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La Santa Barbacha | Two sisters creating a Mexican Barbacoa Tradition

La Santa Barbacha is a name and a taste you can’t forget. When I first saw Daniela and Rosa De Lima Hernandez at a You Grill Girl Austin event sponsored by Les Dammes d’ Escoffier Austin Chapter I was impressed that their barbacoa stood out as very traditional and authentic.

I had not seen before someone who was dedicated exclusively to the specialty of Mexican barbacoa and much less by two Mexican sisters. So here is a little bit of their story.

La Santa Barbacha- Barbacoa Food Truck


Daniela and Rosa De Lima Hernández were born and raised in Mexico in the states of Guanajuato and Queretaro in a close-knit family environment.

They studied gastronomy and business in college. However, they were not able to finish their degree because they had to join their parents who had previously emigrated to the United States and wanted the family to be together.

After they arrived in the United States Daniela and Rosa Hernández had their jobs respectively but were not very happy with what they were doing, so they started with the idea of making something Mexican and offering it in Austin.


Daniela comments that they were inspired by the barbacoa or barbacha that her father prepared every Sunday for them. They also sold the barbacoa in the church on Sundays, where they had a stand so that people could buy their Sunday barbacoa after mass.

That was a ritual meal that brought the family together every Sunday. And they asked themselves why don’t we do the same thing here, and we started a food truck called La Santa Barbacha.

Barbacha is beef simmered in maguey stalks overnight traditionally in a pit and enjoyed the next morning.

It is carefully shredded and prepared mainly for tacos but the Santa Barbacha also prepares quesadillas, chilaquiles, and barbacoa sopes.

A bowl full of flavor with tortilla chips and green tomatillo sauce, pinto beans, onion, cream, queso fresco, barbacoa, cilantro, all under a delicious fried egg accompanied with avocado slices.

Barbacoa Tacos and Mexican Tortillas

Barbacoa tacos with potatoes in corn tortillas with spinach (green) and corn tortillas with beets (red), the meat incredibly tender and flavorful. The soft shredded meat is slow-cooked and intensely aromatic.

You won’t think the same about quesadillas after tasting this quesobarbacha. A quesadilla delight on another level.

Large corn tortillas in spinach were the special accent to top this great soft barbacoa beef quesadilla, with a combination of melted Oaxaca and mozzarella cheeses, cilantro, and onion.

Sopes are little boats of corn dough hand-formed to carry delicious shredded barbacoa meat over a layer of refried beans and topped with fresh cabbage.

Although sopes take a little longer to make, they are definitely worth the wait.

“We do everything as soon as the order comes in so that we can always offer the freshest products,” explains Daniela.


“The first obstacle was not having the authorization from the city to cook the barbacoa meat in a pit,” Rosa explains.

So the sisters had to look for other alternatives to cook the barbacoa. They didn’t know much English either and had to learn as much as possible to be able to explain their barbacoa concept to customers.

Another obstacle was the intense heat in the food truck kitchen to cook the meat during the summer.


“To continue to offer their customers a little bit of Mexico,” Daniela and Rosa explain. Perhaps other barbacoa dishes will be added to the menu in the future.

They also plan to expand their catering line or serve special events, such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and family celebrations.


Daniela and Rosa De Lima Hernandez’s family is very close and you can feel it from the moment you ask for your order at the counter of their food truck.

Their father greets customers with enthusiasm and their brother delivers the order at the other counter with a smile.

While Daniela goes and personally greets one of her customers to make sure everything is okay. Their family is an example to follow.

Follow sisters Daniela and Rosa De Lima Hernandez and La Santa Barbacha on Instagram: @lasantabarbacha

By: Lilia Rodriguez- Davis

Photos by: Laura Miguel