Scott Linquist isn’t from Mexico, but that doesn’t mean he can’t whip up authentic tacos. In fact, the executive chef has been doing it for the past 25 years. A few of his recent ventures include famed Wynwood and Brickell Coyo Taco locations, serving up tacos by the thousands to everyone from students to socialites. Locals flock to the food favorite so often that lines wrap out the door into the wee hours of the night.
Those wanting to take a bite of what’s trending can now visit the long-anticipated, taco-centric eatery, Coyo Taco, in Palm Beach at The Royal Poinciana Plaza.
Linquist is on a mission to craft quality food that’s true to Mexican culture.
“I learned the splendor of the cuisine sort of organically, not by choice really,” he remembers. “Once it sort of got into my soul I realized that was my focus.”
Linquist has been a food and restaurant maven for decades. He began his culinary career in southern California before moving to New York City where he launched a group of restaurants called Dos Caminos. Over the years he’d journey to Mexico and live there for short periods of time, cooking with families in their homes and working alongside renowned chefs in order to fully immerse himself in the cuisine. He went on to open a string of restaurants across the world. It was during a small consulting stint in Miami that the Coyo Taco concept was dreamt up, a joint effort between founding partners Linquist, Alan Drummond and Sven Vogtland.
SOUTH OF THE BORDER
The quick-service, fast-casual spot is a one-of-a-kind find on Palm Beach island and is somewhere locals can go for a no-fuss lunch, dinner or late-night bite. The taqueria features a main dining room with outdoor seating as an option. Stroll to the back for a full bar—and all the tequila you could dream of—with comfy lounge furniture.
There are numerous ways you can go about a trip to Coyo Taco, but if it’s your first time, start with the Esquite (corn off the cob, epazote, chipotle aioli and cotija), paired with tortilla chips. As far as the tacos go, there is more than a dozen to choose from made with fresh hand-pressed corn tortillas.
Linquist thinks highly of the Cochinita Pibil, a Maya-inspired recipe featuring slow-roasted, achiote-marinated pork that’s topped with habanero pickled onions and queso. “That is one of the more traditional tacos that we have,” he says. “That’s a highlight from my perspective. I like the traditional, the ones that I can look back and say, ‘OK, I cooked that dish in Mexico in 1994 with so and so in the jungle of Merida.’”
There’s also the Carnitas de Pato, a Michoacana carnitas recipe that uses duck legs and thighs instead of pork. Fish taco ingredients range from grouper battered in Modelo beer to the Palm Beach-exclusive Caribbean spiny lobster.
Wash down your fiesta-on-a-plate with a Mexican soda or a margarita, and save room for crispy, chewy churros dipped in chocolate and cajeta (slow-cooked Mexican caramel) sauces.