Our Story

From 1974 to 2002, I was involved in a business in San Diego, California that required me to go across the border to Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico very often-sometimes 3 to 4 times per week. I started keeping kosher around 1983, but before that, I used to enjoy the street vending taco carts and the quick, cheap, and tasty Mexican food they served on every corner.  I also liked their style:  there was one guy working like crazy, trying to serve one freshly prepared taco, wrapped in wax paper to an entire sea of hungry men. There would be one little kid sitting on a stool with a pad and paper and he would count how many tacos each customer would consume and how many sodas and when they were satisfied, he would tally up their count and collect the money. Quite a scene of production, consumption, and accounting.

At the same time, tequila was very cheap in Mexico and for anywhere between $1.75 and $3.75, you could buy a bottle of excellent tequila. That was WAY before it became popular in the United States.  Single malt scotches were all the rage, but I always had a beer budget.

For a variety of reasons-too much for this narrative-I wound up in Los Angeles and started going to minyan every Friday evening.  Everyone was drinking scotch and I started bringing a bottle of tequila to our “Kiddush” after minyan.  After about 3 or 4 years of this, Pesach was approaching and my co-revelers were complaining that there was nothing to drink for Pesach except potato vodka, sugar cane rum, and shlivovitz. All good but not great. I asked why we could’t make tequila kosher for Passover and found the answer to be that we could! I went to Mexico, found an acceptable mashgiach and started making kosher for Passover Tequila.

But back to tacos. The mashgiach is a VERY nice guy and a rabbi. (When asked by my non-Jewish traveling companion how he should address him, he replied “your eminence”. Great sense of humor).  In our discussions, he mentioned that he had a customer in Mexico who had kosher taco carts. Bingo!  I came back to LA, went to a cart manufacturer and ordered a cart to be built. 

Then I found out about all the politics involved in making something acceptably kosher. It appeared that my background was not acceptable to MOST people to accept that I would keep things kosher. That’s when I had the bright idea to find someone who was “responsible” and acceptable. My dear friend Joel Weinberger, who provides kosher catering throughout the entire area, and who actually catered my daughter’s bat mitzvah in San Diego about 20+ years ago, accepted my phone call and came by to see the cart. With a twinkle in his eye, he said “I like it”.

And that as they as is history.

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