Like hard-shell tacos? Thank Mitla Cafe!

San Bernardino’s Mitla Cafe, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, made a bit of a splash yesterday in a New York Times interview with Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.

The interview took place at Mitla.

Mentioned in the article is the fact that Glen Bell (of Taco Bell fame) used to operate a burger stand (currently home to Amapola Rico Taco) across Sixth Street from Mitla.

According to Arellano’s research, Bell would frequently eat at Mitla and would see the long line of customers at Mitla’s walk-up window. He persuaded the owners to show him how the tacos were made and came up with a tool that would streamline the tortilla-frying process.

The following year after opening his burger stand, Bell began selling tacos.

And the rest, they say, is history.

It’s a great read.

Click here to read it for yourself.