Award-winning Dallas food truck to open restaurant at high-profile address
An award-winning Dallas food truck has acquired a brick & mortar location with a very high profile: Cuates Kitchen, which launched as a food truck in 2018, will expand with a regular restaurant at 3811 Fairmount St., in a quaint little cottage most recently known as the home to acclaimed though short-lived restaurant Modest Rogers.
Cuates Kitchen owners Carlos and Carla Rodriguez, who are twin brother-and-sister, are working on the location and hope to be open by mid- to late-May.
The siblings are originally from Veracruz, Mexico, and have a sweet story: "Cuates" means twins.
"Our passion has always been food, starting in Veracruz watching our abuela and abuelo make queso (the real kind), barbacoa, empanadas and homemade tortillas," they say.
After encouragement from friends and family who tried their food, they took the plunge and started a food truck with the assistance of their father, and have been serving authentic Veracruz-style food since 2018.
Their menu includes:
- Tacos, options such as carnitas pulled pork, barbacoa beef, chicken tinga, cochinita pibil marinated pork, any three for $13
- Empanadas stuffed with chicken, two for $15
- Sopes, topped with black bean spread, two for $9
- Nachos with white cheese, pickled jalapenos, pico de gallo, sour cream, $11
- Chips & queso, $8
It took little time for them to gain acclaim including an award for "Best Traditional Taco" at the Tacolandia festival in 2019.
"My whole family has always worked in the restaurant industry, and we always wanted to open a restaurant but there's a lot to it," Carlos says. "My sister and I became inspired after watching a Netflix show about a food truck. We went to Austin which is such a big food truck city, and saw how it could be done. We came home that day with a food truck."
The food truck has not only earned them accolades, it's also given them valuable training in running a business.
"We do a lot of corporate events, birthday parties, weddings, it helped established our name and brand and food," Carlos says. "We'll continue to do the truck, but we started to reach a point where we were expanding beyond the food truck and needed more room to operate."
The location is a perfect next step.
"It has six tables inside and six outside, and we love that it's an established location and that we can start offering our food during predictable hours, which a lot of our customers requested," he says. "People liked our food and would ask if it were available outside of special events."
The restaurant also gives them an exciting chance to flex on the menu.
"We're from the coast so we're definitely adding seafood: ceviches, shrimp tacos, fish tacos," he says. "We also have a wonderful chicken mole taco. We'll add tortas and appetizers, as well as a vegan taco, plus a fun platter that will have some signature items for which Veracruz is known."
Elotes tacos and empanadas are currently their two top sellers, but their homemade sopes are a not-so-distant third.
"Our empanadas are a huge hit — they're savory and we make them with a corn-flour crust so they're gluten-free, which people love," he says.
They'll open softly, just for dinner at first, and eventually add lunch hours. They're also working on getting a permit to sell wine and beer.
"Everything is happening so fast, it's lucky we have a mom back in the kitchen and our dad is helping on the weekends," he says.