Boca adds adventure to classic Mexican cuisine
It had the texture of fish and tasted like the baby of a chicken and a cow. It was delightfully smoky and sauteed in a way that disguised that fact that it was a silkworm taco, served only at Boca Tacos and Tequila.
Every Wednesday, Boca serves exotic tacos like kangaroo, marlin, jellyfish, python and alligator.
Owner and head chef Maria Mazon opened Boca in June 2010, after deciding to close her catering business and open up a physical location. She said she started Boca because of her pride and love for Mexican food.
Mazon perfects the simplicity of the taco; every taco comes with fresh cabbage and homemade guacamole as well as a variety of salsas that include the classic pico de gallo or the surprising banana habeñero. The tacos are all served on plastic cutting boards with your choice of corn or flour tortillas.
The exotic taco meat night was just an idea at first, Mazon said, but because they garnered so much attention, the nights continued.
Lydia Stern/Daily Wildcat Maria Mazon, owner of Boca, prepares a plate of fresh salsas to accompany hot tacos.
“Exotic just became an idea,” she said. “It worked for the first month. We needed to draw attention, and not in the negative way.”
Every exotic meat is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and it’s always fresh. There isn’t even a freezer at Boca, Mazon said.
Although she takes precautions to make sure she serves only the highest quality meat, there has been much controversy over some of the meats she has tried to serve.
“I respect the animals,” Mazon said. But a few years ago, the restaurant tried to serve lion. After posting about it on Facebook, Mazon received complaints, calls and even death threats. Now if customers want to know what the meat of the week is, they have to call, she said.
Over the years, Boca has served nearly “every single animal testicle there is,” Mazon said.
If the strange meats sound too weird to try, Boca also serves a variety of classic Mexican fare, including a version of the Sonoran hot dog. Every day from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Boca has a different happy hour special, including $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon beer with $1 carne asada tacos on Thursday and $2 tequila shots on Tuesday.
On the menu next week: cricket tacos.