Deep Ellum’s Revolver Taco Lounge is loved by many for its incredible tacos. The ingredients are at times boundary-pushing for some who might not be used to it, like chingones escamoles de Oaxaca (ant larvae that tastes like butter). The spot consistently ranks among the best, here and elsewhere.
If you travel back a little bit, back into the restaurant, physically speaking, the story of Revolver gets more intriguing. In a reservation-only backroom called Purepecha, a reference to indigenous people of Michoacán, Mexico, chef and owner Gino Rojas and his mother, Juanita Rojas, serve an intimate, eight-course tasting menu in an inviting open kitchen (pictured above). Dinner per person is $135.
But the food is only half as interesting as the people behind it. In 2017, Gino Rojas sat down with Beth Rankin to talk about his journey, including crossing the border when he was only 15 with five neighborhood friends, after which he swore to become a citizen, vowing to never “walk again that much in my life.”
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He was eventually able to bring his parents to North Texas and helped his father, Arturo Rojas, set up his own business.
Arturo Rojas grew up in the state of Michoacán, Mexico, the son of a blacksmith and is now a world-renowned firearms engraver. Using a small chisel and hammer, he customizes guns by hand-etching silver and wood, creating intricate scenes and designs. Wine glasses hover near his workbench, which is behind a door in Purepecha.
VICE tell this story in a 7-minute video titled, "The Dishwasher Making Guns in the Back of a Mexican Restaurant," that really makes you want to hop on Open Table and grab a dinner spot ASAP.
Rojas’ story first appeared on VICE.com a few years ago, in a piece written by José Ralat, but a film crew recently came back out to do a follow-up story. It can be found on the VICE Specials website.