A dream to open a restaurant has finally come true for Burt Villarreal with Zócalo, where he showcases the recipes of his great-grandmother, grandmother and mother.

“We’ve been trying to get our family’s recipes out to the world … for a long time, and our family has been promising a recipe book and things like that, but they just never made time for it,” Villarreal said. “No more wishing and watching. We’re going to do it.”

Located downtown, Zócalo is at 175 E. Houston St., Suite 115.

Zócalo is Spanish for a main plaza or a gathering place, such as the ones found in large cities in Mexico.

“Being that it’s a meeting place and this was all about my family’s recipes to start with, we felt like that was the perfect name — a gathering place for all of our friends and family. A feel-good place,” Villarreal said.

Villarreal opened Zócalo in November with the help of consultant David Padilla, a partner with Restaurant Mechanics. The menu is  “autentico, fresco, tuyo” — authentic, fresh and for you — with custom and made-to-order tortas (sandwiches), tacos, burritos and bowls.

Everything is homemade, from salsas and cremas to aiolis.

“We wanted this homemade approach, very authentic Mexican food,” the entrepreneur said. “We didn’t want a peel-and-stick sandwich or some sort of Tex-Mex.”

All breads and Mexican pastries are made in-house, according to Villarreal.

The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, and offers catering. Dinner is planned for the near future. The eatery also boasts a patio with a view of the River Walk.

“Everything that we serve is made with a lot of love,” said chef Erika Stanley.

Hours are 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. for breakfast and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch Monday through Saturday.


175 E. Houston St., Suite 115

For more, call 314-8468 or visit zocalomio.com or facebook.com/zocalomio

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