Restaurants

Maria Adela Lazcano and her daughter with El Zarandeado Mexican Seafood in Albuquerque NM

Cooking is an art says Maria Adela Lazcano owner of El Zarandeado Mexican Food Sinaloa Style located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It took her 13 years to create the recipes for El Zarandeado Restaurant. Maria is originally from the state of Sinaloa, Mexico. Her recipes are inspired by the culinary traditions of Sinaloa, Nayarit and Sonora.

For example, el zarandeado is a traditional dish from Sinaloa that features the a kind of fish called Pargo. The fish is sliced in lengthwise and marinated before being baked in the oven. The result is a fish with a crunchy texture that is cooked evenly. The restaurant was named after this traditional dish that literally means “the shaked one.”

Maria is grateful to be running a family restaurant with the help of her daughters and her son. El Zarandeado has two locations in Albuquerque and her family collaborates in the operation of both. Family is very important to Maria. She told me that one of her major goals was to have her kids work alongside with her.

Although Maria is happy to live and work in the City of Albuquerque, she feels culturally connected with Mexico and wishes to open a restaurant in her home state of Sinaloa in the future. “My heart is in Mexico” she tells me “I want, god willing, I want to end up with a restaurant in Mexico.”

Maria Lazcano and her daughter with El Zarandeado Mexican Seafood in Albuquerque New Mexico

Maria Adela Lazcano (left) and her daughter with El Zarandeado Mexican Seafood Sinaloa style. Albuquerque, New Mexico. June 1, 2014.

Maria Lazcano with El Zarandeado Mexican Seafood in Albuquerque New Mexico

Owner Maria Lazcano holds a Sinaloa inspired seafood plate. Albuquerque, New Mexico. June 1, 2014.

Maria Lazcano and her daughter with El Zarandeado Mexican Seafood in Albuquerque New Mexico

Maria Adela Lazcano (left) and her daughter with El Zarandeado Mexican Seafood Sinaloa style. Albuquerque, New Mexico. June 1, 2014.

Maria Lazcano and her daughter with El Zarandeado Mexican Seafood

Maria Adela Lazcano (left) and her daughter with El Zarandeado Mexican Seafood Sinaloa style. Albuquerque, New Mexico. June 1, 2014.

Jose Aldana with Aldana’s Restaurant in Santa Fe New Mexico

I had the great honor of photographing Jose Aldana, the owner of Aldana’s Restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico on May 31, 2014. The restaurant has a family, mom and pop atmosphere and serves Mexican and New Mexican food. The most popular plate comes with a tamal, an enchilada and a sopapilla (fried pastry) covered with red or green chile sauce. The restaurant appeals to Mexicans, Mexican Americans and New Mexicans alike.

Jose is originally from a little town called Jilotepec located in Estado de Mexico, which is a state in central Mexico. As a young man he worked in the fields in Mexico. When he moved to the United States, he started washing dishes, sweeping floors and later began to prepare food. His experience in the restaurant industry let him to start Aldana’s Restaurant with the help of friends and family.

Mr. Aldana has come a long way. He said that he remembers his life in Mexico merely as his “infancia” (childhood). He has spent roughly 22 years in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His life has been mainly shaped by living and working in United States.

Jose Aldana with Aldana's Restaurant in Santa Fe New Mexico

Jose Aldana with Aldana’s Restaurant in Santa Fe New Mexico. May 31, 2014.

Jose Aldana with Aldana's Restaurant in Santa Fe New Mexico

Jose Aldana with Aldana’s Restaurant in Santa Fe New Mexico holds a menu at the main entrance. May 31, 2014.

Miguel Angel Torres and his wife Evelia Segura with “El Tapatío Tacos y Tortas” in Santa Fe New Mexico

Started in 2009, El Tapatío is a lonchera or “food stand” housed in a truck based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s a small, friendly place with a family atmosphere that serves lunch and breakfast. The founders are Miguel A. Torres who is originally from Aguascalientes and his wife Evelia Segura who is from Guadalajara, Jalisco. Both states are located in central Mexico.

