Biz Buzz: Popular restaurant serving up fresh tacos in new location after turbulent year
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Restaurant owner looking forward to serving customers in new, larger location
IDAHO FALLS – A popular taco joint is back in business at a new location.
Garcia’s Street Taco & Pelona’s Fruit Oasis opened with a ribbon-cutting and grand opening Tuesday in the space formerly occupied by Ketchum Burrito at 2990 South 25th East in Idaho Falls.
Owner Letty Garcia tells EastIdahoNews.com opening day was incredibly busy.
“We did not stop one minute yesterday. As soon as I opened the doors, I had a line of people. I didn’t even eat. It was crazy!” Garcia says.
Garcia closed her previous location in the plaza next door at 3192 South 25th East last week. She says she outgrew it, and the new building was appealing because of its size. At 3,200 square feet, it quadruples the amount of space, and she’s excited for the ability to serve more customers.
“Another reason I came over here is because we had one grill, so it would take more time to get orders out,” says Garcia. “Now I have double the grills, double the fryers so we can get orders out faster.”
She’s particularly excited about opening the fruit oasis again after months of keeping it closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I didn’t know the pandemic would hit so hard, so I put that on hold (because) I didn’t have the room to do it,” says Garcia.
The restaurant offers a menu of about 20 different items. The most popular item, by far, is the Birria taco, which is a crunchy taco made with tender, shredded beef that is cooked for six hours every day. It’s served with dip.
All the meat is cut and made fresh daily.
“We get up at 6 in the morning and start our stuff,” she says. “We don’t have everything made when you get here, so we’re making it as we go. That’s why it takes a little longer. We’re not fast food.”
The fruit oasis menu has about 10 items, including tostilocos, which are tortilla chips served with pickled pork skin, peanuts and other condiments topped off with chamoy, a variety of savory sauces made from pickled fruit.
Garcia’s Street Tacos opened at 3192 South 25th East last summer after operating out of a small truck three years before. Her father, Salvadore Garcia, opened a similar street taco truck in the 1980s. The huge demand for it to return inspired Garcia to open it up in 2017.
Ketchum Burrito became a casualty of the pandemic when it closed several months ago. Garcia isn’t sure why her business survived when other businesses didn’t, but she’s grateful for those who have supported her during a turbulent year.
“It was scary. I thought we were going to (shut) down,” she says. “I would do special orders, family deals during the pandemic just so people could get to know me, and it worked. Every time I bring an item out, I make videos on TikTok.”
Her followers on social media were another contributing factor in the success of her business, she says.
“I want to give them a thanks. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I’m at. I’ve had a lot of support from all my locals, and (I love giving back in any way I can),” Garcia says.
Garcia’s Street Tacos & Pelona’s Fruit Oasis is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with a 4 p.m. closing time Sunday. Visit the Facebook page for more information.