A new Estacada restaurant is connecting diners with both Mexican and American food.
Sol Tapatio, in the former A&W/Taco Time building at 430 S.E. Main St., opened early this month and has already served numerous customers.
"There are no words to explain how happy I am with the community of Estacada. They are so welcoming" said Venacio Flores, the restaurant's owner. "We never expected how busy we would be."
Flores noted that they opened their doors quietly and were pleasantly surprised when Estacada residents packed the restaurant.
"When we opened, cars were waiting in the parking lot," he said.
Flores also owns Don Pedro No. 1 in Gresham, Don Pedro No. 7 in Beaverton and another Sol Tapatio location in Las Vegas.
The Gresham resident began working at Don Pedro when he was 15. "I am an immigrant who came here with a lot of dreams," he said. "I started working at Don Pedro, and my boss saw me as a little kid, but a kid that persisted and wanted to be successful someday."
In 2006, Flores' boss sold him the restaurant. "I never thought I'd be the owner of Don Pedro," he added.
Several years ago, Flores expanded his restaurants beyond Oregon when he opened Sol Tapatio in Las Vegas. "(I thought) 'no one there knows Don Pedro, let's try a different name with the same food,'" he said.
Flores is happy to have an additional restaurant in Estacada. "People need this kind of food. That's why we decided to come here," he said, adding that they also wanted to offer an early morning spot for people to get breakfast. "We open early and sell French toast and omelettes."
Sol Tapatio is open from 6 a.m. to midnight. Along with breakfast items, the menu also features nachos, carne asada, pollo asada, asasa fries, a club sandwich and cheeseburger, among other selections.
"Everything is homemade. It's all fresh," Flores said. "I have a lot of experience cooking. I've cooked for 25 years. I hope they like it."
Sol Tapatio offers inside seating, as well as a drive-thru option. "We have the drive-thru, but everything is fresh," Flores noted.
He looks forward to continued connections with the Estacada community. "We will try to do our best to maintain our customers who come
and enjoy the restaurant," he said.
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