Tacos & Tequila Infuses Mexican Flavors into Fourth of July Standards

Matador Burger, sonoran hot dog lead holiday menu

The Matador Burger at Tacos & Tequila at Morongo Casino Resort & Spa highlights the July 4th menu.

Photo by Jim Powers


It may only seem like Mexican food has been around a long time.

It's true potential is still being discovered, according to Corporate Executive Chef Saul Ortiz, who heads Tacos & Tequila at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon.

"I don't think Mexican food has been fully revolutionized," Ortiz says. "We try to bring out the whole richness of the Mexican cuisine."

Even for the holidays.

With the Fourth of July approaching, Ortiz offers a traditional hot dog and hamburger. But this is not the burger or dog from your backyard grill.

Ortiz inserts the richness of Mexican cooking in each, like putting Haunted Chayote into the marination process of the fresh ground beef used in the hamburgers.

"The haunted chayote has been around hundreds of years, so to bring that marination into today's burger, you're having someone taste something hundreds of years old," Ortiz says. "We use traditional ingredients with modern presentation just to elevate the dish a little more."

The Matador Burger is topped with caramelized onions, and includes sautéed mushrooms, guacamole, a three-cheese blend of Gouda, Jack and Oaxaca, spicy Thousand Island dressing, lettuce and tomatoes and served on a freshly baked Bolillo roll.

The sonoran hot dog is wrapped with smoked bacon and is topped with jalapeño aioli, whole pinto beans, caramelized onions, pickled jalapeños, pico de gallo and mustard served on a freshly baked Bolillo roll.

The perfect compliment is chorizo cheese fries topped with caramelized Maggi onions, Mexican chorizo, Thousand Island dressing, T&T nacho cheese and cilantro.

Ortiz has been working in the kitchen for more then 15 years, honing his skills and learning a new perspective of Mexican cooking under Richard Sandoval, who crafted the idea of modern Mexican restaurants.

"He pretty much gave me the vision of the flavors in the food," Ortiz says. "After that, I haven't looked back."

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VIDEO: Watch Corporate Executive Chef Saul Ortiz cook up a Matador Burger.

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