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The crew at Tacos Tierra Caliente

For the last 12 years, Maria Victoria and her stalwart crew have served Houston's favorite tacos out of their hand-stenciled truck, Tacos Tierra Caliente, which parks next to the West Alabama Ice House and delivers perfect bundles of barbacoa and lengua tacos nightly to the crowds that line up outside its small window. This morning, Victoria lost her 22-year-old daughter, Maria Samano, to a brain tumor.

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Maria Samano passed away at 22.

Image: Facebook

Pete Markantonis, owner of West Alabama Ice House, has started a Go Fund Me account to help his ersatz business partner—the woman whose tacos are as much a draw at the iconic ice house as the longneck Lone Stars—with a goal of raising $5,000 for Victoria and her family.

Once the goal is met, the full $5,000 will be given directly to Victoria, writes West Alabama Ice House bartender Lisa Hall. "The fund charges a fee, but I will cover the fee (7.9%) so your full donation goes to Maria." (Update: The goal has now been changed to $10,000, with over $6,000 raised so far.)

Patrons are also encouraged to donate to Tacos Tierra Caliente directly, where you can enjoy the landmark tacos featured everywhere from Business Insider's list of the top 50 tacos in America to the Washington Post.

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