November 28, 2022


The Food Universe

Dominican street food stand Picadera is going strong after a year at North Texas brewery pop-ups

Substantially like other pop-ups by younger business people locating results in Dallas, Michael Tavarez’s Picadera — a Dominican avenue food stuff strategy — all commenced by consulting his mother for recipes when he grew to become homesick for food.

Right after shifting from Queens, New York to Dallas in 2016 for his household solar panel business, Tavarez observed a profusion of tacos, barbecue and Tex-Mex, but a deficiency of bagels, halal trucks, and New York-design pizzerias.

The food he most keenly missed, while — aside from his mother’s cooking, of class — had been sandwiches and other handheld snacks from the Dominican corner merchants, or bodegas, in which he grew up working. His relatives owns a chain of this kind of markets, referred to as Fantastic Fare Supermarkets, scattered in the course of Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx, and his link to the Dominican Republic truly run even deeper: His cousin, Luis Abinader, is the Caribbean nation’s current president, he claims.

Since coming to Dallas, Tavarez has conceived his personal style of Dominican avenue eats primarily based on his mom’s direction and on the internet cooking movies. He provides his personal tweaks with Texas-level spice and amalgams of Mexican, Cuban and Philly fare, all of which he diligently offers with miniature Dominican flags and cocktail umbrellas.

When the coronavirus pandemic suspended Tavarez’s solar panel business enterprise, anything he sees nowadays as “a blessing and a curse,” he begun marketing Picadera functions at Dallas and Arlington breweries on Instagram with the hashtag #IAmNotAChef.

Tavarez claims it was intimidating to launch a food organization in Dallas the 12 months following it was named The Restaurant Town of the Year by Bon Appetit journal. But with the acceptance of his mother, who professed he cooks better than her now, and the encouragement of mates, who have been like, “dude, you will need to do this,” Picadera’s initial event was April 26, 2020 at Celestial Beer Functions.

A 12 months afterwards, Picadera is at Deep Ellum Distillery on most Thursdays, and at Authorized Draft Beer Company in Arlington on some others. Tavarez and his fiancé Jennifer Weil are also usually at Pegasus Town Brewery in the Design District on Sundays, and at Peticolas Brewing Company Taproom and Trinity Cider on other times. Tavarez says the very best way to adhere to his timetable is on Instagram or by signing up for email notifications by means of his web page at

Suy Dinh and Tien Ngo run SuTi Craft Distillery in Kennedale, Texas.
The chimichurri burger at Picadera is a Dominican street burger typically served on pan de aqua with a mayo-ketchup sauce.
The chimichurri burger at Picadera is a Dominican street burger typically served on pan de aqua with a mayo-ketchup sauce.(Michael Tavarez)

No make any difference where by he is, he reports “massive success” at just about every party. Amongst the crowds, Dominican People usually come to inform him they not long ago moved to Dallas and have been looking for Dominican foods. And he continuously hears, “This is the ideal chimi burger I have at any time experienced.”

To make his chimichurri burger, a Dominican avenue burger normally served on pan de aqua with a mayo-ketchup sauce, Tavarez taps relatives connections again residence to import Dominican oregano, a finer, more robust spice than normal oregano. He spikes his “secret sauce” with jalapeños and habaneros for Texans who like it spicy, and he uses a Mexican bolillo bread because he preferred the condition, and “it’s as near as I was likely to get in this article,” he says.

Relatives also sends a thicker edition of Dominican vanilla for baking airy yet milky tres leches cupcakes, as nicely as Baldom Ranchero Sazon Criollo Adobo, a Dominican seasoning that not even Amazon can hold in inventory.

Michael Tavarez runs Picadera, a Dominican street food concept in Dallas, with his fiance Jennifer Weil.
Michael Tavarez runs Picadera, a Dominican road meals concept in Dallas, with his fiance Jennifer Weil.(Rafael Canales)

Tavarez will get specifically resourceful with plantains. “Dominicans are commonly named platanos. We have figured out how to use plantains in a million unique methods,” he suggests.

He the natural way presents tostones, deep fried eco-friendly plantains — a staple during the Caribbean and South The usa. His Domini-Mex creations include things like hard and smooth taco shells created from mashed plantains, and he takes advantage of a lime squeezer to make petite plantain shells for tostones relleno de pollo guisado — tostones stuffed with stewed rooster and topped with pickled cabbage, queso blanco, and magic formula sauce.

Also at Picadera gatherings, supporters may discover NYC chopped cheese sandwiches, a generation that came out of a Dominican bodega in Harlem. Tavarez calls it New York’s response to a Philly cheesesteak, and he features the option to add fried mozzarella sticks to the burger and onions that arrive on a hoagie.

Not long ago, he’s introduced mofongo, a Puerto Rican dish adopted by Dominicans that consists of a mound of deep fried plantains included in chicken stew. Tavarez delivers it in the traditional design and style, as well as with Dominican picadillo, spiced ground beef.

With the achievements of the past yr, Picadera has turn out to be Tavarez’s enthusiasm: “I have people who enjoy it, and I just can’t let it go.”

He by now has traders who’ve expressed desire in a Picadera brick-and-mortar, but Tavarez suggests he would like to take it gradual as he proceeds to acquire details on what entices men and women to arrive to pop-ups.

In the meantime, he’s dreaming significant. In addition to a cafe with a good bar and hookah lounge, he also needs to open up a Dominican grocery shop with all the products he just can’t discover listed here.

“I’m executing this for our people today,” Tavarez says, “to give them somewhere to go a single or two occasions a week to mingle and make close friends, and to give them a feeling of household that we have been lacking below for awhile.”

Comply with Picadera at

Ivan Orkin, who started cult-followed ramen shop Ivan Ramen, hasn't moved to Texas. But his food is now available in Dallas and Fort Worth, thanks to a partnership with Blue Sushi Sake Grill, which is serving as Ivan Ramen's ghost kitchen.