SAN ANTONIO- The restaurant at 316 East Cevallos feels like home to Esmarelda Gutierrez for some reason. Probably because it was her childhood home.
It's now her business.
"The reason we bought this property is because it's a prime location," Gutierrez said. "And, that came from my mom 20...25 years ago."
The house was vacant, vandalized and in foreclosure when her mother bought it. Yet, it provided Gutierrez, as well as her friends, space to eat and play.
"My friends used to eat homemade burgers here," Gutierrez said. "Now, it's actually a restaurant. They come in here and are kinda like shocked."
It took plenty of elbow grease and ingenuity to get the house rezoned and restaurant ready. Gutierrez opened the doors of Flores 28 in January. Gutierrez says family and friends continue to help her put out fires when necessary.
Gutierrez said she named the business after her deceased grandfather. "His last name is Flores which is why I went with Flores for the name of the restaurant," she said.
And, the 28? That is the day her grandfather who owned bakeries in Matamoros died. Gutierrez was also born on the 28. The eatery's logo is a reflection of the artsy flavor of Southtown.
Gutierrez's mother gave her the home to open as a business. A vision her mother planted before it was bought.
"She just looked at the map and said you know what this is a good investment because one day San Antonio will expand," said Gutierrez.
Now, where bedrooms, dining rooms, a kitchen and a laundry room used to sit is a cozy seven-table restaurant.
The menu is simple: Six items under $10.
Gutierrez said the menu is simple to make sure the execution is correct. Her specialty is lunch even though breakfast tacos are on the menu. The lion's share of the food is fresh and not frozen. The fare also comes with a hand of "the valley" as its foundation.
Neighborhood Eats got to sample the taquitos con queso, a torta and Gutierrez's rendition of a cheeseburger and fries. Que Rico! It's a kind of unsuspected simple lunch we needed.
If you're looking for heavy restaurant appeal this isn't your place. Flores 28 is more like walking into your friend's home who happens to have a cook, kitchen, and servers available.
That's this week's Neighborhood Eats. If you have a suggestion for Marvin send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), tweet (@mhurstkens5) or post to the KENS 5 Facebook page. Don't forget to hashtag #KENS5EATS.
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