From the minute Fernanda Reyes opened her pop-up stand at the Overland Park Farmers’ Market a few years ago, guests started clamoring for her gourmet street tacos. Each week, the queues grew exponentially. That’s when Reyes and his partner Brian knew they were onto something, eventually opening Taco Naco KC Market & Taqueria in downtown Overland Park.
Not only has Reyes’ menu evolved significantly over the years, but the Taco Naco team has also significantly expanded its alcoholic cocktail offerings.
There are a few super secret items that Reyes only uses for his staff or for special occasions. “If I have friends here, or a private event, I will serve them,” she said. “But, until now, these two articles have never been made available to the public.”
The first is Reyes’ famous soft-shell crab taco, which she says was inspired by her summers on the beaches of La Paz, Baja California. “Every day I woke up to the noise of the kitchen and the smell of flour tortillas freshly baked by my grandmother,” she says. “Fishermen would bring freshly caught blue crab right to your doorstep. My grandmother and I would spend the morning chatting and meticulously separating the blue crab meat from the shell.
Nostalgia aside, she’s happy to unveil it now if guests ask. “It’s one of Taco Naco KC’s best kept secrets,” she says. “I fry a crab and put it on a Yoli flour tortilla with chipotle aioli, garlic mayonnaise, purple cabbage and lots of salsa.”
While you’re at it, she says you might as well try another low-key item — her Spanish Carajillo cocktail.
“It’s a delicious digestive made with espresso coffee and Liquor 43, which contains 43 mild spices and is served over ice. I crave it all the time,” she says. “It represents the importance of the after-dinner ritual in Mexico. I will never understand why Americans pay their bills and go home. In Mexico, we’ll stay another hour and order dessert, drinking and talking. The Carajillo is perfect while enjoying each other’s company. Oh, and with our churros too.