For as long as I can remember, my dad talked about his favorite restaurant. A local Mexican restaurant he discovered when he was still a bachelor. Once he got married and moved out the neighborhood, we didn’t go there very often. But whenever we did go back to this place called El Cholo, he’d ask about the owner, if he was working that night, and then bend the ear of the very patient waiter or waitress while he told the story of how he knew the family. That was the thing about my dad. He was very particular about things, but once he found something that met his standards, he was all in!

And I can’t say I blame him, at least with this restaurant. El Cholo has a rich family history that goes back to 1923, when the founding couple, Alejandro and Rosa Borquez, opened the The Sonora Cafe, which later changed to El Cholo. You can read all about it on their website.

Fortunately, they did open a location near where I live, and in fact, it was the first restaurant we ventured out to after being in lockdown during the pandemic. They had outdoor seating set up with social distancing, so we felt comfortable dining there. And none other than the Borquez’s grandson, Ron Salisbury, was there to greet us.

Ron and me out on his lovely patio area

Now Ron didn’t know me, but as soon as I dropped the name of my father, he new immediately who he was talking to, and such a nice man. I just love stories like this where hard working, ambitious people succeed in following their dreams, and then leave a legacy for the next generations.

I’m writing this because last night, Pete and I decided to go there for dinner, and it did not disappoint. They had a special of assemble your own swordfish tacos that I couldn’t resist ordering, and it was delicious! With or without the fresh corn tortillas.

Grilled swordfish with avocado relish, black beans, cotija cheese, slaw and a delicious sauce.

This is what my favorite restaurants do. Quality ingredients, with a menu of traditional favorites along with new items that keep things interesting. We’ll definitely keep coming back!

So thank you dad for sharing your memories with us, and we’ll happily carry on the tradition of supporting this family and their delicious food.

Want to share memories of your favorite place? Comment below!

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