Politics Is Never Off The Table At South Philly’s Best Taco Shop

Food Republic
Caroline Russock – 
May 9, 2016

A little over an hour from Mexico City is a small pueblo called Capulhuac. It’s the unofficial birthplace of barbacoa (slow-cooked meat) and the very much official birthplace of Cristina Martinez. Along with her husband, Ben Miller, Martinez owns South Philly Barbacoa, a bright and bustling taquería that keeps early hours and does a brisk business in filled-to-order lamb tacos nestled in warm house-pressed tortillas, earthenware bowls of chickpea-studded consommé and jars of seasonal agua fresca.

Martinez and Miller opened the doors to their restaurant in July 2015, a logical next step after running a weekends-only barbacoa operation borne out of necessity, entrepreneurial spirit and the harsh realities that undocumented people face living in the states.

Continue reading “Politics Is Never Off The Table At South Philly’s Best Taco Shop”

Immigration: South Philly Barbacoa Pushing For Reform, One Dish At A Time

Philadelphia Neighborhoods
April 26, 2016 — By Erin Edinger-Turoff and Joe Brandt

Priority No. 1 for Cristina Martinez (above), the head chef at South Philly Barbacoa, is “to change the hearts” of customers at the restaurant at 11th and Morris streets.

“They come in and eat the food here, and maybe at the table they talk immigration reform,” Martinez said.

Since acquiring their own brick-and-mortar space, the co-owners of Barbacoa — Martinez and her husband, Ben Miller — have hosted events and met with Mayor Jim Kenney to discuss issues facing undocumented workers in the restaurant industry.
Continue reading “Immigration: South Philly Barbacoa Pushing For Reform, One Dish At A Time”

Immigration: South Philly Barbacoa Pushing For Reform, One Dish At A Time

April 26th, 2016 – Philadelphia Neighborhoods –  Words, images and video by Erin Edinger-Turoff and Joe Brandt.

Priority No. 1 for Cristina Martinez (above), the head chef at South Philly Barbacoa, is “to change the hearts” of customers at the restaurant at 11th and Morris streets.

“They come in and eat the food here, and maybe at the table they talk immigration reform,” Martinez said.

Since acquiring their own brick-and-mortar space, the co-owners of Barbacoa — Martinez and her husband, Ben Miller — have hosted events and met with Mayor Jim Kenney to discuss issues facing undocumented workers in the restaurant industry.

For the couple, there is a personal connection to the issue.

READ MORE…

Mayor-elect Jim Kenney and the Possibility of a Petrochemical Hub in Philly

Power Shift
by Heather Shayne Blakeslee

On Nov. 3, the day before Mayor-elect Jim Kenney officially won his post, he started his public appearances for the day at South Philadelphia’s Barbacoa, the former spot of Vegan Commissary at 1703 S. 11th Street. The tiny restaurant was filled with a few Latino families with kids in tow, a smattering of restaurant owners and workers and a handful of press. Nominally, it was a campaign stop, but it’s likely that most everyone crammed into the colorful space and taking in the smells of a lunch being prepared knew that the election was a foregone conclusion—that they were literally rubbing elbows with next mayor of Philadelphia.

The hosts were Barbacoa co-owners Benjamin Miller and Cristina Martinez, a married couple who operated a food truck before their booming business sent them looking for a permanent location. They opened their restaurant this year on the Fourth of July.
Continue reading “Mayor-elect Jim Kenney and the Possibility of a Petrochemical Hub in Philly”

South Philly Barbacoa’s Benjamin Miller Hosting Right to Work Events

South Philly Barbacoa’s Benjamin Miller Hosting Right to Work Events

South Philly Barbacoa’s Benjamin Miller has been a vocal supporter of immigrant restaurant workers and he is going to be hosting a series of events to raise awareness and show solidarity with those unable to work legally in the United States. On Monday, November 30th, he is hosting a dinner upstairs at Nomad Pizza. The event will begin at 6:30 with a meet-and-greet, dinner, presentations and live music.

A donation is requested for the dinner and the event will be capped at 50 people. Chefs Nick Macri (La Divisa Meats), Calvin Okunoye (Restaurant Opportunities Center), Cristina Martinez (South Philly Barbacoa) and Elijah Milligan (H2o Kitchen).

Reservations will be accepted starting at noon on Monday, November 16th. Watch the Facebook page for a number to call.
Continue reading “South Philly Barbacoa’s Benjamin Miller Hosting Right to Work Events”

South Philly Chef’s Special: Immigration Reform

POSTED: October 14, 2015

Cristina Martinez arrives at work at 4 a.m., ties a white apron high across her chest, and starts preparing a lamb cooked in vapor for 10 hours.

An hour later, she and her husband, Ben Miller, open their South Philadelphia restaurant, Barbacoa, serving premium tacos – and hefty sides of activism – in their bid to mobilize restaurateurs on behalf of the many undocumented immigrants who work in America’s kitchens.
Continue reading “South Philly Chef’s Special: Immigration Reform”