La Morena Taqueria sits in a run-down strip of buildings alongside Interstate 35 in Lake Dallas, Texas. The restaurant is sandwiched between a gas station where no one ever stops, a tattoo parlor with blacked out windows and two liquor stores. It is not impressive looking, inside or out.
But I love it. Man, I love it. Of course the tacos are great (as are the burritos, quesadillas, tortas and on and on), far tastier than the fast options for Mexican food near SUCCESS headquarters. But there are other places nearby where I could get authentic tacos. Instead I keep coming back to this place because I prefer to give my lunchtime dollars to Mario and his mom, Maria Carmen, for whom the restaurant is named (morena means brown-skinned woman in Spanish).
The fact is, it makes me feel better when I shop and dine at small businesses, especially a place like this, where I can see the passion and love that goes into the food and even have a relationship with the owners who put their lives into their work. Their English isn’t great, and neither is my Spanish, but we make it work, and we’ve become friendly.
With Small Business Saturday around the corner, it’s important to take care of the people whose energy and effort make our communities the special places that they are—people like Maria Carmen. Because La Morena can cook.
La Morena Taqueria
305 W Hundley Drive
Lake Dallas, TX 75065
Editor’s note: This article is one in a series highlighting Small Business Saturday, a U.S.-nationwide event that encourages shoppers to buy locally on Saturday, Nov. 29. SUCCESS is celebrating by showcasing some of our favorite small businesses around the country—what makes them special to us, why we keep coming back and why we want them to stick around. Will you join the movement to support your favorite neighborhood shop?