Inside Dining

 Inside Dining

Taqueria Mixteca is a relaxed and casual gem of a restaurant built on hard work, family tradition and homemade recipes.

By Ginny McCabe

With two Dayton-area locations, the original location, which opened in 2005, sits in the heart of the Huffman Historic District at 1609 E. Third St. in Dayton. The family-owned and operated establishment has a second restaurant in Trotwood, at 2190 Shiloh Springs Road, that opened in 2012.

“I’ve always dreamed of having a business and being a good mother to my children,” says Martha Guzman, owner of Taqueria Mixteca. “We have been able to build this into a successful business that customers enjoy.”

Whether customers are eating at Taqueria Mixteca for the first time or they eat there frequently customers always leave happy and satisfied, she says.

Taqueria Mixteca has grown into a popular hot spot for regular clientele as well as for many local customers from Greater Dayton who hear about the restaurant by word-of-mouth. Both locations are busy for lunch and dinner.

The restaurant also specializes in catering. It has several corporate and business customers in the Dayton area who place sizeable catering orders regularly.

“Our food is homemade, everything is made fresh,” says Alex Mejia, manager of the Dayton location, who shares the responsibilities with his brother Paco Mejia. “Some of our recipes are my grandmother’s recipes. We use her shredded chicken recipe and we use her recipe for our mole sauce. It’s one of the only recipes in the world that has chocolate and jalapenos in it. We also make our own Mexican sausage from scratch,” he says.

I visited the Dayton location on a weekday for lunch. I started with chips and salsa, which were delicious. Then, I ordered a lunch special, which included a Poblano Pepper and Flauta. The entrée is served with beans and rice. The lunch specials are served Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The prices are reasonable, starting at $6.25 and up.

Once inside the Dayton location you seat yourself with the choice of a booth or a table. The wait staff brings chips and salsa right away. Whether you want a specialty dish or hope to try something new, the staff knows the menu well and is eager to make recommendations.

After lunch, I had an opportunity to ask Guzman (Alex’s and Paco’s mom) how she makes the Poblano Pepper and she shared her secret.

“You have to cook the pepper first, take the peel off and take the seeds out. Then, you fill it with cheese. You put flour and egg on it and then you fry it,” Guzman says.

Another specialty item on the menu is the Monster Burrito, which is described as “This huge burrito is filled with your choice of meat, beans, lettuce, cheese, cilantro, onions and sour cream. Grilled to perfection.” It sells for $14.99. Extra meat is available for $1.29.

“We came out with a new menu a couple of years ago and we added the Monster Burrito. It weighs almost 4 pounds. It’s a popular item,” Mejia says. “A customer gave us the idea for the Monster Burrito because he wanted a bigger burrito.”

Shrimp Campochanos are also a popular item. This dish comes with grilled steak or chicken that is paired with eight shrimp. It is cooked with onions, jalapenos and mushrooms. Then, it is topped with chorizo and Taqueria Mixteca’s special cheese sauce and served with rice, beans and tortillas for $13.99.

The Fresh Drinks—pineapple, sugar and water or cantaloupe, sugar and water—are also in demand. During the summer, Fresh Drinks with strawberry and watermelon are available. Homemade churros, a Mexican pastry with Bavarian cream and caramel, are a must-have dessert.

“We’re so loved here. Everybody likes us, and everybody loves the food. It’s good to hear because everywhere I go I hear from our customers how much they love it. We’ve been here for so long people already know who we are,” Meija says.

The Dayton location is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hours at the Trotwood location are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., closed on Monday.

I’d highly recommend Taqueria Mixteca. The food is excellent, the prices are fair and the staff is friendly and welcoming. If you’re not already a repeat customer give them a try. You’ll be glad you did.