In October, I visited the Veracruz All Natural location in Round Rock, Texas for the first time. When you step into this charming café, you’ll notice the enticing smells of old Mexico. The smell of fresh corn tortillas, roasting vegetables, salsas, fresh fruit, and sizzling meats permeates the air. A friendly and knowledgeable staff and a café full of happy customers are a trademark of Veracruz All Natural. And finally, there is beautiful artwork by Paul Siegel of Simply Art gracing each of the walls.
Veracruz All Natural is known for their three unique salsas… The first is a tasty, creamy avocado salsa made with jalapeño peppers that is the least spicy. It has a mild heat that comes almost immediately. The second was a red salsa made with the diablo grande chili and it was the hottest of the three. It’s a slow heat that climbs up the back of your throat. It’s not outrageously hot where you would need milk to cool down your mouth! But my favorite was the Molcajete Roasted Salsa. The Molcajete consists of roasted tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro, onions, and a few other ingredients. Once they are roasted, the fruits and vegetables are placed in the molcajete, a mortar and pestle, and hand crushed to create this beautiful salsa.
The chorizo and egg taco began with a scratch-made corn tortilla that was generously filled with moist, delicate eggs and bold chorizo. The great thing about this breakfast taco is that it was packed with flavor without being greasy! That’s one of the things that they excel at Vera Cruz All Natural! Packing food and drinks with delicious flavor, while remaining healthy.
The Migas consisted of eggs, tortilla chips, avocado, pico de gallo, and cheese. It took Reyna months to perfect not only her Migas recipe, but the process for making them. The key is to keep the tortilla chips crispy within the eggs—and this can be a challenge! Another component is to use fresh ingredients that are complemented with harmonious seasonings. This makes for a fabulous taco—with or without salsa!
The La Reyna was created by and named after Reyna. It consisted of a fresh corn tortilla with egg whites, spinach, avocado, carrots, mushrooms, red bell pepper, pico de gallo, and cheese. The things that stuck out most in the La Reyna was the sweetness of the peppers and the earthy, meatiness of the mushrooms. Of course, I used the molcajete salsa on my taco. The overall combination had amazing, audacious flavors!
The scratch-made Chips and Guacamole were magical! The guacamole consisted of smooth chunks of avocados blended with tomatoes, cilantro, onions, lime, and salt. This brought back one of my fondest food memories, which was my Dad teaching me how to hand-make fresh guacamole.
The Fish Taco was comprised of a freshly made corn tortilla with grilled tilapia, cabbage, mango pico de gallo, avocado, cheese, chipotle mayo salsa, and a generous squeeze of lime. The tilapia has a mild fish flavor that took on the flavors of pepper and garlic. The lime was a beautiful addition that made me feel like I was eating something fresh off the boat. In addition, the flavor of the chipotle mayonnaise was outstanding and complimented the fish beautifully!
The Al Pastor Taco was comprised of marinated pork, cilantro, and onions. The pork was crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. It was cut thinly and placed into a soft corn tortilla. The fresh flavors of the cilantro and white onions marry well with the deep, smoky chili flavors of the pork! The mild Green Salsa was a nice addition to the taco. But when combined, they created a marvelous trip into old Mexico.
The Steak Torta consisted of steak, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and mayo and was served on an oblong 15 cm firm, crusty white sandwich roll. The steak was juicy and plentiful. In fact, I would say that this torta was remarkable! Next, I tried the Al Pastor Torta. It consisted of pork that was marinated in chili powder and pineapple. The pork and pineapple were generously piled on top of the large bolillo and tasted like heaven!
Veracruz All Natural is not limited to tacos and tortas! They started out as a trailer that provided natural fruit juices for snow cones. And they’re still making their juices along with agua frescas and smoothies. The Mango Tango was a creamy creation that consisted of low-fat yogurt with freshly cut mango. While the Berry Good smoothie consisted of freshly squeezed orange juice, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Both were outstanding and chocked full of fruity deliciousness!
Agua Fresca’s are light fruit drinks that are very popular in Mexico. They can consist of any fruit you can provide as well as a little bit of sugar. Agua Fresca’s often-times have additional ingredients such as cereal, flowers or seeds. I tried the Watermelon, Cantaloupe and Pineapple Agua Frescas at Veracruz All Natural. Each was as unique as its’ primary fruit, but with something extra!
I had a wonderful experience at Veracruz All Natural! So much so that I have already been back for taco’s and agua fresca’s. So what were my favorites? I had a few! The La Reyna, because its flavors were so bold. The Fish Taco, because it tasted so fresh with that squeeze of lime and the chipotle mayo salsa. The Mango Tango because it tastes tropical and mango is one of my favorite fruits! And finally, the Watermelon Agua Fresca because I love watermelon. Each was a hard decision to make because the food was all magnificent!