La Chaiteria – Darren Interviews Daniel

Darren Jones: Hi, good morning. I’m Darren Jones with the Tony Ray Baker group and today we are at Chaiteria and I’m here x with Daniel, who is the manager. Good morning.

Daniel: Morning.

Darren: Hey, why don’t you tell everybody where you’re located?

Daniel: Yeah, it’s just at 1002 West Congress, right on the corner of Congress and Grande.

Darren: Yeah. Okay. And what is the specialty here? What is the story about?

Daniel: Yeah, well we do atypical traditional Mexican food. So we have a lot of South American Indian fusion in our flavors. And we like to refer to ourselves as a traditional Mexican, as well as experimental Mexican. We specialize in unique plates and locally sourced ingredients as well as a lot of vegan options with Jackfruit Carnitas, that we became known for at our restaurant on sixth street Tumerico.

Darren: That’s awesome. They just started experimenting with Jackfruit and they, yeah, you never had it and they’re like, oh yeah, it tastes like beef, okay. Fruit beef, whatever. But anyway, so now you serve food, you have takeout and there’s also a bit of grocery involved and you have some specialty items.

Daniel: Yeah. That’s right. So we serve food, we do lots of unique, drinks, and lattes and smoothies. We have a lot of specialty items for sale that are both from here and imported from Mexico. And yeah, we have quite a selection,

Darren: That’s great. Now, what are your favorites?

Daniel: My favorites are mostly the vegan things. Vegan or not some of the vegan options that we have are just delicious. The Roja Vieja with Jackfruit is really good. It’s Cuban dish. Also, the El Pastor Tacos with Jackfruit is quite good. And all our meats or most of our meats are cooked slowly overnight. They’re just very tender for the Barbacoa and the chicken especially super good.

Darren: That’s great. And I notice you’re wearing your Tumerico Tucson shirt.

Daniel: Oh yeah, I’m there in the morning.

Darren: And so they are, they’re married, they say, you know, the owners as the same group. So, anyone who’s familiar with Tumerico, also, make sure that you give a shout-out to La Chaiteria and check them out as well. They’re just down past the Mercado, headed west. So now, what are some popular items here? I know you have specialty coffees, your serving breakfast as you can hear. It’s very loud behind us because as soon as they opened its Like everybody just flooded in.

Daniel: So some of our specialties, a lot of people come in the morning for our breakfast items, we do Chilaquiles. We do Machaca Con Huevos and we do Huevos Rancheros and those are pretty popular.

Darren: That was great! So you haven’t been here that long. So what was, you know, how did this concept develop? Because it’s a great place to be in this neighborhood.

Daniel: Yeah definitely. So, my boss wanted to open another restaurant and she wanted it to be different from Tumerico. So we opened, kind of rough timing, right before the pandemic started. It wasn’t great timing but it worked out, you know, we kind of toughed through it, and we adjusted to all the changes that were happening. We focused on the takeout and just kind of toughed it out and it’s gotten much better. Since we were fortunate to, you know, have some publicity from local people like yourselves and I’m really appreciative of that. And, you know, just word of mouth, you know, when the food is really good and the service is really good and people are friendly and have a good experience. Then you know, you’re going to tell people about it. And I think that’s been really big for us. We just do the best job that we can and people, you know, acknowledge that and come. We’ve been really fortunate to have the best customers in Tucson. The best.

Darren: That’s awesome, and you know the shop is very, very colorful. I want to touch on this this great mural behind us. It’s just fantastic.

Daniel: Yeah, so the murals mostly were Alejandra Trujillo. And she is a local artist who does fantastic work. She painted the two murals and on the side of the wall there, and the large mural facing East on the East wall, there on the outside. There’s also a couple of murals in the back and she’s just really, really talented.

Darren: Obviously. Yeah. So, you know, if you weren’t going to come for the food if you like murals, there’s another reason to visit Chaiteria. So that’s awesome. Is there anything else that you’d like to share here for us today that we haven’t covered so far?

Daniel: It’s just, we really appreciate everybody’s business and we are really grateful to be in this neighborhood and providing good food. And yeah, just come check us out. Bring your friends and family. There’s something for everybody here. And yeah, we’re really grateful to be here.

Darren: That’s great. Thank you so much. And again, we’re in the Menlo Park neighborhood, and come on down and see Chaiteria and visit Tumerico. It’s something interesting to see. Of the Menlo Park jewels. I’m Darren Jones signing off.