Eccentric Houston joint, 100% Taquito, brings streets of Mexico inside

Asada Tacos ($5.99): Three Steak tacos are served on homemade corn tortilla with onions and cilantro. (George Wiebe/Community Impact Website)
Asada Tacos ($5.99): Three Steak tacos are served on homemade corn tortilla with onions and cilantro. (George Wiebe/Community Impact Website)

Asada Tacos ($5.99): Three Steak tacos are served on homemade corn tortilla with onions and cilantro. (George Wiebe/Community Impact Website)

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Chicharrones ($5.99): Large, fried pork rinds are served with four ounces of guacamole and four ounces of salsa. (George Wiebe/Community Impact Website)
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Chicken flautas ($4.99): Three small fried tacos with banderitas chicken are served with sour cream or fresco cheese. (George Wiebe/Community Impact Website)
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Mangonada ($4.79): Tinja Mango slush is served with a spicy mango lollipop straw (left). | Spicy Fruit ($3.69): The drink is made with a mix of mango, orange, pepino and chamoy. (George Wiebe/Community Impact Website)
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Marko Garcia founded 100% Taquito as a food truck in 1995. (George Wiebe/Community Impact Website)
Serving Mexican street food and drinks, the restaurant 100% Taquito is a bit of an oddity, owner Marko Garcia said.

Located off the Southwest Freeway in the Upper Kirby area, the eclectic eatery opened in 1995 as a food truck that also served as a University of Houston school project, Garcia said.

“We wanted to recreate the experience of eating on the streets of Mexico,” he said.

The food truck evolved into a full-fledged restaurant in 1998. The inside features Mexican iconography, a giant plastic skeleton, streetcar counters and a green taxi parked in the center.

The setting is not the only thing authentic. The menu features traditional sopes; tostadas; tortas; and taquitos, or “small taco” in English, the food item from which the restaurant gets its name.


To maintain the authentic Mexican taste, Garcia said he tries to stay away from “Tex-Mex,” which means no ground beef, no yellow cheese and little to no cumin in the seasoning.

In the kitchen, corn tortillas are handmade, and fresh fruit is used in many of the drinks, both those that are alcoholic and those that are not.

When it comes to dessert, the tres leches sponge cake is made with a rich cream top. Flan, a Mexican custard, rounds out the menu.

However, Garcia’s enthusiasm for authenticity did not always translate to success, he said.

“Things have changed dramatically,” he said. “When I first started, people walked out. ... I have Chihuahua-style cheese, and someone asked me if it was [made with] real chihuahuas.”

The public’s understanding of Mexican cuisine has come a long way since 100% Taquito first opened, Garcia said.

“Now, you have Americans asking for horchata. They know what Tajin means,” he said, referring to a Mexican company known for its chili pepper blend.

Garcia said he is happy to have played his part in bringing the trend of Mexican street food to Houston.

“I wanted everything to remind people of Mexico City,” he said.

100% Taquito

3245 Southwest Freeway, Houston

713-665-2900

www.100taquito.com

Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
By George Wiebe

Reporter, Bellaire/Meyerland/West University

George joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2021 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University's College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.