Betty Calderon-Villasenor's demeanor is sweeter than the condensed milk that goes in her agua horchata.
But that's not the only reason to go visit her at BMC Market, her Mexican grocer/taquería. You should go for the ultra-authentic tacos which recall the flavours of her home city of Morelia, in the central Michoacán state of Mexico.
BMC Market on south Osborne is colourful and easy to spot. (Mike Green)
"I can say this very proudly; that we are the first ones in town to serve these kinds of tacos - it's very simple and very tasty like we have back home," Calderon-Villasenor said.
"As a Mexican, it is something that we were missing here - the tacos, for us it is huge."
While the Dubon family of JC's Tacos and More could argue that Calderon-Villasenor is not the only authentically made Mexican tacos in town, I'll tip my hat to her for bringing a little piece of central Mexico to south Osborne.
BMC Market opened two years ago as a small store specializing in Mexican imports. It wasn't until five months ago that Calderon-Villasenor, along with her husband Rigoberto Colin-Camorlinga, started using those products to make some damn fine tacos which celebrate simplicity.
For a measly five bucks you can get three tacos which Calderon-Villasenor will build before your eyes.
She starts with handmade tortillas, then comes the slow braised meats, raw onion, cilantro and a choice of five homemade salsas from mild salsa verde to the muy picante habanero.
Flan is on the menu for those looking for something sweet. (Mike Green)
They are all as Mexican as you can get, but if you want even more authenticity go to BMC on the weekend when tamales (her grandmother's recipe) and beef tongue tacos hit the menu.
"I think the customers who come here, come here with an open mind and they want to try something different," she said. "Some people say the beef tongue is not for me but my daughter [who is 11], she is a picky eater and she loves it."
With only word of mouth advertising, along with a Facebook and Twitter account, BMC has found comfortable little home in the neighbourhood, with regular customers becoming mainstays on her limited seats.
"12 years ago when I came here this was my dream, to have this store," Calderon-Villasenor said. "I like to be with people and share our culture and all those things, but my husband was saying that maybe this is not the time, maybe there are not enough Mexican people here. But it is right, because surprise, these Canadians like Mexican food."BMC Market is located at 722 Osborne Street.
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