Diego Zamora was 12 years old when he opened his first business, a torta stand next to the entrance of the Coca-Cola plant in Celaya, in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. Soon, Zamora moved on to selling sushi to-go, explaining, “When you’re young, sometimes you get bored and try more businesses.” At 21, Zamora opened a full-service Spanish eatery, followed by some rotisserie chicken and carnitas spots. He was insatiable, and his family supported his endeavors. “My father always tried to instill a belief in vision and confidence in [the] entrepreneurial spirit,” Zamora says. “He always told us, ‘You can do it, you can do it, you can do it.’ ”
A friend convinced Zamora, who was born in Orange County, California, to operate his import-export business selling flor de calabaza, huitlacoche, cajeta, and other Mexican food products from San Antonio. For a while, he was commuting between Celaya and the Alamo City, but after the hotel bills got out of control, Zamora explains, he decided to relocate in 2019.
Shortly after getting an apartment in San Antonio, Zamora, longing for home, established Los Weyes de la Asada as a catering service. He cooked on a $50 grill from the Home Depot and made between $15,000 and $20,000 dollars catering five events per week. “I’m alone here; I moved by myself,” Zamora says. “The work was a lot.”
In 2021, he acquired a trailer and served tacos at apartment complexes, offices, campuses—anywhere he could, even going as far as as Boerne. In March 2022, he stationed Los Weyes de la Asada at Bésame bar and food truck park, owned by Ricky Ortiz. In September 2023, Zamora moved to Ortiz’s other outdoor bar/food truck park, El Camino, on the northern edge of downtown. Nearly five years after he started this business, Zamora is serving some of the best carne asada around.
The meat, often Prime- or Select-grade skirt steak, is cooked over mesquite charcoal on a covered six-by-three-foot custom Santa Maria–style grill that extends from the back of the trailer. The smoke wafts across the El Camino property, attracting patrons, including me, happy to line up patiently because meat doesn’t touch the grill until it’s ordered. Zamora knows customers want to see that their food is fresh, and the live fire adds a bit of spectacle. “[People] are tired of seeing the steak cooked on a flattop,” he says. “If customers aren’t coming, we don’t put meat on the grill. We just keep the charcoal alive.”
The signature taco is the taco chingón. A wonderfully chewy, tangy, and flaky handmade flour tortilla with a costra is filled with a generous serving of tender beef, frijoles de olla (pot-cooked pinto beans), a spoonful of creamy guacamole, cilantro, chopped onions, and finally, an oil-based salsa of garlic and chile de árbol, as bright as a tangerine. It’s fruity, and its heat is much tamer than its dramatic color.
A squiggle of the same salsa (bottled and available for sale) caps the taco mamón. At its base is another flour tortilla–costra combo, which is filled with beef, of course, and punched up with chunks of caramelized pineapple, chopped raw onions, and cilantro. Both tacos are hefty parcels that evoke Zamora’s time in California and Mexico. And if you prefer corn tortillas, Los Weyes de la Asada has fresh ones at the ready.
If Zamora sold only tacos, a meal at Los Weyes de la Asada would be a superlative dining experience. But the taquero isn’t content with limiting himself. “If you feel like you can’t learn anything new, you’re in your comfort zone,” he says. “That’s not good. That’s not how I work.” So he also offers sixteen-ounce ribeyes, served with a baked potato, loaded with cheese and more beef, and two small corn or flour quesadillas. But it’s all about the steak, which I ordered medium-rare. It melted on my tongue like a communion wafer.
While steak night starts at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, customers start to line up around 4 p.m. Once ordered, the steaks are seasoned with salt and pepper and placed on the grill. The meat sizzles as it settles into place. It’s not unusual to see patrons stare longingly at their protein as it’s licked by sharp flames and infused with strong smoke. By 8 p.m., and thirty to forty steaks later, Los Weyes de la Asada has sold out.
During our phone interview, Zamora mentions a new dish he’s offering on steak night: ribeye aguachile. The special is a northern Mexican twist on the classic seafood dish. I saw it on the menu during my last visit, but knew if I ordered the aguachile, I’d have overeaten. But damn it if I wasn’t tempted. This is all part of Zamora’s plan to push himself and draw in regulars, who come around twice a week.
Los Weyes de la Asada is as much about passion and self-improvement as it is reconnecting with his roots. As the 34-year-old puts it, “each time I grill carne asada, I remember my family. I’m with my family. That’s just part of me.”