SAN ANTONIO – Cariño Cortez grew up in the restaurant business and has seen her father create San Antonio favorites like Mi Tierra.
After becoming a chef, Cortez trained in New York City and Chicago. She couldn't stay away for long and eventually made her way back to San Antonio ready to open her own place.
With input from her family, Viva Villa Taqueria was created and opened up in Market Square last October.
"I realized that downtown was growing quite a bit," Cortez said.
The tacos served represent different regions of Mexico.
"You can get mole from Puebla, Baja fish tacos from Encinada, carnitas from Michoacan and, of course, mini street tacos from Mexico City," Cortez said.
Another item that is getting customers' attention is the Big Red soft serve.
"We use a soft serve base, Big Red syrup and a few extra ingredients, and that's what you get," Cortez said.
The restaurant itself provides a great indoor and outdoor environment for anybody walking around.
"We're hoping that Viva Villa gets its own identity," Cortez said. "We are hoping that this one just fits a niche down here."