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Roberto “Beto” Correa opened his first taqueria at 3463 Lawrenceville Suwanee Rd. because, although Atlanta has its fair share of Mexican restaurants, he didn’t feel that there was enough of the “real thing.” Three years later, Correa is preparing to open a second Beto’s Tacos location at 4825 Sugarloaf Pkwy #3p in Lawrenceville in March, and is eyeing future locations in Alpharetta and John’s Creek.
“It’s a lot of traffic, that’s what we’re thinking, a lot of population,” said Correa of the upcoming location.
Beto’s carries 17 different taco varieties, including tortillas filled with “cochinita pibil,” pulled pork shoulder marinated and braised in achiote paste, orange juice, and lime; beef tongue tacos; Cabeza tacos, filled with meat from a cow head that’s slow-roasted until the meat falls off the skull; tacos filled with tripe, meat taken a cow’s stomach lining; tacos made from Mexican cactus (similar in flavor and texture to okra) with Oaxaca cheese and poblano peppers; a vegan taco made with grilled zucchini and bell peppers; and, of course, tacos al pastor with marinated pork. Every day, six different types of salsa are made in-house at Beto’s, including one made with chipotles, another with avocados and a classic pico de gallo.
“The reason we opened is to make sure we have real tacos, authentic Mexican in Atlanta. In California you have a lot of street tacos. In Atlanta, there are a lot of Mexican restaurants, but a taqueria is another thing,” Correa told What Now Atlanta. “Sure, there are fajitas and Tex-Mex, [but] we do authentic food, food that you’d eat in the street in Mexico. if you fly to Mexico, you’ll be able to see that people are making food by hand….when people come to our restaurant, they see the same thing.”
Like the Suwanee location, Beto’s in Lawrenceville will have an open kitchen where customers can salivate watching the ingredients of their orders combine into a filling, flavorful plate.
“I want people to see us cook and prepare,” said Correa. “I want people to see their food and smell it. And if we’re doing something wrong, I want to fix it.”
A selection of filling entrees traditional in Mexico City are also on the menu, like “choriqueso,” a portmanteau of the Spanish words for sausage and queso that sums up the dish entirely. Esquites, a salad made from Mexican street corn that is tangy, sweet, smoky and spicy all at once is another crowd-pleaser at the taqueria, as is “Beto’s potatoes,” made with steak fries, Mexican chorizo, queso fresco and melted queso. For a takeaway meal that you can finish later, try one of Beto’s imposing tortas, genuinely huge Mexican street sandwiches that sport more filling than bread. A number of stews, like caldo tlalpeño, menudo and pozole, are also served.
“We have a lot of different things that, in Atlanta, nobody makes it,” said Correa. “People come in because [they] want to see something different.”