Local business spotlight: La Garnacha celebrates first anniversaryAug 10, 2021 03:51PM ● By Justin Adams
Carlos Tapia, along with his brother Mac, opened up La Garnacha one year ago. (Justin Adams/The City Journals)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
This month marks one year since La Garnacha opened its doors and began serving up delicious authentic Mexican food right here in Herriman.
The restaurant (located on Herriman Main Street, right by the library) is the brainchild of brothers Carlos and Mac Tapia, who learned the in’s and the out’s of the restaurant business while growing up in and around their parents’ restaurant in Kearns.
So what’s La Garnacha all about?
“We are unapologetically authentic. We serve traditional Mexican food,” said Carlos. “We think it’s essential for us to correct the misinterpretation of the Mexican culture through the culinary aspect of things: burritos, chimichangas, etc. Those have never been Mexican foods."
In fact, the restaurant displays multiple signs informing residents that chips and salsa are not available.
Instead, La Garnacha serves up a handful of traditional dishes native to Mexico City such as Huarache and Pombazo.
Carlos and Mac frequently man the front counter so they can give newcomers a thorough explanation of each dish on the menu.
“We take the time to explain every single detail of these so-called “new” food items. That creates a dialogue about misconceptions,” Carlos said.
That dialogue is a crucial part of La Garnacha’s mission.
“Misconceptions about Mexican culture can lead to personal opinions that are simply misinformed. Whether it’s the political or social climate, we want to be able to neutralize that,” Carlos said. And the best way to do that, according to him, is by “breaking bread together.”
“We believe that sharing a meal together makes it easier to have an open conversation.”
Although there have been a handful of customers who just couldn’t get past the ‘no chips and salsa’ policy, Carlos said the new restaurant has been very successful in its mission to teach people what Mexican cuisine is really all about.