, a new business housing both a restaurant (the taqueria) and market (mercado) specializing in Mexican food, recently opened its doors in Richfield on the site of the former Embers on 77th Street and Nicollet Avenue.
The new business’ restaurant serves authentic Mexican specialties that include tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salsas and other sides like menudo (a honeycomb tripe soup).
Manager Fernando Mellado stressed that the restaurant concentrates on serving fresh food comparable to what customers would find at a Mexican taco cart. Everything is made from scratch, either in the restaurant itself or at the market next door, including the tortillas and chips. The restaurant’s meat is supplied from the attached deli and is cooked fresh in front of customers.
“It takes a little longer than an ordinary fast-food restaurant,” Mellado said, explaining that nothing at the restaurant is pre-cooked.
Mellado was pleased with business during the restaurant’s opening week. He said its sales had been doubling each day until the past weekend, which wasn’t expected to go on forever.
One customer who had just finished lunch was pleased with his meal.
“It’s pretty good,” said Fermin Alcantara, a construction worker who lives nearby and stopped in for lunch. “It’s very well located—a good spot.”
Alcantara liked the idea of having another restaurant open for lunch near his home and work.
In addition to being a traditional market that sells packaged goods and produce, the “mercado” side of the new business houses a bakery and hot deli. Mellado said that “99 percent” of the items available at the restaurant may be purchased in bulk at the deli, including fresh made guacamole and pico de gallo.
Some of the deli’s most requested items include Mexican specialties like carnitas, fresh tamales and blood sausage, although Mellado said a customer could get everything from pigs’ heads to chickens’ feet for their home cooking needs. The bakery makes fresh bread, cookies, and the tortillas used in the restaurant.
In addition to everyday packaged goods, the markets stocks specialty items like Mexican brand condensed milk, soda and candy. The mercados’ small produce section houses typical fruits and vegetables along with less common produce like epazote, yuca and choyote.
The restaurant is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thurday and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The market is open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.
The spacious storefront has a parking lot with room for more than 25 cars and is handicap-accessible. An ATM is located on the premises and both the restaurant and market accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Checks are not accepted.
The market’s phone number is 612-259-8929. Customers may reach the restaurant side of at 612-259-8868.