The idea for FLACOS came about in 2000. Every time I went to a Mexican restaurant, the only item I could order from the menu was the, “Vegetarian Burrito” without cheese and sour cream. That got boring, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I took the advice of friends (Joe, Sara, Ben and Nigel) who knew that I loved to create delicious vegan meals. They said to make and sell the food myself. So I did!
In the Fall of 2001 was when, “FLACOS”, debuted at the Berkeley Farmers Market. I remembered some of the favorite foods I used to eat growing up when my sister (Arlene) and I would help our mom make homemade tortillas. I remember my mom roasting the chiles in the morning for a sauce to make tamales the next day. I asked my mom for the recipes that my grandmother had passed unto her and replaced all the animal ingredients with vegetarian based substitutes.
Working thru countless nights and armed with two fresh pots of tamales for the masses, Carlos and I fed the few people who showed up to try this new idea of, “Vegan Mexican Food” on a cold Saturday morning.
It was unheard of back then, and to this day, people always take a second glance after reading the sign. Slowly but steadily it caught on and the “regulars” kept coming back and bringing friends and family to try this new vegan food. I have met so many genuinely supportive, kind and cool people while at the market and I am grateful for that. Some are vegan, some are vegetarians and some are just people who enjoy deliciously authentic, hand prepared, Mexican food. No, you won’t find any microwaved foods in our dishes. All of the ingredients are GMO-FREE and organic as season and availability permits.
Thanks to the loyal support from you, our customers, in early March 2010, FLACOS opened our restaurant location at 3031 Adeline St., Berkeley, CA 94703. We can also be found at all 3 Berkeley Farmers Markets.
My never ending appreciation and undying gratitude goes out to all who have helped me in more ways than one these past 10 years. To Elizabeth for helping me out in those tight spots…. Alfonso and Sandra for your great logo and t-shirt designs and technical support…. Beatriz, Mago and Martha at BAHIA…. Al and Joe, for having my back... Mary, for your counsel and patience... Arlene and Fernando for the great stay at Hotel Jimenez…. Anastasia for being patient with me and being my ever-faithful assistant…. Abuelitas Carmen & Santos "Chata" for passing on all those great recipes. I will always remember you both when I light the candle and make tamales – Big thanks Mom & Dad for trusting in me to carry on the recipes for all to enjoy. To my wife, Michele, for breathing new life into everything. And lastly, to all of you who have, in one form or another given me guidance, courage and support in many ways – physically, emotionally and financially. Mil Gracias… see you at the Restaurant!