Two years ago, Beatriz Aguilar opened a Mexican snack and ice cream shop at Warner Robins.
Today, she tries her hand at an authentic Mexican restaurant at the same location on the right side of Food Depot at 2203 Watson Blvd., Suite Z.
In February, Aguilar closed La Pina Loka Snacks, and two weeks ago this Tuesday it reopened as Taqueria La Pina Loka.
“We offer something you would have in Mexico,” Aguilar said.
Taqueria is a place where tacos are sold and La Pina Loka means “crazy pineapple,” Aguilar said, explaining that she chose similar-sounding names so her customers would recognize she’s the same owner.
She also wanted the authentic Mexican tacos to be the focus of the restaurant, and up to the crazy pineapple?
“I like a lot of tropical things. I love the beach,” Aguilar said. Its restaurant is also colorful.
At Taqueria La Pina Loka, cilantro and onion birria tacos are served with a drinking bowl, the liquid in which the birria meat cooks, for dipping.
A native of Mexico whose parents immigrated to the United States when she was 5, Aquilar noted that she doesn’t serve hamburger meat in her tacos and only uses soft tortillas, emphasizing her desire for offer authentic Mexican cuisine.
Protein options for tacos include pollo (chicken), azada (beef steak), lengua (tongue), tripa (cow intestines), chorizo (sausage), and al pastor ( seasoned pork).
Her recipes are her own and the food she serves is what she would eat at home. His mother helps him cook at the restaurant when needed. Aguilar said she was looking to hire a bilingual cashier to better serve her customers.
A favorite dish among her Mexican customers, she said, is mojarra frita, a whole fried tilapia served with avocado, cucumber, lettuce, tomato and a side of rice and beans or fries.
Aguilar also offers seafood ranging from raw oysters to aguachile molcajete, which is shrimp, avocado, onion, cucumber and its special sauce.
Other Mexican dishes include tortas, flautas, enchiladas, burritos and sopes. She also serves nachos, wings and a Hawaiana Hamburgesa, a Hawaiian burger served with queso oaxaca, pico de gallo, mayonnaise, pineapple and fries.
Its agua frescas – a light fruit drink popular in Mexico – are made fresh daily. She varies the flavors, usually offering three a day of pineapple, cantaloupe, jamaican, cucumber and lemon and horchata.
“We are exhausted. We have to make it fresh every day,” Aguilar said with a laugh.
She offers limited desserts, wanting to focus on main courses. But she might consider adding Mexican snacks in the future.
The small restaurant is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and offers meals on site and to take away. The number is 478-236-2359.