New Mexican restaurant opens in Menlo Park | August 8, 2018 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

Almanac

Community - August 8, 2018

New Mexican restaurant opens in Menlo Park

by Elena Kadvany

Araceli Ciprez has opened her first-ever restaurant, Mami Cheli's, at 989 El Camino Real in Menlo Park.

Mami Cheli's, which opened on Aug. 4, is a casual Mexican restaurant that focuses on fresh ingredients, Ciprez said in a recent interview. The restaurant is located at the former site of Applewood 2-Go. between fitness studio Barre 3 and now-closed shoe repair shop The Cobblery at the small El Camino Real shopping center.

Ciprez, who came to the United States from her native Colima, Mexico, when she was 20 years old, learned to cook at a young age from her grandmother.

"She taught me how to make tortillas," Ciprez said. "I love to cook."

She said she'll be making corn tortillas, salsas and even vegan meat in-house at the restaurant.

Mami Cheli's will serve a "simple" menu of tacos, quesadillas, burritos, tortas and pupusas. Ciprez's former husband is from El Salvador, where she learned to make pupusas from his family, she said.

The "Mami Cheli's" taco comes on a homemade corn tortilla with a choice of meat or grilled mushrooms, cilantro, onion, beans, guacamole and salsa.

There are five kinds of pupusas, from the classic (pork and cheese) to the three-cheese (mozzarella, queso fresco and cotija), to veggie (cheese, sour cream, grilled carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, onion and mushrooms).

There are vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. At the suggestion of her son, Ciprez is creating her own soy meat to make vegan pupusas with vegan cheese and beans.

The restaurant is small, with seating for 12 to 18 people, according to a city use permit.

Mami Cheli's is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Go to mamichelis.com for more information.

— Elena Kadvany writes for the Palo Alto Weekly, The Almanac's sister paper. This report is from her Peninsula Foodist blog.

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