The History of Tacos

When you think of Mexican food, you probably think of tacos. This simple yet delicious dish has many different variations, from soft shells made of corn or flour tortillas to hard taco shells and even taco salads. Any Mexican restaurant that you visit is likely to have their own take on this classic. However, the history of this type of Mexican food is not as long as you might think, and there are actually many debates as to how exactly this dish began.

These are the basics of the history of tacos.

How Long Have Tacos Been Around?

The first debate in the history of this Mexican dish is when exactly it was first created. There is some evidence to suggest that indigenous peoples from the Valley of Mexico ate fish wrapped in tortillas. This could be considered a precursor to fish tacos. However, this is not confirmed, and it’s not likely the dish was referred to the same way we do today.

Mexican historian Jeffrey M. Pilcher’s theory, which has some more evidence to support it, is that the dish started around the 18th century in Mexican silver mines. He suggests this because the sticks of dynamite used in the mining process were referred to as “tacos” and had a shape similar to the dish we eat today.


Tacos moved into big cities in Mexico due to industrialization, which brought more migrants into central regions such as Mexico City. Women would often set up taquerias and would sell food that was specific to their original regions. This is one reason that tacos have so much variety, as different taquerias would prepare them in the style of different regions of Mexico.

Taquerias help spread the dish into the United States as more migrants came to work building railroads or mining. This occurred in the early 1900s. Shortly after this, the Americanized version of this Mexican food became more popular. This made use of ingredients that were more readily available in the US such as hamburger meat, cheese, and lettuce.

Tacos Today

Tacos became even more popular in the 1950s when Glen Bell, the founder of Taco Bell, started selling deep fried hard shells. These made it so the dish could last for longer and was easier to sell. The hard shells had in fact existed before, but they were not as popular as soft shell tortillas. In the end, Glen Bell did not necessarily invent a new dish but found a new way to market the existing Mexican food to more Americans.

Today, it is more of a trend to go back to the traditional flavors of Mexican tacos. Each regional variety is unique, and more and more people want to try these different flavors, such as al pastor or barbacoa. There is also a trend toward fresh ingredients such as pico de gallo and grilled bell peppers.

Guadalajara’s Grill & Tequila Bar

In Tucson, you can get high-quality tacos made from fresh meat and veggies at Guads. We specialize in traditional Mexican food with a unique twist. Visit us today and experience our memorable flavors for yourself.

The Signature Dishes At Our Mexican Restaurant

Choosing a restaurant for lunch or dinner can be overwhelming. With so many Mexican restaurants in Tucson, it can be difficult to figure out which is going to be the best. One way to help you determine where to dine out is to look at signature dishes. These are unique to each restaurant, and really show off what makes that restaurant special. At Guadalajara's Grill & Tequila Bar, we have a variety of signature dishes. These include traditional Mexican classics with a Guads twist as well as modern dishes unique to our restaurant.

These are just a few of our Mexican restaurant’s signature dishes:

Flaming Fajitas

One thing that sets us apart from our competitors is that we not only offer amazing food, but also an unforgettable experience. Our flaming fajitas are one example of this. Fajitas are a classic Mexican food dish, and we always make sure that we make our fajitas with high-quality meat and fresh grilled vegetables. However, we go beyond a delicious meal.

When you order one of our fajitas, you have the option to upgrade to a Tequila Flambé Fajita. You can pick a shot of any of our over 100 fine tequilas, and we will use it to set your fajita alight tableside. These sizzling tableside fajitas give you an experience with sights, sounds, and aromas that you will not soon forget.


A molcajete is a Mexican mortar and pestle made of clay. These are traditional vessels for serving Mexican cuisine, and our Mexican restaurant offers a variety of dishes served in molcajetes. These are piled high with fresh meat, seafood, and veggies. All our molcajete pots come with red bell pepper, green bell pepper, mushroom, and onions.

