This interview was conducted and recorded in Spanish. Read Leslee Dean's transcript and translation below.
Dalia Vazquez and Raymundo Bardomiano live and work in Coney Island, where they are the owners of Tacos Doña Zita, a popular Mexican restaurant on the Bowery near Stillwell Avenue. The couple and their daughters moved here from Mexico in 2001 and started the business two years later. Vazquez learned to cook from her mother, the original Doña Zita, whose eponymous taco stand has been a fixture in the square of their hometown, Cualac, in the state of Guerrero, for two decades.
They describe the variety and authenticity of their tacos and other menu items, including tortas, semitas, quesadillas, flautas, appetizers, and a Mexican hot dog made with bread, chorizo and pico de gallo. The husband and wife look back on the early days of their family business and recount how Coney Island has changed over the years. "For me, everything here was a blessing, a joy," says Vazquez. "Being here already feels like it’s where I’m from, because people know us, a lot of people. People from all different countries find me and greet me, and I feel content I feel happy here. As if I was from here."