SAN ANTONIO - Amaya's Cocina serves tacos but is far from a traditional taqueria.

"We use healthy options to maybe enhance some of the Tex-Mex appeal and that's done on the east side," Ruben Arciniega said.

Ruben, 35, along with his brothers David, Sammy, Vincent, Danny and business partner Roy Garza run Amaya's Cocina. They opened the restaurant roughly two years ago.

The place is named after David's seven-year-old daughter Amaya.

"We felt with her name we were reflecting a new beginning," Ruben said. "Amaya, if I'm not mistaken, translates from that in Spanish."

Amaya's Cocina is not big at all. Think less than 500 square feet that can seat 35 comfortably inside and our. It's located on San Antonio's east side at 1502 East Commerce Street.

"We did that with the notion that we wanted to empower the community and make good dishes," Ruben said.

Ruben's family hails from the city's east side. In fact, he said their roots go back some 300 years. Opening the restaurant up right down the street from his mother's home made perfect sense.

"In doing that we felt it was our job or commitment to empower the area and represent it in the best way possible," he said.

Their portfolio of food at the small east San Antonio eatery is described as a Tex-Mex appeal with an east side flair.

Ruben said they have made small adjustments to traditional tacos, but nothing to upset the culinary world. The menu features everything from poached pear salad to tacos with options like their popular fish taco (Must have).

Neighborhood Eats sampled two of their big breakfast sellers. We started with the Eastsider Taco: Hickory smoked bacon, potatoes, cheese and eggs. Que Rico!

Then, we tasted the Carver Taco: Seasoned sweet potatoes and chorizo. Wonderful!

For smooth coffee with a kick, try their Funky Aztec: Horchata served over Amaya's iced coffee. Delicious! This is a potent cup. Beware.

Amaya's also a meeting spot with messages of social justice on the walls. Grab a taco option, coffee and enjoy!

That's this week edition of Neighborhood Eats. If you have a suggestion for Marvin send him an email (, tweet (@Mhurstkens5) or post it to the KENS 5 Facebook page. #KENS5EATS