Pray For TACOS
Let’s Taco ‘bout it With Santos Guisados Tacos and Beer
By Dani Reeves
Question: How do tacos say grace?
Answer: “Lettuce pray.”
Cute, right? The truth is, at Santos Guisados Tacos and Beer, the motto really is “Pray for Tacos,” and a-MEN are your prayers answered with authentic Mexican flavors all wrapped up in handmade, corn masa tortillas!
Owner Eduardo Cordova gave Deluxe Version Magazine the ultimate tour of a fabulous addition to the thriving Downtown Las Vegas restaurant scene. “I always saw my restaurant Downtown,” says Cordova. “There is a magic about Downtown right now. And when I first saw the building, the windows reminded of the churches in Mexico.”
Sure, it’s easy to find tacos in Vegas, says Cordova, but what Santos Tacos is doing is different. “I wanted to really do something special, but I wanted to go deep into the culture,” he says. “‘Guisados’—slow-cooked meats—are wrapped in banana leaves and cooked for 12 hours. Guisados are very traditional. It’s a much longer process, but it brings an art to the food,” he says proudly.
Santos Tacos’ menu is full of recipes passed on from Cordova’s grandmother and mother. (Fact: Cordova’s aunt was making salsa the day of this interview.) Smiling as he talked about his childhood, Cordova says his family was very superstitious. “It’s a common thing in our culture for us to surround ourselves with saints and angels because we believe they help guide us. Santos means saints in Spanish.”
The restaurant is small and intimate but big on character, as Cordova’s playful side can be found throughout the space. During lunch, orders can be placed at the “Taconfessional” window while some of Cordova’s favorite saints—Saint Beyonce, Saint Gaga, Saint Elvis—are displayed on Santos’ Wall of Saints. Don’t forget to look for the Saint of the Day…which, the day of our visit, happened to be the late but so great Anthony Bourdain.
Santos Tacos is located on the corner of 7th and Carson in Downtown Las Vegas. It opens for lunch at 11 a.m., after 4 p.m. the restaurant becomes a full-service experience.
“I wanted to bring in the essence of growing up in Mexico, but wanted to also be playful with it,” says Cordova. We think he did.