The Rio Grande Valley is bursting with flavor. Everywhere you turn, you see a growth of local restaurants and cafés within the small business community. Follow this guide to make the most of the holidays and bless your taste buds with unexpected [seasonal] flavors that you will be grateful you tried.
The Main Course – Salome on Main
Salome on Main is the product of Jessica Delgado and Chef Larry Delgado’s love for interior Mexican dishes and a passion for flavor experimentation. The Delgados’ third restaurant sits on Main Avenue in the heart of McAllen’s Art District. It attracts visitors from all over the Valley.
Salome on Main’s featured item for the holidays is Stuffed Quail. “We were looking for a dish that is not only indicative of the fall season in the flavors, but in the colors as well,” says Delgado. Chef du Cuisine Victor Carillo fulfilled the task to completion, combining unlikely flavors in order to achieve this holiday medley. The inspiration behind this particular dish is the idea of a personal-sized Thanksgiving dinner for one, with both sweet and savory notes throughout.
The dish is plated on a base sauce of pipian, guajillo chile, cumin and cinnamon. Serrano peppers and epasote are what they use in the corn which serves as the immediate layer underneath the centerpiece of the dish. A picadillo that consists of the equivalent of a Thanksgiving stuffing (celery, carrots, onions, cranberries and raisins) stuffs the quail — or godornis.
For your Sweet Tooth – Your Sweets by Kacy
Your Sweets by Kacy owner Kacy De La Garza, is excited about the support she’s received from the community of her Mission bakery. Some of their biggest cheerleaders are other small business owners. “Gabriel from Jitterz, Ariel from The Bryan House, and Ismael of Fork-It Vlog are all so supportive, always offering new ideas and opportunities to get out into the community,” she shares. One of their menu items that constantly receives attention every Wednesday is their cheesecake.
Their featured item of choice for the holidays is the Cranberry Cheesecake. This special dessert consists of a base of a fluffy white chocolate cheesecake topped with a layer of cranberry sauce. Perfect swirls of homemade whipped cream cover the cranberry sauce. Sugar then lightly coats fresh cranberries, creating the perfect “sugar berry.”
The flavors in the cheesecake bring out the best in each other. It could very well stand on its own without an accompanying entrée. There is a perfect balance of sweetness, tartness and a pop/crunch in every bite. Your Sweets By Kacy sells cheesecake by the slice, but you can also place orders for full cheesecakes by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Perfect Pick-Me-Up – Semilla Coffee Lab
Owner and founder of Semilla Coffee Lab Daniel Hermosillo draws inspiration from his experiences. He then finds ways to integrate them into the drinks he serves at the McAllen coffee shop. Semilla Coffee Lab is known for pouring their coffee in glass beaker as an ode to their name. “We don’t use artificial flavors in our drinks. Instead, we want to offer our customers an experience,” says Hermosillo. “I spend a lot of time in Mexico, which is where I get a lot of the inspiration behind our drinks.”
Vanilla Saffron Latte
As a seasonal menu item, Semilla features their Vanilla Saffron Latte which consists of vanilla beans combined with saffron, a crimson spice derived from a flower called “saffron crocus.” This particular drink can be served over ice (in a beaker) or hot in one of their custom mugs. (The hot one usually has some latte art on it.)
The saffron and vanilla makes for a balanced combination that very much embodies the holidays in a mug. Its warm tones mimic the atmosphere of a home during the holidays
Holiday Décor for Your Home
Southern Roots Flower Market has quickly become one of McAllen’s go-to flower shops. With its quaint, cozy feel and charming aesthetic, it’s easy to fall in love with this shop the second you walk in. The florists at Southern Roots, led by market owner Mariana Linaldi, created our featured custom arrangement. Aside from their fresh flowers, they also have tons of vases to choose from. None of them are identical to the last. Customers are also able to bring in their own vase and build their own bouquet from their flower room.
Support your Local Favorites
Small businesses like these are often the result of hard work and a dream. The Rio Grande Valley is home to many talented individuals who pour so much love into their craft to provide their clients with quality products. Stop by a locally owned business during the holidays and be ready to feel right at home.