Cuisine: Sonoran
Teresa Matias told me that to help satisfy her children’s cries for burgers when buns weren’t handy, she would fold a hamburger patty into a tortilla and fry it. Topped with cheese, lettuce, and tomato, it later became a regular menu item at her restaurant, Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe. Apparently, a lot of moms had the same experience, because the beef patty taco has been standard restaurant fare around southern Arizona since at least the mid-1970s.


  • For each taco you will need:
  • About ¼ cup lean ground beef
  • 1 corn tortilla
  • Salt pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • Canola or neutral flavored vegetable oil for frying
  • Shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
  • Shredded Iceberg or Romaine lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes


  • Spread a thin layer of ground beef over half of each corn tortilla so that the meat is about ¼-inch thick.
  • Sprinkle the beef with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  • Using tongs, carefully lay the open-faced tortilla meat-side-up in the oil. Fold the other side of the tortilla over the meat and gently press down.
  • Fry for about 2 minutes, then flip the taco with the tongs and cook until until the tortilla is crispy and the meat is cooked, about two minutes longer.
  • Remove the taco from the oil, turning it on its side over the oil to drain. Transfer to a paper towel.
  • To[p with shredded cheese, lettuce and diced tomatoes.
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