Like many restaurateurs, Victoria Elizondo had a roller coaster of a year in 2020. This year things are looking up as she gears up to open a new taco truck in the Heights.
In 2016, Elizondo became chef and owner of Cochinita & Co., a restaurant specializing in showcasing the vibrancy of Mexican food. The brick-and-mortar restaurant was located in a Rice Village food hall called Politian Row.
“My concept is Mexican, but I’m trying to showcase something different than what Texans are used to,” Elizondo said. “There’s nothing wrong with Tex-Mex, but I’m trying to showcase something different.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Cochinita & Co. went through a cycle of opening and closing. Then, in November of last year, the food hall closed, making the restaurant shutter along with it.
Elizondo pivoted her business to wholesale and now Cochinita & Co. is more of a brand, though she hopes to open a brick-and-mortar again in the future.
“We started packaging our tamales, tortilla chips, which are different because they’re made with non-GMO, so you get more of a corn flavor,” Elizondo said. “We also package salsa, trail mix and variety of other products.”
Elizondo sells these products at Henderson & Kane General Store, 715 Henderson St., a store she also plans to utilize while operating her upcoming Heights food truck, Cochi’s Taqueria.
The taqueria food truck will be parked near Interstate 10 and Shepherd Drive at the beginning of March.
“Cochi’s Taqueria focuses on street style,” Elizondo said. “The food truck’s not going to be light food, but it will be vibrant Mexican food.”
Elizondo said the truck won’t just serve the typical chicken or beef fajita tacos, but more traditional meats as well, like barbacoa.
“Me and the person helping me run the truck are both chefs, so the food is going to be chef-driven,” Elizondo said. “You’ll be able to tell the difference between food made from us and other taquerias. It doesn’t mean it’s better, just with the different cooking techniques, you’ll be able to tell the difference.”
The food truck will also have a coffee program. Cochi’s Taqueria will serve coffee from Apolonia Coffee, which roasts its coffee in Houston, but imports it from a family farm in Guatemala.
Elizondo said one of the reasons that part of the Heights seemed perfect for the food truck was that there wasn’t a lot of authentic Mexican options, making the taqueria a good opportunity for the area.
Come March, Cochi’s Taqueria will be serving an array of taco options for breakfast and lunch.