Monday, May 20, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
Selma Salcido, her husband, Joe, and employee Jesse Ceballos, from left, prepare a large to-go order Friday during the lunch hour at El Pique Taqueria in Dallas.
January 08, 2013
DALLAS -- Joe and Selma Salcido's customers at El Pique Taqueria are glad the couple has finally moved their popular taco stand indoors.
El Pique opened as a taco cart last summer, establishing a loyal following at farmers markets in Dallas and Independence. After the markets ended their seasons, the Dallas couple moved the taco stand to Ellendale Plaza, serving customers from the food cart outside a former cafe they were setting up as a taqueria. They made the move indoors on Dec. 30, just as the weather was getting really chilly.
"People kept asking, `When are you going to be inside?'" Selma Salcido said. "They were eager for us to open. It was getting too cold for them outside."
But not yet unpleasant enough for people to stop lining up during the lunch hour for Joe's now-famous burritos.
"I don't know why," he said of his burritos' popularity. "People love those things."
The Salcidos are similarly surprised at the whirlwind of success that led to them opening the restaurant.
Selma Salcido said her husband simply announced one day last year that he wanted to sell tacos in town. He built a portable food cart and began selling in the lot next to Dallas Fuel & Foodmart off Main Street.
A first-time food cart owner, Salcido had to navigate the city and health department permitting process.
He's grateful to Bonnie Dreier, Polk County Bounty Market manager, for helping him set up properly, but the market offered much more to the new business. It was when El Pique become a Thursday market fixture that sales really took off.
"It was the best thing that ever happened, going there," Joe Salcido said.
Word spread and El Pique was invited to attend other area farmers markets, too.
"As soon as the farmers market ended, he (Joe) was like, `Let's open a restaurant,'" Selma Salcido said, adding he wasn't the only one who wanted El Pique to establish an eatery. "The community ... it responded really well to the taco stand. People kept asking, `When are you guys going to open a restaurant?' We just went with the flow."
Selma Salcido, who also has a full-time job, said she had some concerns at first. But with such strong support, the couple felt the opportunity was too good to pass up. They took over the former Marty & Michelle's Cafe, setting up the taco stand outside while finishing the inside.
El Pique Taqueria has expanded its taco cart menu, offering tacos, burritos, enchiladas and tostadas with rice and beans. They will offer chili verde once per week.
"Our menu right now is kind of small," Selma Salcido said. "We are just trying it out to see what the community likes."
One of Joe Salcido's goals when he opened El Pique was to help those in need, either through providing meals or fundraising. Joe and Selma want to continue that effort and will hold their first fundraising event on Friday for a Dallas family whose son is fighting leukemia. Half of the restaurant's sales that day will go to the family of 4-year-old Lincoln Jones.
They are also considering serving free Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and children's birthday parties for families who can't afford them.
"We just want to be able to help people who are less fortunate, in some way," Selma Salcido said.
Give It A Try
What: El Pique Taqueria.
Where: Ellendale Plaza, 289 E. Ellendale Ave., Suite 401, Dallas.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday.
For more information: 503-385-7884.