Thursday, December 26, 2019

Why Mariachis

The screen shot above was taken from the ads section of the 1983 edition of La Pitahaya.  That's the name of the Martin High School yearbook, the subject for a future blog post.  In the lower right hand corner you see the ad for El Atomico restaurant.  One of their menu choices is mariachis, what we now commonly refer to as breakfast tacos.

One of my Twitter pals recently asked if the word mariachis was particular to Laredo.  It's a question that's long been presented, to which I say: if it's even a question, then it must be so.  But what of its origin?

Another social media friendly suggested that the word mariachi was first used at El Taquito Millonario, a small restaurant that's no longer in existence.

El Taquito Millonario used to be located at the corner of Santa Ursula and Sanchez.  Another location was farther east, near Cedar Ave.

For now we can trace the word mariachis back to the early 1980s.  And it lived well into the 2000s, as you can see from the last photo.  The 'lunch stand' on Market and Hendricks advertised breakfast mariachis.  (There might be a colon missing after BREAKFAST.)  I used this photo for a 2008 blog post.

The Laredo Taco Company has set the standard in local food offerings.  They set up shop at a well-known convenience store, preparing breakfast and lunch meals for people on the go.  Lines for their breakfast tacos were predictable, and their prices were hard to beat.  Now it seems that other establishments have followed suit: Raul's BBQ, Sunrise store (Market and Meadow), Tacos Ay Carbon, etc.

But as tacos filled with bacon and eggs, or chorizo con huevo, have remained a constant, the word mariachi has not.  The term has faded in the last ten years.  Perhaps that's owed to the Laredo TACO Company.  At any rate,  this Gen Xer recalls the days when mariachis was common in local parlance.

Mariachis.  It was once a Laredo thing.

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