Hettinger has a new restaurant. Serving authentic Mexican dishes, Taqueria El Pueblo is located in the old China Lilly storefront.
By COLE BENZ
Mayra Verdin is bringing a little flavor back to Main Street. A four year resident of Hettinger, Verdin recently opened Taqueria El Pueblo, a Mexican restaurant with authentic dishes. Taqueria El Pueblo is located in what previously was the China Lilly.
It’s a breathe of fresh air for the downtown atmosphere. With so many empty storefronts, this new restaurant gives residents one more reason to meander historic downtown Main Street.
The whole process began when Verdin was cooking for friends and relatives. She received so much praise for her food that she made tamales and sold them at the local farmer’s market.
The feedback from customers was extremely positive, and many were asking, ‘what about a restaurant?’
So it made her think, and without any previous restaurant experience, she decided to take a chance.
She started the process of opening up Taqueria El Pueblo in September. After purchasing the building from the previous owners, her and her family began to renovate.
It was in dire need of some tender loving care, the kitchen especially, according to Verdin. But with a fresh coat of paint and some elbow grease, she got the interior looking just the way she wanted it. The current layout will sit roughly 40 guests, Verdin said.
Everything is freshly made. These aren’t off-the-shelf cooking kits found at local grocery stores. Verdin said the dishes on the menu are authentic recipes handed down from her relatives.
“This food comes from tradition,” Verdin said. “[From] my mom, and my mother-in-law.”
The restaurant offers a wide range of options, from tacos and burritos, to fish tacos and Mexican burgers and quesadillas. She said her recommendation would be to try the burritos.
She also offers three different types of specialty water: Jamaica, Horchata, and Pineapple.
At this point in time, Verdin does not offer desserts. But she said as the restaurant progresses she will expand the menu to include new dishes, and tasty treats.
Verdin wants to be very welcoming to the community, and while many restauranteurs may not take negative feedback well, she wants to make sure her customers are happy. She is willing to make changes in order to satisfy her customer base.
Right now Taqueria El Pueblo has six employees, but they are currently looking for help in the kitchen. She said the restaurant is really a family affair, and until they get more help, they have been willing to pitch in to get things going.
The restaurant will be open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. They can be reached at 701-567-6703.