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Taqueria Mexican Grill offers fresh

Postado por , no dia 06 de junho de 2010 em Sem categoria

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Taqueria Mexican Grill offers fresh

If the Taqueria Mexican Grill brings to mind the sort of fresh, quick and cheap eating you’d find at local joints in Southern California, that’s by design.

But this isn’t the Tex Mex version you might be imagining, but rather a more traditional approach drawn from owner Oscar Herrera’s upbringing south of the border in Mexico City.

“We grew up with it,” Herrera says. “We grew up with the flavors. We know the salsas. I’ve been collecting recipes from here and from there. I’ve been cooking it and trying it. I’ve played with this, played with that. I’d always make notes. And you can see the fruit of all that.”

After working in the restaurant business for years, learning the ins and outs of what it takes to be successful and working his way up from washing dishes to cooking to management, Herrera decided it was time to use the experience he’d gained at his own spot.

The budding entrepreneur opened the Forest Road location nearly two months ago with the goal of creating what he hopes will be a welcome addition to the community of Mexican restaurants already in Lynchburg.

“People look for something when they only have a 30 minute break on lunch,” Herrera says. “They want something good and affordable. That was the whole concept to offer people quality food, quick and at a good price.”

When it comes to budget conscious food, Mexican taquerias fit the bill. And Herrera’s prices seem to be no exception, with tacos starting at just over $1.

There are not much more than a dozen tables in the brightly colored space, which is decorated with a simplicity akin to the minimalistic menu, something Herrera says was intentional.

“In the menu, you take a look at it, it’s simple,” he says. “But you’ve got choices. You can get tortas. That’s a Mexican sandwich. You can get sopes. The most popular thing is the taco. Taqueria means taco stand. The name says it all. It’s not a fancy restaurant. It’s fast food, but with quality.”

But that doesn’t mean Herrera didn’t splurge on a few things. Customers can expect soccer all day, every day on one of the two flat screen TVs, and a nice blend of musical offerings on the restaurant’s surround sound stereo system.

“It’s Spanish music,” Herrera says. “These guys playing now are from a pop rock band in Mexico City. But we play all kinds of music. And soccer 24/7, period.”

Assistant manager Luis Zaragoza says the restaurant has yet to do any advertising, hoping business could start slow and get busier as they iron out all the kinks.

He likens building a devoted clientele to the construction of a well fabricated house.

“You want to put in a good foundation first,” Zaragoza says. “When you have a good foundation, you can build on top of that. But you have to start with that.”

Herrera says he has a secret weapon in cook Rodolfo Ayala, who understands precisely what he’s trying to accomplish.

“He’s from my hometown and has been cheap jerseys doing tacos with his family for 30 years,” Herrera says. “A lot of it has to do with the flavors, and he knows them. He’s got it in his blood.”

Zaragoza says if that doesn’t work, they’ll reel in a loyal customer base the old fashioned way.

“Hopefully with Herrera’s idea and our hard work, we can bring the community of Lynchburg and Forest something that they’ll like,” he says. “One thing I can tell you we’ll never quit.”.

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