A new Springfield family-owned restaurant is offering an authentic Mexican food experience with a unique twist to finish off the meal.
Mariana’s Tacos y Paletas, 1706 E. Main St., is selling authentic Mexican food, ice cream and popsicles.
“This is little Mexico here” Jose Hernandez, the owner, said. “The food we serve is what you would eat in Mexico.”
The menu has a variety of items including tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tortas (Mexican subs), nachos and tostilocos that customers can customize.
The ice cream and popsicle flavors range from dairy to non-dairy including strawberry, kiwi, guava, coconut, avocado, tequila, cookies and cream, Mexican cake, bubble gum, and many more.
Everything made in the restaurant is fresh, Hernandez said.
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The meat is is cut daily and the ice cream and popsicles are naturally-made with fruits and no preservatives.
Hernandez, a Clark County resident, is from the state of Michoacana, where Mexican ice cream was born. That is how he came up with the unique combination, he said.
“The Mexican ice cream shops have the 100% Michoacana because that’s where they came up with the ice cream,” Hernandez said.
He opened the restaurant in November. Hernandez operated a food truck in the Clark County area for about three years before moving into the storefront.
“We had so many customers that we ended up getting a building,” Hernandez said.
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He said he decided to start the food truck because he was tired of working for someone else and figured it was worth a shot.
Hernandez said he learned everything he knows about authentic Mexican cooking while growing up in a household with his aunts.
Additionally, his wife’s family has made Mexican ice cream and popsicles for about 50 years, he said.
Customers come from Chillicothe, Columbus, Washington Courthouse, Dayton and Cincinnati for the authentic Mexican food experience, he said.
As of right now, there is only one Mariana’s Tacos y Paletas, but Hernandez said he is looking into opening more.
“If you go in and look at the menu, you want to eat every bit of whatever we have,” Hernandez said.
Mariana’s Tacos y Paletas is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, search for Mariana’s Tacos y Paletas on Facebook. In the summer, the restaurant is expected to be open 7 days a week.