“I’m very grateful to Miami and the neighborhood for accepting us; it is a blessing!” says Peña.
From a younger age, Peña was interested in meals and all of the other ways it could possibly be cooked. He instructed New Occasions that when his mom cooked for him he would instantly go to the kitchen and attempt to make a variation of the identical dish. He turned his ardour and curiosity into his profession and perfected his abilities through the years.
Rising up, Hernandez spent his after-school time in his household’s restaurant in Venezuela. His mom died when he was 11 and by the age of 14, he was answerable for the restaurant. He continued his journey in culinary faculty and gained expertise in Spain and Latin America.
The cofounders grew to become mates when Peña adopted Hernandez on Instagram and each discovered a typical curiosity in culinary types. In 2018 they lastly met in particular person. In the course of the pandemic, they made a weekly date to cook dinner collectively. Shortly after, the cooks, together with one other accomplice, began a meals truck enterprise.
“We began with two tables and the three of us labored collectively,” says Hernandez. “It was laborious and tiring as a result of we’d open the meals truck at evening after all of us completed our day jobs.”
Lately, Hernandez and Peña parted methods with the meals truck to start out Bandidos Taqueria. The cooks clarify how completely different it’s to run a restaurant and the way it provides them the liberty to discover and develop new dishes whereas holding the legacy they constructed alongside the way in which.
“Just like the meals truck, the chance fell from the sky,” says Hernandez. “In some methods, rather a lot has modified however the idea will not be utterly completely different. The seven unique tacos are nonetheless staples on the menu however now we will do extra. The dishes are extra elaborate and the presentation is best, we will embody extra dishes, and desserts, and the tacos are greater now as an alternative of the smaller avenue dimension.”
In February of this yr, Hernandez and Peña bought in a van and drove round California to check native taquerias and it modified their perspective. Combining their culinary backgrounds with what they discovered, the cooks crafted a menu for the neighborhood they inbuilt Miami.
“If it is as much as me I will supply the entire restaurant,” jokes Peña when requested what dishes company cannot miss when visiting the restaurant. “However I do one hundred pc suggest the veggie, fish, and pork stomach tacos; additionally fish aguachile, shrimp coctelito, and, on the candy notice, the flan with palomitas.”
Proper now, all of their focus is on this one location, which has solely been open since March 2022. However they confess to the dream of getting a bunch of window spots unfold round Miami, every of them promoting just one kind of taco.
“If you wish to eat the fish taco, you go to the seaside. For Calle Ocho, it will be pork and Brickell is for positive the veggie one,” says Hernandez. “It might even be a solution to honor the meals truck. The place we got here from to what we’ve got in the present day.”
Bandidos Taqueria. 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, at 7800 NW twenty fifth St. #15, Doral; 305-530-8899; bandidostaqueria.com.