Running a family restaurant is a stressful blessing. Running a chain of family restaurants is probably more than most people can handle.
The Jauregui family has been able to not only be successful in the restaurant business, but they've been able to expand. With already two taco trucks and a restaurant in Modesto, they've opened a new restaurant just in time for the holidays.
So with so many Mexican restaurants in the Modesto area, what has helped them stand out and expand?
Taqueria El Maguey
Century Center, Modesto, CA
Months of hard work and dedication to opening this restaurant all culminated on one night. On the evening of November 17th, 2019 Taqueria El Maguey opened it's doors to a select few for a Private Soft Opening.
And even though they have opened a restaurant before, there were still nerves in the air. But that good kind of nervous.
It's the kind of nervousness you get when you're excited for what's about to happen. Almost like that feeling you get for your kindergarten graduation. All of your family and friends are there to celebrate you, and for one moment you feel like the center of the world's attention. And it's because you are.
Upon entering the restaurant, every guest was greeted by the owners with a smile and a hug. A thankful welcome to their restaurant, as if you were walking into their home.
The decor represents everything and more for the Hispanic community. You get the feelings and emotions that are given through traditional and cultural aspects of a classic Mexican restaurant. The bright and vibrant color scheme give you a sense of happiness, and uses the classic feel to give us a look into the future.
Local interior designers and artists were brought in create an authentic look that was executed to perfection. But even with all of the beautiful colors, the eyes are drawn to a mural of Frida Kahlo. As she once protected the rights of others, she protects this beautiful restaurant and you.
But I know why you're really here. You want to know about the food. Ok relax, I'm getting to that.
We sat in the additional patio dining area on a cool November night. Once again, we were greeted with hugs and smiles from our servers who made us feel like family.
They offer all of your favorite Mexican drinks. Jarritos, Aguas Frescas, and Micheladas. We went with a Jarrito and their homemade Horchata.
Their menu is simple, yet gives you many options to be creative. You could get started with some nachos, ceviche, and even elote. Or you can just fill yourself up on their chips and salsa. The salsa has a very balanced flavor, and not too spicy.
On the weekends, you will be able to order stews such as Birria and Menudo. Something not offered by many other Mexican restaurants on a weekly basis, usually reserved for the holidays or special occasions. You can even order your favorite traditional breakfast meals, such as Huevos a la Mexicana, Chilaquiles, Huevos con Chorizo, or a Breakfast Burrito.
They also have family style meals that you can share. Their Molcajete comes with your choice of chicken, steak, or jumbo shrimp, served in their house sauce and melted Montery Jack cheese in a Lava Bowl. Or maybe you can't choose which meat you want. Luckily for you, you have the option to get all of them in one.
You don't have to choose with the Fajitas either, which is exactly what we did. We ordered the All Meat Fajitas that comes sautéed with bell peppers, onions and tomatoes. Also served with rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream, Pico de Gallo, and tortillas.
They came on a sizzling plate that could be heard from across the restaurant. Theres nothing like that sound and smell of Fajitas being brought to your table. The sight of it automatically made my mouth water.
All of the flavors culminating on one hot and steaming plate. The chicken and steak were both tender and flavorful. But the shrimp tied the whole dish together. These huge shrimp were buttery, peppery, and left you wanting more.
But maybe you just want something for yourself. They have all of your classic choices like the Wet Burrito, Taco Truck Tacos, Quesadillas, Tortas, Seafood, and Michoacan style Enchiladas.
And they even have options for Vegetarians and Vegans! This is essential in this day and age, with many people having different dietary lifestyles. They have their Vegan Bowl and Tacos de Papa.
And for all of you drink lovers, don't worry. They have a bar with a variety of wines and beer as well as a television for your viewing pleasure.
It's tough to stand out in a community that already has many different Hispanic dining options. But Taqueria El Maguey sticks their cultural roots, and that ultimately gives them an edge over their competition.
The family environment makes you feel welcome, and reminds you of Sunday mornings at Abuela's house. When everyone comes together to enjoy authentic food, laughs, and love.
You may think of it as just another restaurant, but it's much deeper than that. This family has been serving the community traditional Mexican meals for over 30 years.
But more importantly, they've created relationships with their community. And their new restaurant represents everything they stand for, and more.