Mobile restaurant becomes permanent [UPDATED]Published 9:15am Tuesday, April 9, 2013 Updated 11:16am Tuesday, April 9, 2013
A lifelong passion for food shared by a family has brought the taste of Tex-Mex to Pelican Rapids, and Jose Escobar, owner of Taqueria Escobar, said residents are eating it up.
“We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from in and out of town,” Escobar said. “A lot people from all different cultures have been coming in.”
Escobar, whose family moved to Pelican Rapids while he was in the sixth grade, started his time as a restaurateur in Fergus Falls, where he owned Festival Mexican Restaurant before it was sold to Don Pablos. Escobar’s latest food service adventure had been a mobile food unit in Pelican Rapids until he moved it indoors permanently in January.
The name, logo and location is the same as the mobile unit, and Escobar expects those customers returning after a winter away from the lakes to be pleasantly surprised to see that the great food has moved inside.
“I put up the sign before fall, expecting people to see that we were going to be in the building,” said Escobar. “Now they can come back and see the difference.”
The restaurant has become a melding of Escobar’s background, mixing his family’s Mexican heritage and the world of Texas cooking he grew up in. From guarache to burritos, everything Escobar includes in the menu he created from years following his father in the kitchen.
“I grew up with my dad cooking, he would always at home and at things like church events,” said Escobar. “I just enjoyed doing it as well.”
Escobar’s father lives in Pelican Rapids and is still an influence on Escobar and the creations of his restaurant.
“He always checks in,” laughed Escobar. “He comes back to the kitchen to say ‘Why did you do this?’ or ‘What’s up with that?’”
With a number of future catering events, from weddings to graduation, Escobar hops the restaurant will be able to add an drive through window for customers’ convenience in the upcoming years. In the mean time, Escobar will continue running the food unit that initially helped get people eating his food.
But no matter where or how the food is served, Escobar is happy to be feeding customers. The satisfaction on faces after a long day at the restaurant is what keeps him in the business.
“I like the cooking,” said Escobar. “And then I like seeing the expression on peoples’ faces when they eat their meal.”