By TYLER MASK
It’s not everyday that someone has an opportunity, much less the guts, to pursue their dreams and start a business. But for one Mineral Wells man, his dreams are coming true.
When people pass by a business, the final product is often what is first apparent; however, there is always a story behind every person’s dream.
Adrian Salazar’s story begins with his exodus from Mexico and his arrival at Pulido’s in Mineral Wells in 1988. While working for Pulido’s – under the management of his brother – Salazar began building his experience in the food industry.
Before leaving Pulido’s, Salazar got 10 years of experience under his belt, then he headed elsewhere. He worked at El Paseo for eight years, managed Uno Mas in Weatherford until they went out of business and then left the food industry for nearly seven years.
But now, Salazar is back making food and is the proud owner of his first restaurant and family business: Taqueria La Estrella.
The restaurant’s name comes from Salazar’s eight-year-old, special-needs daughter, Estrella.
Taqueria La Estrella, which is located at 1607 S.E. 22nd Ave, is filling a gap in the Mineral Wells food market. Although Mineral Wells has plenty of Mexican food restaurant, the restaurants prior to the Taqueria’s coming were all Tex-Mex. Taqueria La Estrella is aimed at being more traditional Mexican food.
“There’s a lot of Spanish people (in Mineral Wells).
“But besides just Spanish people, a lot of American people know what a Taqueria (is) and there was not one in Mineral Wells,” Salazar said. “There are (other) Mexican food restaurants in town, but they’re Tex-Mex. So, I wanted to do something that (was) not in town.”
The key idea behind using the word Taqueria is because it catches they eyes of both Hispanic and Caucasian people.
In fact, the only food Taqueria La Estrella provides besides traditional Mexican are items such as hamburgers and fries. The main reason Salazar said he offers this sort of food is to accommodate kids.
“We call it Taqueria in the Spanish language,” he said. “In (English), the Mexican tacos we are selling here are (generally) called ‘street tacos,’”
Salazar went on to discuss how much he has noticed that those who do not understand the Spanish language are usually familiar with the term “street tacos.”
The recipes Salazar uses to create his traditional Mexican food come from his family as well as the restaurants he has worked at in the past.
“The only thing we don’t make here (are) the tortillas and bread,” he said. “But other than that, everything is fresh-made.”
Salazar said the only reason he does not make tortillas is because his space is too small. But he does hope to get more space someday soon.
Some of the featured dishes Taqueria La Estrella offers include gorditas, menudo, tacos, tortas, barbacoa and birria.
Currently, the business offers dine-in and carry-out, but they hope to offer catering in the near future as well.
Taqueria La Estrella serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is open Tuesday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.