Atlanta Orders In: DaniMarco Tacos has more to offer than just birria

This takeout order from DaniMarco Tacos includes a box of sides (rice, beans and elote); guacamole and chips; and (in the rear) a plate of tacos and a torta with birria. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
This takeout order from DaniMarco Tacos includes a box of sides (rice, beans and elote); guacamole and chips; and (in the rear) a plate of tacos and a torta with birria. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Credit: Wendell Brock

It begins with chips.

These aren’t standard-issue tortilla strips from a bag. They are the puffed up, shatteringly crisp, still warm corn chips that Daniela Guevara and Marco Saldierna fry to order at their Mexican pop-up, and season with lime and kosher salt while hot.

Made from fresh El Milagro tortillas, the chips come in a paper bag, which makes it easy to shake them up to disperse the salt. Dip one into the fresh, bright guacamole, and you may discover that a bag of chips is exactly what you want for supper. They are perfect in every way, a rarity for any Mexican restaurant in Atlanta.

Guevara, 26, was born in Tijuana, grew up in Los Angeles and has worked in restaurants since she was 15. “I’m definitely a cook. Don’t call me a chef,” said the spirited co-owner of DMT (DaniMarco Tacos).

I first saw her hustling at Falafel Nation in west Midtown, where she seemed to be the one-woman machine that made it all work — frying falafel and fries, stuffing pitas, working the cash register, asking if you had everything you needed.

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DaniMarco Tacos operates as a pop-up out of We Suki Suki in East Atlanta Village and Boggs Social & Supply in Westview. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
DaniMarco Tacos operates as a pop-up out of We Suki Suki in East Atlanta Village and Boggs Social & Supply in Westview. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Credit: Wendell Brock

Before that, she worked at Star Provisions and Bacchanalia. That’s where she met Saldierna, a Gwinnett County native who was studying at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, and had come home for an internship. The two hit it off, and, as the economic reality of the pandemic set in, they decided to become business partners.

They tested the waters with a torta tasting, advertised on Instagram and served out of their apartment.

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Daniela Guevara runs DMT (DaniMarco Tacos) with her partner, Marco Saldierna. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Daniela Guevara runs DMT (DaniMarco Tacos) with her partner, Marco Saldierna. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Credit: Wendell Brock

“All our friends are like, ‘Dude, this is actually great, I would buy this,’” Guevara recalled of the response to their simple sandwiches, made with queso fresco, pickled jalapeños, pickled onions, beans and grilled carne asada.

The vote of confidence led to an ongoing Wednesday night pop-up at Boggs Social & Supply in Westview. The rest of the week, they maintain a presence at We Suki Suki in East Atlanta Village. The menu at both spots includes tacos, mulitas (a Los Angeles taco-truck staple that’s like a loose, loaded, full-size quesadilla), tortas, sides and some sweets. A jumbo yeast doughnut, filled with horchata cream, has become a sensation.

The Wednesday I picked up my food at Boggs Social, Guevara was working solo in the kitchen, and she was hustling just like when I first noticed her at Falafel Nation.

DaniMarco Tacos makes doughnuts and conchas (a Mexican pastry topped with almond flour), both wonderful with coffee. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
DaniMarco Tacos makes doughnuts and conchas (a Mexican pastry topped with almond flour), both wonderful with coffee. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Credit: Wendell Brock

Back home, I devoured my tacos, and swooned over those chips. Built on two sturdy El Milagro tortillas, all the tacos were delicious; I especially liked a vegan one with crispy fried squash, and the birria.

Although birria tacos have become a thing in Atlanta, the birria I know is a goat stew slurped from a bowl at a counter inside the municipal market of Guadalajara, a fiery dish best enjoyed with a couple of cold ones.

The opinionated Guevara defines birria the same way. “People here have turned it into a fast-food item,” she said. “‘We’ll just get it in a taco to go.’ Now, it’s like people are expecting this orange taco with cheese on it. ... It’s gotten out of control, and now people think that, like, birria is a style of tacos ... and that is grinding my gears.”

But, she knows a moneymaker when she sees one. And, let me tell you, DMT’s birria and cheese tacos are superb. They impart such a crunch that I thought they might be deep fried. No, Guevara said, they are dipped in oil, then griddled to a crisp.

My only concern with DMT is that it may be habit-forming; why else would I find myself online every day, looking to see what’s on the menu?

Is there a restaurant you want to see featured? Send your suggestions to ligaya.figueras@ajc.com.

DMT (DaniMarco Tacos)

Menu: Mexican

Alcohol: no

What I ordered: guacamole and chips; shrimp, carne asada, carnitas, birria and squash tacos; a torta with birria; beans, rice and elote; a cinnamon sugar doughnut. Co-owner Daniela Guevara threw in a couple of conchas; they were wonderful the next morning with coffee. Overall, quite good and highly promising; don’t miss the chips and guac!

Service options: takeout and delivery via Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates and GrubHub; dine-in available Wednesdays at Boggs Social & Supply.

Outdoor dining: only at Boggs Social

Mask policy: everybody, always.

Address, phone: We Suki Suki, 479-B Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta; Boggs Social, 1310 White St. SW, Atlanta; 323-270-2520

Hours: 5-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays at We Suki Suki; 5-9 p.m. Wednesdays at Boggs. Hours can change on short notice; check Instagram for updates

Website: dmtacos.com

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