Since Austin transplant TACODELI set up shop at 1902 Washington Ave. in April, they’ve done a heated business at breakfast and lunch (they close at 3pm) – and one of the hottest things on the menu is the restaurant’s famous Doña Sauce, a creamy jalapeno concoction that takes their tacos to the next level. (Editor’s note: Order the Heather [grilled queso fresco, organic refried black beans, guacamole, lettuce, tomato] and the Pollo Fantastico [shredded chicken, roasted green chile sauce, crema mexicana, green onions] and thank me later).
Created by Austin employee Bertha Gonzales in response to a company contest issued by founder Robert Espinosa, the “Doña“ is a velvety and spicy original salsa that won the competition. After its introduction, the salsa became an immediate hit with Tacodeli customers.
Gonzales joined the Tacodeli team about a month after they opened their first restaurant in Austin in 1999. A very talented Mexican cook, she ran a taco truck in her native Veracruz, Mexico, before moving to the US. The team had already started calling Gonzales “Doña,” a title of respect; the salsa affirmed the title.
Today, Doña Bertha still works at the original restaurant and is still very much a linchpin of the Tacodeli culture on the culinary side and an integral member of Tacodeli’s close-knit community. Soon the whole country will know: three of Tacodeli’s salsas, including the Doña, just entered WHOLE FOODS stores.