Three years ago, Yaya’s Tacos launched a Mexican-leaning food truck with a paleo and gluten-free menu. Now, after having served a whole lot of grass-fed carne asada and free-range chicken in green chile, Esteban and Lizz Garcia are bringing their food to a brick-and-mortar location in Surprise.
The grand opening of Yaya’s Mexican Bar and Grill is scheduled for January 27. Esteban says he wants the day to feel like a big party, complete with a mariachi band and free giveaways.
The couple is currently trying to sell the old food truck. Operations have already moved to the restaurant’s new permanent location.
The Garcias have been operating under their new location’s previous name — Las Fuentes — for two months. Esteban says this has allowed them to adapt Las Fuentes’s menu to Yaya’s gluten-free and paleo requirements. In something of an unusual move, the new Yaya’s will be taking cues from the restaurant that formerly occupied the space, including key menu items that the Garcias will make gluten-free, and others, such as certain burritos, which will stay as-is.
As for bringing in a new way of eating, Lizz says she and Esteban are looking to “make some noise.”
The idea to create a paleo and gluten-free food truck came to the Garcias around five years ago when they tried to adopt a healthier diet, Esteban says. Paleo diets exclude all grains, processed sugars, legumes, and are very low in fruit.
“We found out that it was next to impossible to go out and eat anywhere,” Esteban says. So the couple began experimenting at home. They found they could use coconut oil to fry their tacos, and created a homemade, vegetable-based tortilla. The tortilla has became so popular that the dough is now sold at Sprouts Farmers Market.
“A lot of restaurants don’t really cater to the community, and I’m not just talking about the paleo community, I’m talking about people with food allergies,” Esteban says.
Yaya’s Tacos. 13621 North Litchfield Road, Surprise. 602-421-8781.
Daily 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.