Michelin-recognized San Diego Tuétano Taqueria to reopen in Old Town – NBC 7 San Diego
This story is part of NBC’s Rebound, a 12-episode series that airs on NBC’s 7 streaming devices and NBC’s Peacock. New episodes of the four-part story of Priscilla air on Wednesdays.
San Diego chef Priscilla Curiel has already opened a restaurant. She also opened a cafe and worked in the food industry most of her life. But this time, she does it differently.
“I haven’t worked for three weeks now,” Curiel said. “I took like a little break so I can start over again because believe me I have been exhausted from the last three years and you don’t want that to affect your new project. So we have to start over. to zero stress-free. “
Curiel directed his San Ysidro Tuétano Taqueria almost on his own; she had a small kitchen staff who came from Tijuana, Mexico to work in her store. But when the coronavirus pandemic struck, she lost her employees and found herself alone.
This time when birria taco shop Tuétano Taqueria and Baja-inspired seafood restaurant Mar Rutico open in Old Town on December 1, she will have 5 employees and a new mindset that will help her ” let go “.
“I wanted to do everything myself [in San Ysidro] and sometimes the operation would fail because I was too apprehensive and just clung to everything. And right now I’m like ‘Yeah, you do,’ “said Curiel.
“At the end of the day, it’s just about cooking, even though it’s a job. So I have to take it not seriously, have fun, have fun and trust the process.”
Watch Episode 1 of Priscilla’s Story below and all episodes of NBC’s Rebound here:
Priscilla Curiel made a name for herself as the chef who put birria bone marrow tacos on the San Diego County map. Although she has closed a restaurant due to the pandemic, she is ready for a new start in the Old Town – with not one restaurant, but two.
During Curiel’s “downtime”, she took a trip to New York City, but even her vacation was filled with thoughts of her restaurants.
“It’s been a week full of exploration, ideas and tastings and seeing what’s going on in the Big Apple, what a culinary scene has, how do you say it, its reputation for always being ahead of the trends” , Curiel said.
While Tuétano Taqueria’s menu will be the same as the now closed San Ysidro location, Mar Rustico offers an entirely different menu of small plates – tostadas and ceviches – that require inspiration.
“You know, like songwriters, ideas come to your mind, but if you don’t write them down right away, you probably forget them,” Curiel said. “So this is something that you have to write as if you are writing a book, a song.”
“You have an idea, you’re going to try it and then you have to start over if you don’t like it,” she added. “In order for me to offer the customer something, I have to be amazed. Like, ‘Whoa, I think this is going to be a success. Let’s offer it.'”
It was another lesson from the pandemic, Curiel said. As staff shortages and supply shortages affected his business, it was the linchpin or failure.
“You can’t have a big menu like with all of these shortages,” Curiel said. “So we kept it simple. We left the bestseller – what we’re known for – and it worked pretty well. “
Curiel hopes her menus showcase the authentic Mexican cuisine she knows and loves, with her own artistic touch.
“We just want people to try out what Mexican food really is because a lot of people have a bad idea of what it’s supposed to be. Anything you see in a taco store, I would consider cooking more. from San Diegan than Mexican cuisine. It’s inspired. ”
And while not everyone likes her product (one customer was upset by Tuétano’s lack of fries for her burrito), she is grateful that most customers give her a chance.
“I love that people try and they’re like, ‘OK, I’m just going to order what you think is good,’” said Curiel. Customers “have to taste it first to understand it, like the hard work behind it.
“It always starts with the food. Always make people feel like they are entering your own home. “
About NBC’s rebound
NBC’s Rebound series began during the coronavirus pandemic as ever-changing orders and closures threatened small businesses across the United States. Despite the challenges, small businesses have grown.
Now in Season 5, Rebound follows three small businesses as they do what it takes to keep their businesses going amid the pandemic.
Watch Rebound here, on NBC’s streaming service, peacock or on the devices below: