Munoz moved to Milwaukee five years ago when she married Justin
Carlisle, owner of popular local restaurants Ardent and Red Light
Ramen. Eventually, her husband’s knowledge and experience in the
culinary industry inspired Munoz to open her own taqueria.
Born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Munoz called on
her roots and her mother’s recipes to bring authentic flavors to the
Milwaukee area, on which, Munoz says, Cream City is already making
“My husband, Justin Carlisle, … [is] the one with the
know-how and with the expertise when it comes to cooking,” she
explains of the duo’s teamwork. “I bring the memory … because you
want things to taste exactly [as you remember]. And we’re very lucky
Milwaukee has very good access to [authentic] ingredients.”
Munoz and Carlisle also called upon Munoz’s homeland
in choosing how to create their physical space. “Milwaukee’s Mexican
food scene is wonderful, but [we’re recreating] really one tiny
place of my hometown, trying to emulate the taquerias that I grew up
with and I still go back to when I go home,” Munoz explains.
The Laughing Taco offers a variety of tacos, using
flour and corn tortillas, some with cheese on the tortilla, like the
Pirata and Gringa shown here, and stuffed with fillings ranging from
steak to pork to vegan selections.
“We know that there’s a lot of people that are going
on the vegetarian diet or vegan diet, so we added the potatoes and
the cactus, which personally are my mom’s recipes, things that we
cooked at home,” Munoz says. “It’s delicious and ... a lot of people
are not aware that you can eat cactus.” Munoz is also adding Fish
Taco Fridays this spring for a limited time only, offering the
option on both corn and flour tortillas.
The Laughing Taco’s menu also dishes up house-made
salsas, and the First Street location offers Mexican soda and beer
and boozy slushies. Munoz and Carlisle also have a partnership with
the Bucks to serve a separate menu in the team’s space at Fiserv
Forum and as an extension for concessions in the Mezzanine Club.
The Laughing Taco, locations at 1033 S. First Street
Collective on 2238 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 210-3086,