El Taco Riendo Mexican Restaurant Finds Success in Crystal
Every once in a while a craving comes along for authentic Mexican cuisine.
“After work, nothing hits the spot quite like a burrito,” said Isiah Valle of Minneapolis.
“It just tastes better,” said Dana Hackett of Champlin. “You can tell the difference between fast food and an authentic Mexican restaurant.”
For the past year and a half, employees from El Taco Riendo in Crystal have worked hard to be the go-to spot for people looking to fulfill their taco fix.
“We searched around and there was no Mexican places like, around the area,” Isa Vergel, general manager of El Taco Riendo in Crystal. “And we said, why not?”
The restaurant, located in a Crystal strip mall across from Cub Foods at 5101 36th Ave N, opened in March of 2019.
“At the beginning it was really hard, because no one knew we were here,” Vergel said. “There used to be a Subway here before, so sometimes people would be like, can I have a sandwich? Oh no, it’s not Subway anymore. So we’re like, yeah, we have tacos.”
And these tacos are not what you’d find at a fast food restaurant. The meat selection is steeped in Mexican tradition.
“I like the authentic-ness of it,” said Valle. “It reminds me of home, and in terms of authentic Mexican food, no one else really kind of tops it.”
Loyal customers from NE Minneapolis come after March fire
Valle was first introduced to El Taco Riendo’s northeast Minneapolis location, but after a fire damaged the building in March, he and other loyal customers started coming to the Crystal shop.
“The northeast community helped us a lot, support us a lot,” Vergel said. “I think that’s what you get when you work with your heart. Like [everybody] that worked here put their heart in the business, and people get attached to our Taco Riendo.”
Mexico may be thousands of miles away, but the employees of this little shop in Crystal are doing their part to bring a little Latin flavor to the northwest suburbs.
“What I say to everyone, no matter what you ask for, you’re gonna like it,” Vergel said.