Weslaco – Considering the countless number of cultural cuisine stops we have in the Lone Star State, it’s not often I run into something I’ve never heard of before. But over at Nana’s Taqueria, that was exactly the case with the lonches. “It’s like an everyday thing for us here in the valley. You say ‘lonches’, where at,” said customer Christy Flores.
“Lonche is not a hamburger. Lonche is not a hot dog. Lonche is not a taco, lonches is lonches,” said Alfredo Trevino, co-owner and the one behind the infamous lonches.
“At the beginning, they were like, ‘What’s lonches? What’s lonches?’ Now a lot of people here in the valley know what lonches are. Yes, it’s very original from Progresso,” explained co-owner Roxanna Trevino.
Roxanna and her husband Alfredo have been together 30 years and started Nana’s Taqueria back in 2010. “He’s a very good cook. So his love for tacos and then my love for lonches, click together,” stated Roxanna.
The couple used to own a pottery business in Progresso, unfortunately the perpetual problems in the border town forced them to make the move to Weslaco. “Since a lot of people didn’t go to Progresso anymore, because of the violence during that time, everyone was like, ‘Oh wow, you have the lonches here!’ So we started getting famous because of our lonches,” explained Roxanna.
“We have a hard start, but it’s more beautiful,” expressed Alfredo.
“It was very hard to start from the bottom again, but nothing is impossible,” expressed Roxanna.
Now their thriving restaurant brings that taste of Mexico into Texas thanks to their fantastico food and asombrosa atmosphere. “If it wasn’t for the family, they wouldn’t have this, a dream. And it’s a beautiful dream. Just look around,” said Christy.
“Everything’s really sensational about the place,” stated customer Derek Alanis.
“Total experience of the food, the beautiful environment, the fresh air,” said another customer Jacque Webb.
As if starting over wasn’t hard enough, Roxanna recently battled breast cancer and finally returned to work after a year of treatment. “I had a lot of support from my family, from my husband, and from my daughters. So thank God that helped me go through it too, because it was very hard. Those treatments are devastating. They’re very hard. And here I am. Here I am, back to work. It feels great. It feels great. The moment I came back, I was like, ‘Oh, thank God. I’m back to work. Another opportunity. Thank you, God,” expressed Roxanna.
Alfredo is also happy to have his wife back in the building. “In this wonderful country. The boss is the woman. You know, I am a strategic associate,” joked Alfredo.
Well I was ready to get a whiff of something new so Alfredo took me to the back to give me the lowdown on lonches. My first question, what goes into making the lonches? “The most important is the bread,” stated Alfredo.
Similar to the bread I had in east Texas with the pistolettes, the little loaves are fried up to get it all warm inside. “Not too long, because remember we need to protect the skin,” stated Alfredo.
Alfredo pulls them out before any oil can sneak inside. Then comes the uncomplicated ingredients. “The next step is the vegetables. We use cabbage, some tomatoes, and some cilantro. And this part, well in Mexico, is very important, the avocado. And then finally we need to fill Mexican cheese. This is a typical order, the lonches,” explained Alfredo while putting the lonche together.
Now when you dig into one of these, you can smell that fried bread on top of all those incredible ingredients. I’m told putting Nana’s homemade green salsa on each lonche is the way to go. After one bite it’s safe to say that they are dreamy.
The flavor is on point. The ground beef has got great seasoning and then you put in those fresh veggies on top of it. And then once you take a couple bites that steamed bread just rolls on in, that’s pretty good. “The way they fry and puff up that bread is delish,” said Jacque.
On to lonche number two. This time I try the spicy sauce, another homemade salsa made at Nana’s and this one is supposed to be extremely spicy. After taking bite, the flavor of the salsa is fantastic but after a while, the heat kicks in. This salsa even gave me the heat hiccups! “I like a little spicy. I’m a spicy person,” stated Derek.
Each one of those sauces definitely brings up something different in each lonche and I’m a glutton for punishment! “Everyone should try a lonches. They’re really good. They’re really, really, really good,” said Roxanna.
Well, you may have to go way down to Weslaco to get a little lunch of lonches. but if you happen to be in the area, Nana’s Taqueria, it’s well worth the stop on The Texas Bucket List. “Always trusting in God that we’re going to make it, and we’re going to get this going. And I thank God that we’ve been together, and all of this has been possible because we’re together,” expressed Roxanna.