- Tucked behind a Mexican retail store called El Sol is a family-run restaurant that’s serving up traditional dishes, from carne asada to tortas.
- ¿Quieres leer esto en español? Haga clic aquí.
Mayra Noyola fills her arms with orders and heads to the brightly painted dining room to place hot plates of tacos, tortas, and flautas.
With each guest she serves, Mayra says, she’s sharing a bit of her heritage. With every person who places an order, they’re supporting her family’s dreams.
“It’s a miracle opportunity for us,” she says of the taqueria. “We never thought it would happen.”
Before opening their taqueria, Mayra worked in a bakery, and her husband, Salomon Hernandez, worked at Texas Roadhouse. After nearly two decades in the United States, the family wanted to do something more to tap into their talents and share their Mexican heritage.
The opportunity came from friends.
The Solorio family owns El Sol at 1628 W. Market St. in West York. The front of the building features a Mexican store, with many traditional items that can be tough to find stateside. They had a restaurant space in the back and were looking for someone to operate it.
That space has become what some have called a “hidden gem” taqueria. Yelp reviewers go on about the traditional fare often only found in west coast eateries.
For the past three years, Salomon has been whipping up dishes with his own recipes — making everything from scratch — and serving it to guests who find their way into their location.
“When people enjoy our food, it makes us so happy,” Mayra says. “It’s all about the original flavor. We want people to eat it and know it represents us.”
Mayra and Salomon have five children. Their daughters, Ana, 23, and Cristina, 22, also help in the restaurant.
They have proudly been able to help their daughters go to college, with a third getting ready to go next year. Cristina, now a registered nurse, was able to graduate debt free because of her family’s restaurant.
“You hope you inspire your kids to pursue something for themselves,” Mayra says. “I want them to see what it can be like to run your own facility, to raise a family, and see other people enjoy your traditions.”
When to go
El Sol Restaurante Mexicano is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. A menu and more information can be found on their Facebook page.