Las Chonitas Mexican Restaurant: As Authentic As It Gets

For as far back as our nation can remember, people have immigrated to the United States of America in search of new beginnings, opportunity, and prosperity. Thousands of people have traveled from their homes often leaving everything they’ve ever known behind. People have come here searching for opportunities for themselves, but more so for their children so their children have a better life than they did. Such is the case for Las Chonitas mother and daughter team, Adelina Mendes and Gabriela Rubio Mendes respectively. Las Chonitas is their restaurant, and their livelihood. Located on the corner at 3620 N Andrews Ave, Oakland Park, FL 33309, Las Chonitas offers you real authentic, made to order Mexican food.
Gabriela (in green on the left) and Adelina (in black).

Las Chonitas: The Birth of a Restaurant

Daughter, Gabriela, was selling food at a local gas station. Her food was selling successfully and from there, mother, Adelina suggested that they branch out and explore opening a full-service restaurant. Being from Mexico, their food is 100% authentic Mexican food. Adelina is a “Oaxaqueña”, or coming from Oaxaca, Mexico. It is Adelina’s wish to be able to serve her favorite traditional and authentic recipes to the public. Their most popular dishes are Mole, tlacoyos (tortilla with nopales, a cactus like plant used in Mexican cuisine, and meat), Huaraches, and grilled quesadillas. All foods are made to order fresh on site.

The Origin of the Name Las Chonitas

When asked about the origin of the name, a look of love and melancholy brushed Adelina’s face. But there was also pride and a glimmer of joy. Chonita is a nickname to the proper name Asuncion. Both Adelina’s mother and another daughter were named Asuncion. Sad is the fact that both mother and daughter have passed on.

As a way to remember them and carry on their memory, Adelina and Gabriela have dedicated the name, and main logo of the restaurant, to their loved ones gone too soon.

Challenges Faced

COVID-19 has affected numerous and seemingly endless businesses since last Spring. Las Chonitas was struggling to launch since their April 2019 opening. Adelina says, “For every advance we made, it seems like something would set us back. So yes, coronavirus has indeed affected us, but it has not been our main source for struggling”.

Having been open less than a year when the pandemic reared its ugly head, Adelina and Gabriela faced obstacles that many new businesses face. Being the new kid on the block, they needed to get the word out and hope to thrive. COVID-19 put a slow down to that, but they have not given up. Adelina says, “I cannot give up. I need to make sure my children have this and hope they take it far and take advantage of this opportunity”.

The restaurant now is adhering to strict policies and its impeccable space is armored with hand sanitizer stations and socially distanced tables. Unfortunately, they do not have an official delivery service, but they do have dine in as well as take out services.

The Undeniable Factor

What is completely undeniable is that Adelina and Gabriela are good people offering a full dining experience with clean, fresh, authentic foods from Mexico. If you have a chance, go there and help these ladies grow their business and be a part of their dream. You will not be disappointed.

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*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

About the Author

Anamaria Moreno

Anamaria Moreno

Anamaria Moreno is an Elementary school teacher. Born in Costa Rica, but mostly raised in Venezuela, Ms. Moreno came to South Florida in 1996 where she has resided ever since. She graduated from Lynn University, with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has taught in the classroom for 18 years, most recently teaching the first grade for the past seven years. Before becoming a teacher, Ms. Moreno was involved in volunteer work with the Child Life Specialists Department at Miami Children’s Hospital. She also served as member of the Board of Directors for “A Caring Pregnancy Center” in Miami. Most recently, Ms. Moreno has taught at an elementary school in Oakland Park. Ms. Moreno also teaches ESOL to Adults in Night School. When Ms. Moreno is not in the classroom, she enjoys baking custom specialty cakes, face painting, and enjoys creating Arts and Crafts.

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