Monse Hines, owner of Taste of El Salvador, is expanding her pupusa business into a restaurant, Monse's Pupuseria at 115 S. 25th St.
Monse said she always wanted a restaurant. And her pupusas - thick corn quesadilla stuffed with savory fillings - have been a hit.
So when the Food Designers Catering home, where she had leased space, was offered by co-owners Heather and Andrew Darrigan, Monse and husband Tim Hines "decided this would be a great opportunity," she said.
Monse started selling her pupusas at farmers markets in 2011, and it wasn't long before Whole Foods Market and Natural Grocers picked up the treats for their shelves.
Now, with more kitchen space, she can keep up pupusa production and add Salvadoran dishes to the menu.
"I'm excited to be able to offer more El Salvadoran dishes like pastelitos (filled puff pastries), soups, escabeche (marinated fish or meat cooked in vinegar), chilaquiles (thick corn tortillas, stuffed and fried) and more varieties of pupusas," she said.
Monse's Pupuseria will be at the back of the building, in the former Motif jazz club space.
The front will house Sweet Elizabeth Organic Bakery, owned by Elizabeth Durham. who will share the kitchen with Monse.
The bakery specializes in goods for those with food allergies, with mixes free of gluten, wheat, peanuts, dairy, corn, soy and shellfish. They also can be egg-free.
The women plan a soft opening for lunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 12 and for breakfast and lunch 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 13.
Starting Jan. 17, Mones's Pupuseria will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Traditional El Salvadoran breakfasts will be served 8 to 10 a.m. Saturdays.
More to the story
We announced last week that Jay Gust, owner of Tapateria and Pizzeria Rustica, hired Brian Blasnek as executive chef for the eateries. We have since learned that Gust and Blasnek plan to expand the restaurant group.
"We have our business plans and are just looking for the right location with the right leasing arrangement," Gust said. "We are going to open a fine dining place on par with Per Se in New York City and a more casual seafood spot."
The Margarita at PineCreek, 7350 Pine Creek Road, is closed until Jan. 11. The staff will resume regular business Jan. 12. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for dinner Tuesdays through Fridays; 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays; and 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sundays. Details: 598-8667, margaritaatpinecreek.com.
Send tips about restaurant openings, closings and specials to firstname.lastname@example.org, 636-0271, Twitter: @tffoodie or Facebook Teresa Farney.