Begy’s Taquería, a new Mexican restaurant in Manchester, opened about two months ago. Co-owners Joel Amador and Jose Garcia are new to the restaurant business but look forward to sharing their food with the greater Manchester area.
The taquería sits beneath a European food store at the corner of Maple and Auburn streets and is relatively inconspicuous from the outside.
“You don’t realize how big the place is from the outside,” Amador said. There is seating indoors and on a shaded patio. “People love it. They can eat outside,” Garcia said.
“The environment is very hospitable,” Amador added.
The menu includes tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salads, and Mexican sandwiches, called tortas. The torta is an oblong, crusty sandwich roll that is cut down the middle and filled with meat, cheese and vegetables, and then cooked in the oven. The meats available for each of the dishes are steak, pork, fajita chicken and fried pork. American fare of hamburgers, french fries and chicken fingers is also available. Most of the entrees are priced at $5 or $6.
For the most part, Amador said, “We stick to the Mexican tradition.” Amador has his own secret recipe for the restaurant’s fajita seasoning. Amador said another key difference between Mexican and American food is the preparation of the rice. Spanish rice is light orange due to the tomatoes, vegetables and other seasonings used to flavor it.
“All the regions of Mexico have different types of food,” Garcia noted. Garcia hails from Zacatecas and Amador is from the state of San Luis Potosi. Although both men have been in the United States for more than 20 years, they come from the same region and have similar flavor preferences.
Mexican soft drinks are available at the store. “I lived here for more than 20 years, but I still think the Mexican [cola] is much better,” Garcia said. Garcia is currently in the process of applying for a license to sell beer in the restaurant.
Amador does most of the cooking, while Garcia and Jesuny Perez help with the preparation. Amador said he learned to cook from “family tradition. We get together and everyone brings something different.” Amador said he experimented with cooking different dishes for his family to learn how to make the items he would sell in the taquería.
Garcia said the clientele has mostly been “Latino people, and Americans are starting to come, too.” He said that the nearby baseball field has brought in a lot of business. The busiest times are Thursday through Sunday at lunch.
The two owners joined forces in order to share talents. While Amador was very passionate about cooking, he did not know much about running a business.
“It was a dream goal to change from construction to the restaurant business,” Amador said. He knew Garcia from his other business, Nataly, a clothing store at the corner of Union Street and Lake Avenue.
“I wanted to work with someone who has experience getting all the licenses,” Amador said. Amador invited Garcia to join the restaurant, and the partnership has worked well for both men.
“I like the food business,” Garcia said. “Being with the people, seeing a lot of people. I like that.”
The men were given the opportunity to purchase Begy’s, which used to sell European food. They thought the size and location were a good fit for the taquería they were envisioning.
The men hope to begin delivering their food locally. If the current location does well, Garcia would like to open a bar or start a chain of restaurants that would have locations in Goffstown, Salem, Nashua and the Mall of New Hampshire.