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Sierra Madre Taquería restaurant - Vigo, Spain

Daven Wu
8 Sep 2018

It’s almost a case of gastronomic reverse engineering when a taqueria opens in Spain, its MO an unabashed homage to Mexican street food.

Here, a former bar and cafeteria in a nondescript building in central Vigo has been reworked into Sierra Madre Taquería by Erbalunga. Taking its cue from the port city’s newfound buzzy vibe, especially in its haul of concert halls and lively bars, the Galicia-based studio applied layers of volumes over the relatively small space. The colour scheme is pure Mexico in the vibrant hues of burnt orange and sand which subliminally enlarge the scale, while translucency is achieved by way of geometric breeze bricks, hollow grid ceiling fixtures, and cut-out room dividers that lead the eye into a sequence of bijoux zones.

Executive chef Jose Fernández Cerqueira channels the slow food movement while adding contemporary touches to familiar Mexican standards. Nachos de la Sierra, for instance, may have its foundations in tortilla chips, guacamole and melted cheese, but pico de gallo, jalapeños and the smoky notes of barbecued meat add an unexpected depth. Meanwhile, tacos are rendered campechas-style with a mix of arrachera (a cut favoured in Mexico) and Spanish chorizo that’s finished with avocado cream spiked with lime, cilantro, radish and cheese.§