Takeout Tuesday: New Hope’s Arizona Taco Company
Arizona is roughly 1,600 miles away from the Twin Cities, but you don’t have to travel to the American southwest, to get a taste of it.
“The Arizona-style, for me and for us, I think, is our grandmother’s food,” said Marcos Ayala, the owner of Arizona Taco Company. “And in Arizona you get a lot of influence from Sonora, Mexico.”
Marcos and Sheila Ayala are Arizona transplants who opened Arizona Taco Company in New Hope two years ago.
To get that specific taste they remember from home, they convinced Chef Ernie Mejia to relocate from the southwest to make it happen.
“Here we try to give you what your grandma used to give you, what your mom used to give you,” Mejia said. “Something warm, something hot, something big. Something that when you go home, you can lay down and go to sleep right on the couch.”
The menu consists of traditional favorites like tacos, burritos, carne asada fries, and pretty much everything you’ve come to expect from an authentic Mexican restaurant.
“We’re here probably multiple times a week and the food is amazing,” said Maia Lingasin. “We rave about it to everyone and everyone that we know.”
The staff makes the food and tortillas every day from scratch.
“Everybody here knows something about food, and they’re gonna give you the best quality they can every time,” Mejia said.
Yet in this era of COVID-19, even an Arizona taco shop isn’t immune to the challenges facing the restaurant industry.
“I would say we probably have about a 40% change in customers,” Ayala said. “But we still get catering orders. We still get people coming out that like the food, and so, we’re doing okay right now.”
It certainly helps that they serve food that works well takeout.
“Everything here that you guys get is gonna be top of the line and fresh every day,” Mejia said.
The hope is that Chef Mejia’s authentic recipes, mixed in with their customer service, will keep people coming back for that taste of the southwest in the northwest metro.
“You guys come down here you get treated like family,” Mejia said.
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