Highlights May 2020

Your Table is Ready: Mochilero Kitchen

In this month’s “Your Table is Ready”, we take a look at a local spot that was able to open during the current pandemic. Introducing, Mochilero Kitchen.

After two years of planning, the family owners of a new restaurant concept, Mochilero Kitchen, decided to move forward with its scheduled grand  opening in last month, but now, with a twist.  Due to COVID-19 requirements, the restaurant has been serving food to its guests through take-out and deliveries only. The unwavering staff at the elevated specialty Mexican restaurant held a special celebration of their “virtual grand opening” back on April 8th.

“The grand opening was not exactly how we planned it,” says Jorge Cota, Peoria resident and co-owner along with his business partner and sister, Meliza Miranda.  “But my family and the team members we’ve hired have worked too hard for us not to give it our all.”

Miranda adds, “My family loves Peoria, we live and play here, but chain restaurants seem to dominate every corner.  So when we couldn’t find a true made-from-scratch Mexican restaurant, we decided to build one.”

“Mochilero” in Spanish means backpacker. Cota says the family-owned and operated restaurant aspires to take its guests on a culinary adventure exploring the various distinct regions of Mexico.  The original menu features a savory weekend brunch and a wide selection of dinner entrées with local flavors celebrating specific regions of the Motherland.  Signature hand-crafted cocktails, along with a select wine and spirits list were to also to make its debut at the restaurant’s trendy 17-seat bar.  For the moment, the original expansive menu has been adapted to a condensed online selection of dishes that travel well from restaurant to home.

Director of Culinary Justin Baunach says with a smile, “Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the online menu. The complexity and rich favors aren’t anything you’ll find in the northwest valley.” Baunach continues, “We are excited for the day when we get to open our dining room and patio so guests can relax and enjoy the full menu, our great staff, the lively décor and warm energy!”

Cota concludes, “Just like a backpacker, or a mochilero, we have had to adapt to this new terrain in the restaurant industry.”  He continues, “But like all small business owners right now, we believe in our vision and are committed to giving our very best to our customers.”

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