One of the most decadent dishes on our menu is our Molcajete Ultimo. If you can’t choose what meat you prefer, this includes chicken breast, shrimp, and steak cutlets all in one. If you are craving Mexican seafood, our Molcajete Mariscos includes scallops, shrimp, and fish. These dishes come with a side of our homemade tortillas.

Tableside Salsa

Our Mexican restaurant is perhaps most well-known for our tableside salsa. When you arrive, our salseras will come to your table dressed in traditional Mexican attire to make your salsa. We don’t serve boring salsa from a jar, but rather make our salsa right in front of you with fresh, local ingredients.

You can even choose what ingredients you do and do not want in your salsa. Our salseras will also ask you about your preferred level of heat, so you can have your tableside salsa mild, medium, or hot. We serve our tableside salsa with warm and crisp tortilla chips. The first bowl is always on us.

If you are looking for a Mexican restaurant with tasty signature dishes and an exciting ambiance, look no further than Guadalajara's Grill & Tequila Bar. Visit us at either of our two Tucson locations and see for yourself what sets us apart.

How to Cook the Best Meat on the Grill

There are few things tastier than a good piece of perfectly cooked meat. Tender, silky, and juicy. Enjoying a piece of properly cooked meat is one of the many simple pleasures that life can provide to the palate. This is especially if you prepare it on the grill, where it becomes a culinary star.

Cooking Meat on the Grill

Of all the cooking techniques, perhaps the most complicated of them all is that of the grill. It requires special attention when it comes to preparing it properly, since the slightest detour can spoil it. But achieving perfection is within everyone’s reach, especially if you respect the advice that Guads gives on how to cook a good piece of meat as written below.

An image showing different cuts of meat with text saying to always select Prime or Choice cuts

Step 1: Always use Prime or Choice meat.

At Guadalajara’s we use only Prime meat, but what does that mean?

For meat to be good, the type of animal and its diet will determine, in general, how soft or hard the meat is and the amount of fat it has.

The USDA (the agency the regulates agriculture, livestock, and food in the Unite States) determines four grades of quality beef: Prime (the best quality), Choice (high quality), Select (lowest quality), and Standard (the worst quality).

These grades of quality refer to the amount of marbling that exists in the meat cut. Marbling is the amount of internal fat that is inside the cut of meat (they are those fine white grains that the meat has), and determines the softness of the meat. The higher the degree of marbling, the higher the quality, and the smoother the cut.

The USDA classifies beef in two ways:

– Quality grades for tenderness, juiciness and flavor

– Degrees of performance for the amount of usable lean meat.

But what do these degrees of quality mean?

* Prime beef: Produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. It has abundant marbling (the amount of fat interspersed with lean meat). Prime roasts and fillets are excellent for dry cooking, such as roasting, roasting, or roasting.

* Choice beef: Has less marbling than Prime. The favorite roasts and steaks of the loin and ribs will be very tender, juicy, and tasty, and are suitable for cooking in dry heat. You can also cook many of the less tender cuts with dry heat so long as you do not overcook them. Such cuts will be more sensitive if you stew, roast, or simmer them with a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan.

* Select beef: It is of very uniform quality and is usually more lean than the superior qualities. It is quite sensitive, but because it has less marbling, it may lack the juiciness and taste of higher grades. You should only cook tender cuts with dry heat. For other cuts, you need to marinate them before cooking or stewing for maximum sensitivity and flavor.

* Standard / Commercial beef: Stores frequently sell this as ‘ungraded’ or as branded meat. Retail rarely sells the qualities of meat for general use, cutter, and packaging. Instead, other companies use them to make ground meat and processed products.

A graphic of meat being cut perpendicular to muscle fibers

Step 2: Cut perpendicular to the muscle fibers.

In Guadalajara’s we cut our own meat so that the meat is as tender as possible. The cut has to be perpendicular to the muscle fibers or grain and should never be done in parallel. In this way, we avoid the muscle fibers being too long and resistant, which makes the meat more tender.

