5135 Albemarle Road
Owners: Brothers Ruben Granados & Jose Celaya
I am a fan of so many good restaurants in Charlotte, but when I’m looking for some home-cooked Mexican food, there is only one place that can fill the spot–Fonda La Taquiza!
The owner, Ruben Granados, arrived in Charlotte in 1999. Since then, he has been an extremely popular local radio host and family advocate. While Fonda La Taquiza has been open for less than one year, Ruben has had extensive restaurant experience–having co-owned other restaurants in Charlotte including the popular Fonda La Cazuelas on N. Tryon. Owning Fonda La Taquiza with his brother Jose Celaya however, is a dream come true for Ruben. He wanted to establish this restaurant in east Charlotte, close to the Hispanic community but with easy access to clients coming from other areas of town.
Ruben’s goal for the restaurant is to create a place where customers, whether from Mexico or elsewhere, can enter the restaurant and feel immersed in Mexican food and culture. That is why he recently ordered authentic furniture and decorations from Mexico and why he insists that the food be authentically Mexican. In fact, many would say they feel like they are at home when they come into the restaurant because the food tastes just like their mother’s cooking!
Ruben’s mother has owned a small eatery in Mexico for many years, a real “Fonda,” where he first learned how to cook his secret recipe sauces using his mother’s favorite condiments. His mother has been giving him tips about how long to simmer the food and which condiments work better for his dishes since he was young boy. He says the best advice she gave him was, “Make sure you cook everything with love.”
Some of the favorite dishes served here are Barbacoa de Borrego, lamb meat with spicy sauce simmered for hours, and Enchiladas Huastecas, made with black beans, pork meat/chicken or beef with fresh crumbled cheese on top and a secret recipe sauce! Tacos de Alambre, only found here, is my favorite dish! It is made with thin corn tortillas made in-house, steak, grilled bell pepper and onions, Chihuahua cheese and bacon. For dessert, try the luscious Flan, also made in-house!
La Fonda also features live mariachi entertainment on Thursdays and Saturdays from 6:00pm to 11:00pm and wonderful Taco Tuesdays–where carne asada tacos are available for 99 cents all day!
– Profile written by Denise Gotello Coleman