When one thinks about courage and success, one can think about Tatiana Vasquez and her husband Jefer Restrepo. Against all adversities, odds, and challenges, they have opened their dream establishment called Paisa Bites located at 3499 N. Dixie Hwy, Oakland Park, just south and west of Oakland Park City Hall.
The couple, originally from Colombia, immigrated to the United States with their daughter. In Colombia, they ran a pizza parlor, but they knew they could do better and wanted to seek opportunity elsewhere. That opportunity became a reality when the chance to be in a nutrition club called Herbalife brought them to Oakland Park.
Unfortunately the Herbalife location closed its doors, that closure created the opportunity for a dream Tatiana and her husband had always had. The locale was vacant and in it Tatiana saw a blank canvas from onto which they could Paisa Bites, a Colombian quick service restaurant. So they took up a leap of faith into the unknown, not realizing all that was involved in starting a business.
Once they started they were hit with the cold realization that this was far more difficult and costly than they ever imagined. They realized they needed a brand-new kitchen, hood, exhaust, and they needed to do a complete rebranding of the space they were in. From electric to plumbing to designing a new bathroom to choosing paint for the walls, they did not realize all that was involved behind the scenes. Too late to go backwards, Tatiana and Jefer soldiered on to complete their dream. Despite all the challenges, they made their dream a reality and Paisa Bites opened in late 2021.
Paisa Bites features Colombian quick service food. From the traditional tequeños, to arepas and empanadas, their menu offers many delicious featured items served hot, fresh, and with a very authentic taste that will want you coming back. There they offer dine in, take out, and delivery using Door Dash and Uber Eats.
Even though the process has been very stressful, enslaving, and daunting, Jefer and Tatiana’s efforts have not been in vain. Tatiana enjoys the kitchen and being able to be hands on cooking so many delicious meals. After so much spending for the opening and repairs of the building, she and her husband are now seeing the fruits of their labor.
They have been open just over two months, after a year and a half of continued processes and repairs to the restaurant. After delays and inspections, and more delays, and acquiring more permits, Tatiana and Jefer have poured literal blood, sweat, and tears into their business. It is truly a labor of family love. One can just see the pride with which the restaurant is cared for.
Tatiana says, “We didn’t know what was behind the scenes. It’s all been a little pain to create our labor of love. We have absolutely no regrets”.
The main thing Tatiana wants the people of Oakland Park to take with them is that both she and her husband hope you come by to visit and enjoy their food. She is very thankful that she has been received by the community with open arms. She wants to thank the community of Oakland Park for being so welcoming and she values everyone very much.
Paisa Bites can be found on Instagram by the same name with no spaces: @Paisabites and just recently they’ve created and updated their Facebook page by the same name. Please visit them and try out their food. You will be greeted with big welcoming smiles and delicious food.
Paisa Bites: 3499 N. Dixie Hwy | Oakland Park, FL
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.