El Burrito Mercado, El Nuevo Rodeo join 'Day Without Immigrants' protest by closing doors

El Burrito Mercado will protest by depriving gringos of its delicious foods for a whole day.

El Burrito Mercado will protest by depriving gringos of its delicious foods for a whole day.

Remember the threat of "a taco truck on every corner"?

The bizarre warning came from Marco Gutierrez, a leader in the (small) Latinos for Trump movement, back in September. In short, Gutierrez had opined that if America doesn't crack down on immigration across its southern border, its people will someday wake up to find themselves surrounded by taco trucks.

To which any American with his or her wits about them said: "OK, yes. Want. Where do I sign?"

But imagine the reverse situation: a world completely devoid of tacos. A barren wasteland where nowhere is the nose filled with the steam-carried aroma of simmering meats and beans. A world where no cheese melts, where the mind never finds peace in the hand's familiar embrace of a warm tortilla. 

It might happen easier than you think if Donald Trump and the anti-immigration wing of the Republican Party get their way, "building that wall," and then trying to catapult undocumented immigrants back over it.

Tomorrow, an untold number of immigrant-owned or -affiliated businesses will participate in a "Day Without Immigrants" protest. The movement seems to have started in Washington, D.C., but has spread outside the nation's capital to other pockets of the country. 

At least two local Twin Cities food shops will partake: El Burrito Mercado on St. Paul's west side announced Tuesday it would be closed all day, and the owner of El Nuevo Rodeo on Lake Street in Minneapolis tells the Pioneer Press she'll only open at 9 p.m. for a scheduled reggae night DJ. 

El Burrito Mercado is a previous back-to-back winner in City Pages' "Best Mexican Restaurant" category (2009 and 2010), and in 2015 we recognized it as one of 11 "essential" Twin Cities restaurants.

In its Facebook post to customers -- so far greeted with overwhelming support -- El Burrito Mercado writes that some 200 employees in its restaurant and market will take the day off in protest, a decision they arrived at "unanimously." 

The post says the move comes "in support of our immigrant customers, community, employees, and in honor of our immigrant parents Tomas & Maria Silva whom built El Burrito Mercado, and in solidarity of the nationwide movement." 

A letter posted to the page continues:


This is a one-day boycott of United State schools and businesses by immigrants in the United States, of mostly Latin American origin and allies, it is a peaceful movement. While the economic effects of the boycott are unknown, most initial reports indicated that the boycott could cause a halt [to] “business as usual.”


This strike sounds like the kind of thing that might just turn the tide of public opinion on matters. Hitting Americans where it counts -- the gut -- will scare the love of our immigrant neighbors right back into us.

Besides, making great burritos is hard, and we're too lazy to figure out how it's done.