Marcos Campos knows firsthand that challenges are merely opportunities to test our faith. The chef and owner of La Casita Taqueria moved to Ohio from Indiana in 1996 for better job opportunities. That’s where he began his first business: tortilla making. After 13 years, he realized he needed a change and pivoted. Instead of just making tortillas, he opened La Casita, a Mexican street food taqueria stand and grocery store that also offers tacos, quesadillas, burritos and tortas to locals in Painesville.
“In Mexico, you can’t go half a block without seeing a taqueria street food stand,” Campos says. “I wanted to create something that I remembered seeing as a kid.” With just one tortilla machine, a few meats and a tiny selection of produce from the grocery store, he began crafting tasty dishes with his family in a small outdoor kitchen and treating guests to their meals on La Casita’s patio.
To make his al pastor tacos, Campos grills marinated pork lathered in adobo spices and house-made pineapple sauce over an open fire, with the juice from the pineapple glazing the cooked meat. A topping of house-made sweet and spicy mango habanero or chipotle sauce finishes most of his dishes. “Every chef says their tacos and food are authentic,” Campos says. “But customers actually get to watch us make their food in front of them and get an experience you would see at a street taqueria in Mexico.”
Click here to order up 30 of Cleveland’s best tacos. Plus, meet the Northeast Ohio restauranteurs mastering Cleveland’s new favorite dish.