Courtesy of Lucie Monk Carter / Country Roads Magazine

A Baton Rouge, Louisiana taqueria totally went there, and—twist!—people can’t get enough.

David Landsel
November 09, 2017

Thing is, this sounds like something we’d actually want to eat: Coffee-rubbed pork bellypumpkin spiced, smoky duck bacon and arugula-cilantro slaw, served with pumpkin aioli and a touch of spiced onion marmalade. Whenever Chef Richard Markert—the brains behind Secret Lair Taqueria in Baton Rouge—puts his pumpkin spice taco on the menu, it ends up being his number one seller. Seriously, though, wouldn't you at least try it? (We would.) 

The idea for Secret Lair came when Markert left a relatively high-profile position at a popular Baton Rouge restaurant, and was trying to figure out what to do next. In an an interview with a local newspaper, he says that the whole thing began as a kind of joke. 

“I made a fake menu, took a mad scientist approach, one thing lead to another, and two weeks later, we did our first pop-up,” Markert told The Daily Advertiser.

Pumpkin spice was just one in a handful of relatively unusual taco ideas they rolled out; in short order, they had Baton Rouge rolling up to wherever they happened to be located. If they’re not the home of the best tacos in Baton Rouge (though it’s been floating around that this is indeed the case), they’re certainly home to the most inventive—take, for example, the also quite popular Cajun Veggie taco, which consists of roast sweet potatoes, pecan-chipotle pesto, feta, roasted corn and black bean slaw. Need more meat? The Didn’t Make It To The Other Side taco consists of shredded chicken marinated in a local coriander ale (yes, a local coriander ale is a thing that you can get in Baton Rouge now, go figure) and topped with goat cheese, fresh greens, and edible flowers.

The concept has definitely been a hit, but Markert told the Advertiser that they’re in no rush to settle down—right now, they’re still popping-up around town, albeit fairly regularly—you can follow them on Facebook to see where they’ll be next. (While there probably won’t be pumpkin spice tacos, their Nov. 17 Phop-Up—yes, you read that correctly—will feature pho with pho broth-brined smoked brisket, as well as banh mi tacos, because America, and yes, we’d absolutely try all of that, too.)