taco is the most popular menu item.
Serna is proud of his mole, which he admits is not for everyone. “Some people love it,” he says, “and some people hate it, because of the chocolate.” One of Serna’s moles is made with mushrooms instead of chicken, making it a vegetarian option.
In addition to the mushroom mole, the restaurant features two other vegetarian options, the cactus or nopales taco, and the fajita vegetable taco. They are garnished with cheese and guacamole, but without the cheese, Serna adds, they would also be vegan.
Also, all the tortillas at Blue Corn are made fresh daily, on the premises. Both blue corn and white corn are used, and the tortillas are both bigger and a little thicker than commercially prepared ones. They also have a different texture. “We make them in the morning and we make more around three, to be ready for dinnertime,” Serna says.
Serna helped his mom with cooking, growing up in Mexico. “Ten years ago,” he said, “I decided to start cooking because I have this passion.” He went to work in the food industry and “little by little I improved myself … until I was general manager.” He put in time in Mexican restaurants, a barbecue place, a brewery, and a catering company, learning as he went, before taking the leap and opening Blue Corn Tacos.
Serna’s restaurant, in a strip mall on north Main, is about 1,500 square feet, “pretty small,” he says, but good for a first-timer. “This place is a real challenge,” he adds, “because there is no hood. We can’t create smoke.” Most taco places, he continues, use a flat top and lots of oil.
Eventually, Serna would like to build an entire kitchen, with a hood, “so then we can make whatever we want,” and start doing breakfast, and chilaquiles. And after that, he would like to pursue a beer and wine type alcohol license so people can enjoy a taco and a drink.
“Right now, my challenge is to improve the business, getting more customers,” he says. “I explain every single detail about these tacos (to the customers.) Customers should feel free to ask questions about the tacos, and to try samples. I want them to try the food and to like it.”
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