By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
Victor and Rosario Garcia had dreams of a better life and they came to the United States from Mexico 18 years ago in pursuit of them. Through an unexpected combination of businesses, they’ve accomplished some of those dreams.
Rosario Garcia is the co-owner of La Paz Authentic Mexican Food Restaurant, which shares a building with her husband’s business — Victor’s Tire Shop — on 201 North Chicago Avenue. Rosario Garcia said the restaurant sells breakfast, pork meat, bean, brisket and beef burritos, some with green or red chili. She said the restaurant sells enchiladas, among other items on dinner plates.
Rosario Garcia said she named the restaurant after a town in the southern part of the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, where she and her husband were born. The couple has been married for 19 years.
She said through word of mouth, the customer base has grown steadily since the restaurant opened in late October.
“Almost all day we get people who come in,” Rosario Garcia said. “Sometimes I get anxious when we have a slow day, but my husband encourages me to keep faith.”
Victor Garcia said he’s been able to develop a relationship with his customers and those customers notice the restaurant when stopping for tire work. Victor Garcia said he affectionately calls all of his customers, “Primo,” which means cousin.
“It’s a great location for both businesses,” he said. “I always tell her if she had a slow day at the restaurant, tomorrow will be better.”
Darryl Tennefos of Portales, one of Wednesday’s customers, is one of the restaurant’s regulars.
“I’ve come to eat here since it first opened,” Tennefos said. “I’m here almost every day. I enjoy all of the food.”
Rosario Garcia has decorated the restaurant with white and red curtains, the American and Mexican flags and a giant wall scroll of the Virgin Mary. She said one of her customers entered the restaurant and upon seeing the wall scroll, went down on one knee in worship.
“I was taken back by it,” Rosario Garcia said.
Rosario Garcia said the restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Saturday and open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Rosario Garcia said in some instances she has felt bad for having to turn away customers who show up after 7 p.m.
Rosario Garcia said one of her goals for the restaurant is to be able to also sell fresh cold meats during the summer. Rosario Garcia said many people enjoy cooking out and it would be a nice option for the customers.