Oscar and Maria Diaz, second and third from left, owners of Yolanda’s Tacos in Montezuma, are shown with their children, Brian, left, and Stefano and Yolanda, far right. The family first opened a mobile eatery on July 4, 2017. After learning in October that the dine-in location at 211 E. Main St., had become available, the family did major renovations in preparation for opening day on Thursday, Jan. 14. The eatery specializes in fresh, made-to-order tacos, burritos, tamales, quesadillas, chips with queso or salsa and more. The restaurant is currently open Thursday – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. They will continue to operate the mobile eatery.
by J.O. Parker
A popular Montezuma eatery has opened a store-front location on the northwest corner of the town square.
Yolanda’s Tacos, which has been selling tasty Mexican delights from its mobile eatery, opened a new dine-in location at 211 E. Main St. on Thursday, Jan. 14.
The location is the former home of “Just a Small Town Grill.”
The eatery specializes in fresh, made-to-order tacos, burritos, tamales, quesadillas and more. And those familiar with Yolanda’s will be pleased to learn that the new location is offering chips with either queso or salsa.
“We prepare all the vegetables fresh,” said Maria Diaz, who runs the restaurant with her husband, Oscar, and other family members. “Our goal is to keep service and the food the same with every visit.”
The eatery serves glutton free, non-GMO and non-peanut oil-based food products.
The Diaz family moved to Montezuma from Hastings, Neb. more than 10 years ago. While the couple worked at the former A1 Fiberglass, a dream to have their own restaurant was their future goal.
That goal became a reality in 2017 when the couple took a leap of faith, left their jobs and purchased a mobile food trailer and opened Yolanda’s Tacos on a rented lot on the south edge of Montezuma. The first day of business was July 4, 2017.
“My parents were getting tired of their 9-5 jobs and wanted to challenge themselves to follow a dream,” said Oscar and Maria’s son, Brian, a senior at Montezuma, who helps at the eatery.
The Mexican eatery soon caught on and long-lines became the daily norm. In February 2019, the Diaz family purchased a larger food trailer to better serve their customers.
They also took the mobile eatery to county fairs and other venues when called on and will continue to do that in the future.
When asked, Maria said one of the busiest days came last spring when they served 200 customers in one day.
The eatery is named in honor of Oscar’s mother, Yolanda, who passed away from colon cancer nine years ago.
“We opened the eatery in her honor,” said Brain.
In fact, the couple’s daughter, who was born shortly after the passing of Yolanda, is named in her grandmother’s honor.
The family consists of Oscar, Maria, Brian, Yolanda and Stefano.
The Diaz’s decided to open the dine-in eatery after learning in October that the Main Street building had become available. Brain said the family had plans to remodel their home, but opted instead to remodel and open the new business location.
The Diaz family completely redid the kitchen, added new flooring, paint, new restrooms and a new counter to better serve their customers. They did much of the improvements themselves.
In addition to Yolanda’s Tacos favorites, Maria said the plan is to add a different plate each week. And plans are also in the works to offer other Mexican delights as the business grows.
Call-in to-go orders are welcome and the business will soon be offering on-line ordering.
The eatery is currently open Thursday – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. There is plenty of seating available.
The business will also have their mobile trailer open on Tuesdays in New Sharon at Central Park.
When asked, Oscar said they are pleased to be in Montezuma and part of the town business scene.
“We have poured our hearts into it and we hope it is going to succeed,” said Brian. “We want to bring a little piece of our world to small town Iowa.”
“We want to keep the place like a family business,” added Maria.
The business phone number is 402-469-6538.
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