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El Burro Loco rides into a new era posted on 07/30/2020

Marc Accuardi, one of the new owners of El Burro Loco, described himself as an “Italian chef that fell in love with Oaxaca food,” thanks to his experience in Mexico.

“I always thought Mexican food was pretty simple,” Accuardi said. “Boy was I wrong. The complexity of the region is unbelievable.”

Accuardi and his business partner, Darren Wiese, who also own the Whistle Stop Bar & Grill, plan on freshening up the menu at the Burro with some better products and doing things on more of a daily basis.

“We’re not stocking the refrigerator full of things,” Accuardi said. “We use what we made today. That’s shown a huge improvement.”

Accuardi noted they’ve already upgraded the rice to a higher quality (and vegetarian), while also improving the black and pinto beans, adding a chicken mole tamale, new salsas and more.

“It’s like what we did at the Whistle Stop,” Wiese said, adding that they plan on bar upgrades, including expanded tequila and new cocktails. “We just elevated a little bit, freshened things up.”

The pair, who took over on May 1, also plan on adding good bar food, such as a variety of queso, while also striving for consistency in their food and drinks. And while they have already done some work in the kitchen and dining room, the long-term plans include moving the cantina to the south side of the building and perhaps having an outdoor kitchen offering grilled items and street tacos.

For the meantime, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurateurs have focused on the recipes that travel best for takeout options. Shrimp is out, for now. The restaurant is currently open with counter service (customers order at the counter), but with half the seats the establishment has had in the past.

“Fortunately, the weather’s been good,” Accuardi said, noting they will not have table side service until the county enters Phase 2 of the recovery. “The outside seating is proving to be of help.”

Wiese added that they are also operating with utmost concern for the safety of the customers and employees, “trying to create a great experience while minimizing contact.”

The pair noted that running two restaurants on the Mountain offers an opportunity for their employees to work at both. They also want their employees to use their backgrounds and add to the Burro’s offerings, such as an infusion of flavors from El Salvador.

El Burro Loco is located at 67211 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches and hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, call 503-622-6780 or visit www.elburro-loco.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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