Saskatchewan

From Mexico to the Queen City: Owners of El Tropezon hope to open Regina restaurant

The Prairies are a long way from the mountains of Mexico but that hasn't stopped the owners of El Tropezon from bringing the cuisine of their home country to the Queen City.

El Tropezon serves up authentic Mexican food on Saturdays at Best Food Forward

El Tropezon owner Jesus Roberto Flores says his family has been involved in the food business for decades back in Mexico. (Supplied by Jesus Roberto Flores)

The Prairies are a long way from the mountains of Mexico but that hasn't stopped the owners of El Tropezon from bringing the cuisine of their home country to the Queen City.

Jesus Roberto Flores is one of the owners and operators, which he uses to bring authentic Mexican food to the snowy streets of Regina. 

Flores and his wife, who he credits with pushing him to make the first step in realizing his long-term goal of opening a restaurant in Regina, began serving out of his food truck a month ago. 

"In the last few weeks, people really [responded] to our food," Flores told CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend on Saturday.

At first, Flores said he didn't know if people would take a liking to the food, but he reasoned that people often went to Mexico for vacation. 

They have been setting up shop at the Best Food Forward winter market, on 7th Avenue between Atkinson and Wallace, on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. CST.

The menu includes tacos, tamales and enchiladas, among various other staples of Mexican cuisine.
Finding produce and ingredients for the menu can be difficult and pricey due to import costs, Flores said. (Supplied by Jesus Roberto Flores )

Love of the food

"I love cooking," said Flores, who attended culinary school in Monterrey, Mexico nearly a decade ago.

His family has been in the restaurant business for decades, he said. His parents own a restaurant and Flores himself opened a bar — also named El Tropezon — which his brother now operates. 

Flores came to live in Regina three years ago, but he said the seeds for his move back to the Prairies were planted more than a decade ago when he was an exchange student in Montmartre, Sask. 

The transition to life in Saskatchewan has had its difficulties, Flores said. His wife, who is a teacher, often travels. As for his business, finding produce and other ingredients can often be difficult and pricey. 

Still, he says he likes it, despite the weather.

And if El Tropezon is well-received, he said he would like to open a small, intimate restaurant in the future.

With files from Saskatchewan Weekend

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