Denise Schafer's mother is from Michoacán and her father is Tohono O'Odham. Her family restaurant La Indita is a little bit of both: familiar faire like red chile beef along with rustic vegetarian recipes from Central Mexico.
That's why you can get an Indian fry bread taco smothered with nopales cactus pads. Or my favorite, a puffy pocket of fried masa they call the Tarascan taco. The name refers to a the pre-Colombian state of Tarascan, which roughly borders today's Michoacán, and its people the Purépecha. (The region's most popular dish is actually a spicy red bean soup that closely resembles the modern tortilla soup.)
On the streets of Michoacán, the tacos are cooked in big pans that look like woks, Schafer said. At La Indita they stuff them with spinach and fry them into a half-moon shape similar to an empanada. You cut the tacos with your fork and let the soft leafy greens spill out. Almost like you would a chimichanga ...
Weird fact: It only took Nogales artist Jocar one night to paint that staggering mural depicting a Michoacán village from Maria Garcia's childhood. But since he was working from a photograph, the mountains in the mural are actually from Sonora.
Location: 622 N. Fourth Ave.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays
Payment: accepts debit and credit