Is there a perfected burrito technique

Maíz: Taco me mucho!

Until now, word has hardly got around that Mexican cuisine is about the best in the world and that the product fetishism of Mexican cooks (not to mention the variety of kitchen techniques and seasoning combinations) makes even Italian nonnas look rather old. Unlocking a real tortilleria and taqueria in Vienna is not a mowed meadow.

Fortunately, Tyroleans are literally stubborn, even after 27 years in New York and Los Angeles. Monika Sims is one of them, which is why she has a wet mill for fresh lime water every day after her return (a weak calcium hydroxide solution, note) bought corn to be soaked and simply opened it in early September.

The former Roots on Schönbrunner Straße has been rebuilt so that there is space for the mill and every taco is freshly pressed, baked and filled behind a Budel. On the wall shelf is a cookbook by Enrique Olvera, the god of modern Mexican cuisine, for the pleasant further education of the guests.

Nixtmalization, the soaking of dry corn kernels in lime water, has been practiced in Mexico since Mayan times and changes the structure of corn in such a way that essential vitamins for the human organism are broken down and the dough has good adhesive properties.

Tortillas made from freshly ground corn are the gold standard in Mexican cuisine. They just mean that you have the choch of the maize water every evening and the one to grind it in the morning. For Monika Sims that was always the only option: if so, then right.

Originally, she only wanted to press and sell tortillas at all, so that the dear Viennese could make their own barbacoas, carnitas, cochinitas pibiles and other grilled and braised dishes, including salsas and other fixings. In California, where Mexican cuisine has been established as desirable for decades, you can.

Barbacoa from the leaf

Fortunately, Sims ’Viennese friends have noted that we must first find a state of the art for this kitchen and that it is advisable to start with it on the spot. Which is why there are now three types of tacos (one of which is vegetarian) from Monday to Friday, initially only at noon, for which you queue up at the Budel.

Lambacoa, for example, marinated in ancho chile sauce, wrapped in banana leaves and slowly cooked all night long, has a fantastic depth of flavor. Adobo from the brisket disintegrates into juicy fibers, is just as slowly braised with anchos and guajillo chiles, orange juice, cinnamon, anise, cloves and other spices - it explodes on the palate thanks to the combination with vinegar onions, habañero salsa, and all sorts of crunchy foods Vegetables.

With their rich, roasted corn flavor and delicate consistency, the tortillas by no means push themselves forward, but they confidently lift the fillings onto the pedestal they deserve. Pumpkin and black beans are braised with dried avocado leaves, epazote, fresh jalapeño and more - at least as good as the fantastic pork chilorio, which is first cooked and then fried in lard with whole guajillos, bay leaves, Mexican oregano and vinegar.

For the time being, you drink Corona or Mexican sodas and cola with all of this. If everything is going well, the door should also be unlocked in the evening - then Jeffrey Sims is planning to make greater use of his cocktail expertise, which he has perfected in New York bars. (Severin Corti, RONDO, September 18, 2020)

Google map: Current restaurant reviews in Vienna

Local in Austria: Severin Cortis collected restaurant reviews

Maíz
Schönbrunner Strasse 32
1050 Vienna
Tel .: 0677/624 65 335
Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm
2 tacos 9.50 euros, 3 tacos 11.50 euros, extra taco 2.90 euros

Photos: Gerhard Wasserbauer