Del Fuego Taqueria

By Temple Ruff | June 20, 2016
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Del Fuego Taqueria (Credit: Del Fuego Taqueria / delfuegotaqueria.com)

Emphasizing both Mexican culinary tradition and locally sourced ingredients, Del Fuego Taqueria has brought a unique dining perspective to Magazine Street. Opened in June 2014, the restaurant has garnered well-deserved attention for its fresh flavors and inventive combinations.

Chef and owner Dave Wright takes great pleasure in showing guests that “Mexican food isn’t just nachos and ground-meat tacos.”

“I grew up surrounded by great Mexican food in California,” says Chef Wright, “and I wanted to broaden people’s ideas of what Mexican food is and can be.”

Del Fuego’s notable dishes include:

Pescado con Mojo de Ajo: sautéed fish with chile-spiked summer squash, roasted garlic olive oil and jumbo lump crabmeat

Ensalada Verde de la Diosa: mixed greens with cherry tomatoes, onion, chile peppers and a Mexican Green Goddess dressing

Cabrito Tacos: barbacoa-style goat with habanero salsa and corn tortillas

Elotes: roasted corn on the cob with chipotle chile mayonesa and queso

At Del Fuego, wild-caught local seafood (including Gulf shrimp, drum, tuna and swordfish) and locally sourced meats (such as Two Run Farm’s cabrito, chorizo, carnitas and lengua) are central. In addition, salsas (seven options in all) and tortillas are all made fresh—small-batched in-house.

The drink menu, created by head bartender Shannon Solomon, also features fresh-squeezed juices—changing in accordance with availability and seasonality. Diners can enjoy non-alcoholic aquas frescas and (more potent) margaritas with local cucumber, strawberries, watermelon and more. The bar also stocks Cathead Vodka, Old New Orleans Rum, LA1 Whiskey and other local liquors, as well as a selection of beers from Abita and NOLA Brewing.

Del Fuego is not only participating in this month’s Eat Local Challenge, it embraces this dining approach year-round. The restaurant emphasizes and lists regionally sourced ingredients, as well as features a rotating selection of “completely local” dishes.

“This allows guests to see how easy it is to continue eating and drinking more sustainable, locally produced foods, even after the Eat Local Challenge is over,” says Wright.

Del Fuego is also unique in its overarching approach to sustainability. The restaurant recycles or composts around 80% of its waste, including glass bottles. It invests in environmentally friendly to-go cups and containers as well.

“We’re very proud of our recycling and composting programs,” he says. “Since opening, we’ve composted over five tons of scraps and leftovers that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.”

Del Fuego’s support for community well-being extends beyond its in-house efforts and focus. The team actively supports a number of local organizations, including the LA/SPCA, Hogs for the Cause (in conjunction with Team Sweet Swine O’Mine), and 610 Stompers (who are currently benefiting both Angel’s Place and STAIR).

“We’re proud to be from New Orleans,” Wright says. “Any opportunity to lend our talents in supporting the community is an honor.”

Locally minded, creatively driven and always inviting, Del Fuego Taqueria is ready to host your next dining excursion. Weather permitting, outdoor seating (front porch and back patio) is available. To stay up to date on the restaurant’s community involvement and featured menu items, follow Del Fuego on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Photo 1: Margaritas (Credit: Del Fuego Taqueria / delfuegotacos Instagram)
Photo 2: Lump Crabmeat-Shrimp-Mahi Tamale with Mole Verde and Gaspacho Salsa (Credit: Del Fuego Taqueria / delfuegotacos Instagram)
Photo 3: Back Patio at Del Fuego (Credit: Del Fuego Taqueria / delfuegotacos Instagram)
Photo 4: Taco Plate (Credit: Del Fuego Taqueria / delfuegotacos Instagram)
Article from Edible New Orleans at http://edibleneworleans.ediblecommunities.com/eat/del-fuego-taqueria
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