A Look Inside Tarahumara Mexican Restaurant: Chihuahua-Style Gorditas, Tortas and More

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"Torta Special" with shredded beef, melted cheese, ham and avocado. | Photos by Mabel Suen
"Torta Special" with shredded beef, melted cheese, ham and avocado. | Photos by Mabel Suen

Tarahumara Mexican Restaurant (2818 Cherokee Street; 314-802-7398) opened on February 1 offering traditional Northern-style Mexican cuisine, including gorditas and more, in south city. The new restaurant fills the space formerly occupied by Siete Luminarias.

The concept, named after a northwestern Mexico Native American mountain tribe, comes from husband-and-wife duo Luis Navarro and Teresa Armendirez. According to Navarro, Tarahumara Mexican Restaurant's menu is unique to the area. It features Northern Mexican cuisine from his home state of Chihuahua, unlike many of the neighboring restaurants in the area which primarily highlight dishes from the southern region, he says.

Owner Luis Navarro.
Owner Luis Navarro.

For starters, Tarahumara's opening dish -- a recipe by Armendirez, who heads up the kitchen -- is a departure from the norm: "Salsa Tony" ($2.99-$4.99) comes served with freshly fried chips and features a blend of tomato, cilantro, pineapple and avocado. A "queso dip" ($4.25) combines hot, melted cheese with spicy chorizo.

From the entrees, choose from items such as Chihuahua-style charbroiled chicken, flautas, chilaquiles and two kinds of specialty gorditas featuring thick, pocket-style tortillas. Gorditas rojas ($3.50) features two housemade corn tortillas mixed with red peppers for its eye-popping color and filled with picadillo (seasoned ground beef), lettuce and tomatoes.

The menu.
The menu.

Gorditas de harina features housemade flour tortillas filled with your choice of poblano pepper, Chihuahua cheese and Mexican cream; shredded chicken, corn and Mexican cream; refried beans and Chihuahua cheese; or shredded beef in green salsa with chopped onions.

Tortas come served on crusty bread and include a "Torta Special" option with shredded beef, melted cheese, ham, avocado and salsa as well as a "Torta Hawaiana" with ham, Chihuahua cheese, avocado and pineapple. A Hawaiian-style burger is also available, along with a small kids' menu, agua frescas and "ChocoFlan" for dessert. Tarahumara's current hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Visit soon for a larger, revised menu featuring tacos, burritos and more.

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