Pride in El Chuco (El Paso’s nickname) and a desire to preserve its culinary heritage are what inspired chef Emiliano Marentes to open his much-celebrated taqueria in downtown El Paso five years ago. Now he’s a semifinalist in the Outstanding Chef category of the 2022 James Beard Awards. With high-quality meats and fish, vegetables grown nearby, and house-made corn tortillas, Marentes serves outstanding made-to-order tacos. Begin your adventure with the “Brusselas,” flash-fried brussels sprouts with salsa macha and a goat cheese crema. As for the tacos, we’re fond of the coliflor almendrado, fat with roasted cauliflower and an almond mole, and the pato al pastor, the slow-grilled duck sweet with roasted pineapple. Add a mezcal old-fashioned or a jamaica margarita. Reservations are definitely required.
City: El Paso