One of the keys is having a well-sharpened knife that will not damage the fibers. Keep in mind that the bigger the grains, the more important the cut when it comes to getting a good flavor and proper hardness of the flesh.

From veal meat, we can make different pieces which are highly appreciated in the kitchen. One of the best cuts is the sirloin, which comes from the short loin of the veal or cow. If we have the whole sirloin, we will start by removing the fat from the outside and then the skin between it and the meat. Be careful not to cut too deep when removing fat, as it is always good to leave a little to maintain juiciness.

If we want is to remove fillets from the back, they are divided into three parts: head, center, and tip. The thickest part is the head. Fillets that you remove from here are chateaubriand. Those on the tip part are the smallest and are filet-mignon. Steaks from the center are turnedós.

From the hip, the round, the counter, or the counter, which are parts with excellent quality, we can also get steaks or steaks. We cut these into thin pieces 3 to 5 millimeters thick and always in the opposite direction of the grains.

Another highly-appreciated piece is the entrecôte. This is obtained from the lower back of the animal. Butchers cut it without removing the complexion or superficial fat. The ribeye and roast beef are removed from the high loin. You will need to debone the latter to roast in the oven. On the other hand, the ossobuco comes from the upper part of the leg by cutting transversely the meat of the hock in thick slices without bone.

A cooked filet with text saying to cook the meat following the instructions

Step 3: Cooking the meat:

A piece of meat, well grilled or grilled, has a pink interior color. Some people prefer that the meat is juicy inside and well done on the outside. However, there are others who like the piece to have a uniform color on all sides.

In any case, to ensure a good result, it is important to follow three steps.

It is essential that the surface you use (pan or grill) is very hot. While it is getting to temperature, we prepare the meat. We rub it everywhere with a generous jet of oil, season, and season to taste. Then, place it on the hot pan or grill.

1.- Brown the outside as quickly as possible and evenly on a greased plate and at a very high temperature.

2.- Partially cook the meat at a lower temperature (this step is obvious when the meat is less than one centimeter thick).

The cooking time will depend on the taste of each person, the point to be given to the meat, and the type of cut. As a general rule, a two-centimeter-thick piece needs one minute per side for ‘little done’ for ‘blue’, two minutes for ‘before the dot’ and four minutes for ‘to the point’. During the roast the juices come to the surface and, through them, you can check the status of the meat. When the juices start to come out, then the piece of meat is at a point between ‘little done’ and ‘to the point’. The darker the juices, the more cooked the meat is inside.

In any case, it is essential not to touch the piece of meat while it is roasting, nothing more than to turn it over. Once you roast it in its entirety, you remove it to a dish or source, place it in a warm place, and allow it to stand between a minimum of two and a maximum of five minutes. With this the piece is finished cooking and the juices are evenly distributed.

3.- Let it rest before serving. Once our piece of meat is ready, there is nothing left to do but enjoy it. To make the experience more pleasant, if possible, we must not forget the accompaniments.

A fajita next to text saying 'If you want to cut the meat to make fajitas...'

Step 4: Cutting to Make Fajitas

If you want to cut the meat to make fajitas, before cutting the meat, as already specified in step 3, it should be left to rest a few minutes so that the juices do not escape.

The resting time varies according to the cut and the size of the piece of meat. A roast, which are large pieces, should stand about 10 minutes, while a steak will be ready between 3 and 5 minutes, depending on the thickness. As a general rule, you should usually apply 1 minute of rest for every 100 grams of meat.

The next step will be to identify in which direction the muscle fibers or grains are distributed. In pieces like filet-mignon they are less visible, and it takes a bit more time to find them.

Final Steps for Preparing the Meat

Next, we will place the blade of the knife at an angle always opposite the direction of the fibers. We will start at one end of the piece to end up at the other.

And in this way, the meat will be ready to be served as fajitas with vegetables or mixed with seafood.