David Parks first fell for taco stand culture at 18 when his lack of a summer job and love for his Intro to Spanish class landed him in Mexico. Since then he’s been spending time there on-and-off for about 20 years, learning and enjoying the ins and outs of authentic Mexican cuisine along the way. “I love the food and and I love the culture. Taco stand culture and cantina culture, it’s a very joyous, celebratory sort of alive appreciation of food,” says Parks, who’s channelling that vibe with his La Cantina Taco Stand, an evening of real deal Mexican eats.
This Thursday brings ranchera music, old telanovelas, piñatas, aguas frescas and his flavour-heavy charcoal-cooked meat, veggie and vegan tacos to Pat’s Kitchen (5530 Kaye Street), a cafe by day that’s all about sharing its space with pop-up events and restaurantless chefs. “It’s as Mexican as your can get north of San Antonio,” laughs Parks, who likens himself to a Mexican grandmother when it comes to cooking, whether it's for his family or all of your hungry mouths—all tradition, no corner-cutting. “Anything on a tortilla can be called a taco, but my commitment is to bring authentic Mexican tacos, like you’d find in taquerías. You won’t be seeing a donair taco at La Cantina.”
As of now, this taco stand’s a one-time deal—from 4 to 9pm, Thursday, May 28— but judging by buzz, a second serving of La Cantina might be a necessity. Mas tacos, por favor.