The Southside’s Taqueria Jalisco has added a new kitchen, which will allow for faster service and an expanded menu.
“We are not compromising anything,” general manager Jorge Parra said. “We are still making it authentic.”
Taqueria Jalisco has been in its current location on Rossville Avenue, off of Main Street, since Nov. 5, 2011.
The business started as just a truck, which Parra said he will now use only to take to the Chattanooga Market on Sundays.
The new kitchen is in the form of a bigger, better truck that is behind the restaurant.
The old truck is about 15 feet long and wasn’t tailored to fit the restaurant’s needs.
Taqueria Jalisco leaders had the new, 22-foot-long truck custom-made with a full kitchen.
“We thought it was time for us to upgrade and get something a little bigger and a little nicer with everything we want and need in there,” Parra said.
The business started out at 300 Main St. with just the smaller truck. Parra and his mother, Maria, who manages the kitchen, also had a grocery store for a while on Main Street next to their truck.
They moved down Main Street to expand into a location that had a full kitchen in the building, but the area was a little more “rough,” Parra said.
“We had some issues with our windows getting gunshots,” he said.
Eventually-after some more moving around-they found the “cute” building where they are now.
“We decided to just fix it up and just pull up the truck, and that’s how we’ve become this,” he said.
Now, the new truck kitchen will allow the restaurant to expand the menu. Starting Monday, customers will be able to order gourmet tortas, new appetizers and-for the first time-dessert: churros with three dipping sauces.
And, with more space and a custom kitchen, Taqueria Jalisco employees will be able to serve customers quicker, Parra said.
He also said he would love to join Chattanooga’s other food trucks at other places besides the market, but that isn’t practical now.
“We don’t have the capacity of doing that,” he said. “This is our main location.”
Louise Elliott loves the restaurant and said via Twitter that she and her co-workers at AREA203 go to the restaurant for “casual, tasty lunches” and always get friendly service.
Cristina Cheatwood, also with AREA203, said via Twitter that the food is the most authentic in town.
“And I’ve eaten the real stuff in Mexico,” she said.
Updated @ 9:11 a.m. on 09/07/12 to add more information as it became available.