El Milagro Plants Deeper Roots in Austin.
Words by Jessica Devenyns Photos by Eric Morales
Whether you call them tortillas, taco shells, or Mexican bread, corn tortillas are the building blocks of tacos and a staple of Mexican cuisine: a staple that El Milagro has perfected over the years.
“In Mexico you have to go in every day to buy tortillas at the local tortilla factory. It’s like a bakery with fresh bread,” explains the founder’s son, Manuel Lopez, who manages the company’s R&D department.
Although this tortilla titan is based out of Chicago, he works closely with the factory in Austin. He says that their migration south of the Mason-Dixon line was a case of ‘right place-right time.’ The family business had just begun to roll out their plans for a new location when an industry friend mentioned that El Lago was selling its factory. “We visited several times and really enjoyed the visits,” Manuel recounts. On their last visit, “We brought our recipes and our menu there [to Austin]. So we did manufacture on 6th Street until about three years ago.”
Since then, manufacturing has moved to San Marcos, but Manuel adds, “Currently, our biggest market is still the Austin metropolitan area.” As Austin remains El Milagro’s bread and butter, Manuel wished to share some insight with the locals. “Our goal is to convert the 6th Street location into a taqueria,” he revealed.
Although this news is likely to send shockwaves through taco lovers, don’t start inviting people to Taco Tuesday here just yet. Manuel says that the taqueria won’t open its doors for another year or two. “We just don’t move that quickly sometimes,” he allowed. “Some people get a little frustrated by that, but that’s kind of our M.O.—trying not to over-extend ourselves, trying to do things the right way one step at a time.”
Must Try! A bag of freshly made corn chips are just $2.50. What’s not to love?