From Mexico to P.E.I.: A lady’s dream of an genuine Mexican restaurant comes true after 7 years
Deep down, Balderas’ objective was to open a Mexican restaurant on the Island. It was initially her mom’s dream after which turned hers.
She needed to share with Islanders genuine Mexican delicacies, rooted in her household’s conventional recipes handed down via generations, and create an area that celebrated her tradition and felt like house.
However Balderas stated opening the restaurant wasn’t attainable again then as she was ranging from scratch as a newcomer and going through numerous challenges together with adapting to a brand new tradition in P.E.I. and monetary struggles.
“The state of affairs was very onerous,” she advised SaltWire in an interview on Nov. 12. “It was very onerous to maneuver from Mexico to right here.”
Her dream has now develop into a actuality, with the launch of Azteca in downtown Charlottetown on Nov. 10, a nod to her cultural roots in Aztec tradition.
The primary few days noticed lengthy strains of individuals ready to expertise the restaurant. Balderas stated she’s grateful for the neighborhood’s help and felt that the collective effort of her household in bringing the restaurant to life over the previous few years has lastly paid off.
“This was actually onerous for us,” she stated. “However we’re very completely satisfied for the help of individuals. I’m actually completely satisfied for this chance for my household.”
‘Brings us again house’
For Abril De La Rosa and her son, Adrian, who’re initially from Mexico, Azteca is a welcome addition.
Throughout SaltWire’s go to on Nov. 12, they had been having fun with dishes like Choriqueso – Chorizo sausage with melted cheese served with flour tortilla, and Carnitas tacos – juicy shredded pork tacos. That they had additionally ordered enchiladas, that includes corn tortillas calmly fried, dipped in salsa and topped with substances like shredded rooster and bitter cream.
Adrian stated it was their first time on the restaurant and issues exceeded their expectations.
“Every part is admittedly scrumptious. I like the meals,” he stated.
Abril stated her household has been in P.E.I. for the previous two years, and since they heard about Azteca opening on Kent Avenue, they had been trying ahead to having fun with genuine Mexican meals.
“We’re very enthusiastic about this restaurant as a result of there’s only a few locations the place you possibly can take pleasure in, like, actual Mexican meals,” she stated. “They’re all of the flavours that deliver us again house.”
Mexican household tradition
Whereas Balderas, her associate and her mom had been busy within the kitchen, her kids, Emilio and Zoe Hernandez, took cost of attending to prospects’ orders and delivering meals.
Emilio, who’s a 15-year-old scholar at Bluefield Excessive College, stated it is his first time working in a restaurant. There are many new issues to get used to, like assembly and speaking to many new folks, however working with household makes it much less difficult.
“Working as a household, I feel it is fairly useful as a result of now we have one another right here. We have now one another serving to out if somebody is busy. We have now one another operating round. You recognize, it is fairly enjoyable,” he stated.
Regardless of the current opening of the restaurant, the previous few days have been very busy, particularly the primary day when he didn’t count on it to be hectic since they’re nonetheless a brand new restaurant and their new Fb web page was simply arrange, Emilio stated.
“We had a full home the primary day, it was loopy,” he stated. “It makes me fairly completely satisfied as a result of as a Mexican in P.E.I., there’s not a whole lot of Mexican meals eating places that offer you that have, that genuine expertise of being in a Mexican restaurant.”
As Balderas watches her members of the family working collectively to run the restaurant, she says she will be able to’t think about doing this with out them. Her mom performed a pivotal function by offering monetary help to arrange the enterprise, and now she serves as the principle cook dinner alongside Balderas’s associate.
She stated this really displays Mexican tradition, the place household at all times sticks collectively, supporting one another in all the things.
“It is good to have a spot the place you are feeling at house.”
Thinh Nguyen is a enterprise reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He could be reached by e mail at (e mail protected) and adopted on X @thinhnguyen4291.