URBANA’s Chef Has All the Tips And Tricks to Spice Up Your Next At-Home Taco Tuesday

Give Your Friends Something to Taco Bout at Your Next Dinner Party With These Tips From URBANA

Written By: Reed Ryley Grable
Photographed By: Marivic Divina Taco Night Tips

The Anaheim Packing District is home to the Dia-de-los-Muertos-themed Mexican gastronomy URBANA. Dawned with skeleton puppets on the ceiling, portraits of women with painted faces and colorful skulls throughout the restaurant, URBANA flashes its heritage and screams authenticity. The moody ambiance goes hand in hand with the cantina’s funky flavors. URBANA’s tacos deliver a tasty take on authentic Michoacan street food, while their “sexy” craft cocktails provide contemporary twists on the classics. Chef Ernie Alvarado has all the tips to make your next at-home taco night the real deal. 


1 | You Need to Knead That Corn Taco Night Tips

First, you need to make your tortilla. Chef Alvarado’s preferred type is corn. “It takes a long time to make, but it’s worth it in the end,” he says. While it’s easier to mix store-bought masa harina with water, Chef Alvarado opts to grind corn in water, which is an overnight process. Once the corn absorbs the water, then you knead it and flatten it on a tortilla press. The result is a golden, flaky shell.


2 | Pro Tip: Get Protein Taco Night Tips

What’s a taco without a protein? Don’t go to those major supermarkets; instead, go to your local butcher and pick out a fine cut of meat! You won’t regret it. URBANA’s choice cuts range from arrachera steak, filet mignon and, for the veggie lovers, cauliflower. Chef Alvarado’s preferred choice is the ever-classic carnitas.

Native Knowledge: Much of the food is inspired by URBANA owner Javier Cuadra’s upbringing in the Michoacán region of Mexico. Michoacán cuisine is particularly known for having a more reserved style that is influenced by the subdued and subtle, as opposed to the spicy and intense. 


3 | Suss the Importance of Sauce Taco Night Tips

Soon, you must drizzle that taco with a salsa. For that homemade, special treat of a taco, why not make your own salsa with seasonal chilies and veggies? Like URBANA, you too can make a salsa that gives a kick to your taco. Want something spicy? Habanero is the way to go. Want to keep it classic? Pico de gallo is always a good option. Want something green? Salsa verde is your zesty go-to!

4 | Put Your Love on Top

Sure, you can put some onion on that taco, maybe some lettuce, and several bits of chopped tomato, but these toppings aren’t going to make your palate scream with joy. Push past the uninspired and move to the exciting! Your taste buds will thank you if you throw pickled red onion on there, sprinkle micro cilantro or even pickled cucumber, much like URBANA does with their tacos.


5 | Say Cheese

The final ingredient to complete that delicious homemade taco is cheese. Choose the perfect cheese to compliment that juicy meat. “Queso fresco is a good choice for the carnitas,” says Chef Alvarado. Or, even better, give queso Oaxaca a go, and grill it directly onto the tortilla for a unique and inspired twist. 

Native Knowledge: Sitting in the kitchen of URBANA is a little red maraca dotted with a yellow design. Chef Alvarado peeked his head out the kitchen door and gave it a good shake. “Any time an order is ready, we give this a shake so the customers know,” he explains.

URBANA Mexican Gastronomy
440 S Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92806

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