El Tapatío serves tacos, tortas, burritos, campechanas, sincronizadas, enchiladas, menudo and more traditional Mexican snack foods or antojitos. The menudo plate is apparently a big hit at El Tapatío. The Saturday I visited the food stand, there were plenty of customers requesting it. Furthermore, Miguel has a humble sign that he places on the sidewalk to advertise menudo. The sign reads “hoy tenemos rico menudo” in hand written, capital letters.

El Tapatío Tacos y Tortas in Santa Fe New Mexico

Miguel Ángel Torres Galván and his wife Evelia Segura with with El Tapatío Tacos y Tortas in Santa Fe, New Mexico. May 31, 2014.

El Tapatío Tacos y Tortas in Santa Fe New Mexico

Miguel Ángel Torres Galván and his wife Evelia Segura with with El Tapatío Tacos y Tortas in Santa Fe, New Mexico. May 31, 2014.

Alma Martinez Owner of Nena’s Food in Albuquerque New Mexico

Alma Martinez is from Mexico City. She learned to prepare antojitos (Mexican snack foods) from her grandmothers and her mom. Alma has continued the family tradition by establishing Nena’s Food in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a third generation preparer and seller of antojitos such as quesadillas, and pambazos.

Alma has lived in Albuquerque for 15 years but still identifies more with the Mexican culture than with the American one. Learning English has been slow for her but that has not been a big obstacle for her business. She has family members that help her out in case translation is necessary.

Alma loves Albuquerque and is proud to have her business in the city.

Alma Martinez with Nena's Food in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Alma Martinez with Nena’s Food in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photographed on May 28, 2014.

Alma Martinez with Nena's Food in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Alma Martinez with Nena’s Food in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photographed on May 28, 2014.

Alma Martinez with Nena's Food in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Alma Martinez with Nena’s Food in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photographed on May 28, 2014.

Alma Martinez with Nena's Food in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Alma Martinez with Nena’s Food in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photographed on May 28, 2014.

Juanita’s Comida Mexicana

In the Barelas neighborhood of Albuquerque, New Mexico I found Juanita’s Comida Mexicana. It’s a Mexican Restaurant run by Juanita who is originally from Namiquipa Chihuahua. She offers food inspired by her hometown’s ranch. Food prepared at Juanita’s Restaurant is enjoyed by Mexicans and Americans alike. She told me that Americans love the food because it reminds them of the food their grandparents would cook. Photos from May 20, 2014.

Juanita with Juanita's Comida Mexicana. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Juanita with Juanita’s Comida Mexicana in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Barelas Neighborhood. May 20,2014.

Juanita with Juanita's Comida Mexicana. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Juanita with Juanita’s Comida Mexicana in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Barelas Neighborhood. May 20, 2014.

Juanita with Juanita's Comida Mexicana. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Juanita with Juanita’s Comida Mexicana in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Barelas Neighborhood. May 20, 2014.

Joe Ibarra with La Olla Mexican Restaurant in Edinburg Texas

In the morning of Saturday April 19, 2014 I spend a few hours at La Olla Restaurant in Edinburg with the goal of photographing my first restaurant for the project.

La Olla was founded in 1999 and it’s located near the Hidalgo County Courthouse on highway 107. The restaurant specializes in breakfast and lunch. They serve mole, caldo de mariscos, botanas and other predominantly Mexican inspired dishes.

Here’s a fun highlight about La Olla Restaurant that adds a folkloric touch to its ambience. Folk musicians visit the restaurant and sing tunes for a tip.

I had a chance to meet and chat with the owner Joe Ibarra.

La Olla Restaurant  Edinburg Texas

Joe Ibarra owner of la Olla Mexican Restaurant in Edinburg, Texas. Photo from April 19, 2014.

La Olla Restaurant  Edinburg Texas

Joe Ibarra (right) owner of La Olla Restaurant holds a penny bank that was donated by his friend Judge Charlie Espinoza (left). Photo from April 19, 2014.

La Olla Restaurant  Edinburg Texas

Joe Ibarra owner of la Olla Mexican Restaurant hold a restaurant t-shirt. Photo from April 19, 2014.

La Olla Restaurant  Edinburg Texas

La Olla Restaurant in Edinburg, Texas. Chatting with friends. Photo from April 19, 2014.

La Olla Restaurant  Edinburg Texas

A folkloric element to the ambiance at La Olla Restaurant. Musicians sing for tips. Photo from April 19, 2014.