By MADOLINE MARKHAM
A machine from Mexico grinds corn to be freshly pressed into tortillas. The smoker cooks only whole hogs from nearby farms with humane practices. A wood-burning oven bakes bread for street sandwiches. The kitchen at Little Donkey renders fat from pigs for tamales, squeezes the limes for their margaritas, and grills and smokes arbol chilies and habanero peppers for earthy tones in their salsa.
“We wanted real Mexican food that isn’t dumbed down and all melty cheese,” Chef and Managing Partner Joshua Gentry said. “We wanted to be respectful to this culture and their food.”
The kitchen goes through six cases of tomatoes a day and boxes of organic avocados that are shipped the day they are picked in Mexico.
Something about this fresh, local, authentic concept has attracted huge crowds since the restaurant opened in the old ABC store location in April.
“I thought we would have to be out on the street explaining our food to people,” Gentry said. “But we are busy like it’s spring break or something.”