Reminiscing about our childhood brings back aromas and sounds of our own home, and especially those from that of the kitchen, where our mother spent long hours, first off the smell covered the basic needs of a family of six children, then thanks to her fondness for pastry, she added the sweet touch of home which was personal and unlike any house in the neighborhood.
Eating well was to enjoy the natural benefits of the nutrition such as maize, wheat, flour, raw milk, brown sugar, natural bee honey, and the immense variety of fruits and vegetables from our land.
The love of cuisine and possessing a good appetite never failed, we managed not only the experience of traditional family recipes, but some of them that were family owned for several generations, such as pork chorizo, a unique beef jerky which is very special and different from that found in the regular market, preserved fruits and desserts for the holidays, but also the boldness to try new recipes and give one’s taste buds, a taste of paradise.
It was common to eat machacado or chorizo with egg which were accompanied by refried beans, many times cooked with red peppers (secret recipe), and a hearty supply of homemade flour tortillas that went straight from the pan to the table. At midday lunch we had a house stew along with corn tortillas, rice with chicken, and if it happened to be Sunday added some delicious hamburgers with a nice layer of homemade refried beans properly cooked with red chile that it was complicit in many other dishes at our table. For dinner, it was custom to eat some soup made with corn masa and lard, stuffed with cheese and beans with green tomato salsa, filled with shredded beef or cheese, if not, just sauce. Tortillas, soups and beans could not were never missing in the daily meals, and these, gave way to the many possibilities for the combinations that were made possible with those foods.
The kitchen of our house became so popular among our neighbors and relatives that we had to eventually figure out a professional way of selling our food out to the public without knowing we began our own family restaurant.
Life and its mysteries led us to take the restaurant aspect seriously and the idea of constructing an actual restaurant out of our commercial premises was put into effect. It was all used for restaurant purpose, even the garden of the house that faced the street. We had now begun the adventure of becoming a restaurant trade people.
A small place of sixteen square feet, a cooler of soft drinks, a stove with griddle for hard work, a few tables and a desire to earn a few dollars, was the beginning of an adventure in the first few months and which showed a vast sea of possibilities develop. The platform of the restaurant: was filled with the smells of home cooking and was always appreciated by ourselves and our clients.
We provided an afternoon and restricted schedule because we were still in college at the time, so we kept a very simple menu, at least initially, which consisted of burgers, soups and tacos. Complimenting the house recipes and great flavors we also offered pie, corn, chips, popsicles and ice cream.
The opening coincided with Mother’s Day: on May 10, 1972 and within weeks we had become a very popular eating establishment at the Cuauhtémoc neighborhood, in the metropolitan area of Monterrey. We never imagined how much work it was going to be in the restaurant business and, therefore, the level of responsibility to maintain a pleasant, clean and original flavor of which we had created from the first minute of opening the restaurant was that much more difficult but also that much well worth it.
Over time, our clients suggested expanding customer service hours and there was also the need to complement those early customers with some more substantial dishes such as the dishes that consisted of: soup, rice or pasta, along with potato salad, beans, tortillas, soft drink and dessert. Stuffed peppers, roast pork, lump roast, mole chicken, entomatadas and other dishes, gave a wide range of options to vary the menu.
Soon, the few feet that served as kitchen and dining area multiplied by ten and we were able to serve a larger number of clients and friends.
For nearly forty years now, we have cooked tons of beans; have made millions of flour tortillas, soups, tacos, hamburgers, and many liters of main secret to all our meals: our special red chile sauce, etc.
We have employed dozens of workers at Cuauhcalli, which was the original restaurant name since 1972, a word that means the house of eagles in the Nahuatl native language.
Life leads us in unexpected ways sometimes, and even with that, we remain free and masters of our fate. We can always just close down the curtains and hide those flavors that we have shared with thousands of people. Or we can take and rewrite history by expanding the original niche penetrating the area and the boundaries in which we were born. We train and live, we earn a feeling of full fulfillment at work.
Life is movement and there are always many dreams to fulfill, blue skies and favorable winds to blow, many people to share laughs with and share delightful taste sensations.
We can not go back to being kids, but we can give a new direction or restart the adventure to continue enjoying and sharing the aromas and sounds of our native cuisine.
From all this birth is given to VIDA MIA – Bon appetite.
Each recipe an aroma and each aroma a memory. Personal magic and traditions from our table that since 40 years ago we desided to share. Today we set to new ventures to spread the good Mexican cuisine across the globe. Bon appetite.