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Meet Richard Ortiz of Talli’s Tacos in Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Richard Ortiz.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Growing up my mom would take me with her to work and put me in front of the TV. The most memorable shows were the cooking shows. My dad was a chef in Mexico before he met my mother and did most of the holiday cooking at home. It was delicious and everyone praised him for making such great food. My mom would never let me use her kitchen so I bought a grill and started cooking in parks and for my daughter’s martial arts class and dance school events. I just love to cook. I finally started the business and named it after my daughter Talli. She is 11 and has been working with me for the last 3 years. She is learning to cook and she is reliable and a much harder worker than anyone I’ve hired. I am so proud of Talli and I am glad to have her with me at the events. It’s not the same without her.

My greatest pleasure is when someone tells me they enjoy the food. Every time I prep or cook I am always trying to make the food better. I don’t just want to be another taco cart. I want to be the best taco cart. I prepare everything 24-48 hours before an event to ensure freshness. I marinade the meats in a proprietary blend of natural and organic spices to create a unique flavor that enhances the meat it’s flavoring. I don’t use preservatives or additives. I use olive oil to make the beans instead of lard. I soak the rice to remove starch before frying it without oil. I make everything from scratch to bring you authentic homemade Mexican food. I strive to bring a higher quality healthier Mexican food. I want my customers to be glad they hired me. The difference between Talli’s Tacos and another Taco Cart is the difference between going to a taco shop and going to a restaurant. I want your guests going home raving about how good the food was. I do my best to bring you better food, healthier food, better customer service and a nicer set up. Right now we just do private catering but our goal is to open a restaurant.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been a bumpy road to say the least. It’s a family business so anytime there’s a family crisis it affects the business. When my mother in law got sick we brought her out here from Georgia to get her better medical care and back to health. Then My son Ronan was born in 2015 and that was a blessing but also took away from the business. Aside from personal matters affecting the business just running a business is a lot of work. It’s a learning experience and I like everyone have made mistakes. After a while it gets harder and harder to get back up. My supportive family and friends just don’t let me give up and I try to learn from my mistakes and make improvements.

Talli’s Tacos – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We specialize in healthy Mexican food. Our name is Talli’s Tacos and that’s what we specialize in, Tacos; But we make all Mexican food. Our goal is to provide a healthier higher quality experience. We don’t use additives or preservatives. We make everything from scratch. We order the tortillas from the tortillaria the day of the event and the only ingredients are corn, lime, salt and water. We buy local produce 1-2 days before the event we are prepping for. The beef we use is a Choice grade black Angus steak. We use natural chicken. We don’t use any sugars or filler and marinade everything in organic and natural spices. We would love to move towards grass fed beef and all organic produce as we grow.

Our tacos are full of soft juicy delicious meat with flavor. While spice is important, I don’t want spicy over powering the flavor. I always have fresh hand diced radishes, hand chopped and dried cilantro and diced onions available to compliment the spices used to flavor the meat.

Sometimes we make shrimp or fish tacos and we’ll adjust the toppings or salsas to compliment the flavors.

We want it to be healthy, authentic and delicious! Some of our other menu items include the Mulita which is something like a corn tortilla sandwich. There’s melted cheese inside and in my version I stuff it with meat, veggies and salsa. Then I make it a double decker. We also make the original Tijuana bacon wrapped hot dogs. We make ceviche, huge quesadillas filled with meat and toppings, Pico de Gallo salsa, enchiladas, Chile rellenos, and more. But our basic menu/package is taco’s, toppings, salsas, beans and rice.

What really sets us apart from the competition is everything. We want your experience with us to be amazing. The food should be excellent, the customer service impeccable, the decor authentic and clean. your bringing your favorite Mexican restaurant to your home!

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career so far was when we recently catered a party. My daughter was with me as usual. I always get lots of compliments about my daughter and how people are so impressed but this particular event went so smooth and a guest was commenting how their grandkids played on video games all day. The customer was so happy and told me how he had hired other taco caterers and how we were better than each one and where they had fallen short. I took a picture of myself with my daughter at this event and that’s the picture I’m sharing with you. Because this was such a happy day and I couldn’t have been prouder of my daughter and my accomplishments.

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Image Credit:
Ed Vasquez, Dale Baker

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