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Authentic Mexican Culinary Secrets from the Kitchen of El Azteca

Meet Jose Sanchez and his fabulous family, and let’s take a walk behind the scenes and into the kitchen of Rhode Island’s best (and my favorite) Mexican restaurant! El Azteca restaurant is one of the jewels of Rhode Island, located at 335 Newport Avenue in East Providence.

I met José over 15 years ago after he had just opened. We became fast friends, and in fact, for a period of years, most Friday evenings you could find me and my friend, Al Baldera, at the bar, drinking a margarita and planning the next morning’s radio show, “Pregúntele a la Abogada Donna.”

I met Jose’s father, and I could tell he was very proud of the restaurant he established and very proud of his family. I also met his two sisters who work there, Hilda (and her children, Julia, Estrella and Jose) and Carmen (and her children Kimberly and Jason). José is a great guy, and I absolutely love his Mexican food and delicious margaritas, especially his coconut margarita! I’ve traveled with Jose, and we have enjoyed spending time together on the islands and here stateside.

José is an entrepreneur and a restaurateur, but he is also a proud son and brother. One of the things I love most about El Azteca is that it is a family restaurant. I have watched Jose’s nieces and nephews grow up, and I’m so proud of their academic achievement in their new country. Julia just graduated from Rhode Island College this year in 2019 and Estrella is studying at the University of Rhode Island, hopefully graduating in 2020! I just cry sometimes when I think about how their family emigrated from Guerrero, Mexico, ending up here in East Providence where they all learned a new language and a new culture, while never forgetting their own. Meet Julia and Estrella in this month’s episode of Qué Onda con Donna!

You will also meet, up close and personal, my friend José Sanchez. We will hear about his transition from Mexico to East Providence and how he learned to cook that amazing food, especially, my favorite: the ground beef quesadillas. I’m not sure what he puts in that secret sauce, but those quesadillas sure are delicious. I recommend them wholeheartedly!

So tune in to this month’s episode of Qué Onda con Donna to meet José and his family. We will also go backstage, into the kitchen to see where it all takes place. José is going to teach me his special recipe for Texas Fajitas. Tune in and bring your appetite, and after you watch the show, make a trip over to 335 Newport Avenue to enjoy José, his family and food.

Buen Provecho y Bon Apetito!

“¿Que Onda? con Donna” can be seen on YurView – Cox Channels 4 and 1004 – Tuesdays at 7:30pm, Wednesdays at 8:30pm, Saturdays at 2:30pm and 8pm.

The author, Donna M. Nesselbush, is a founding partner at Marasco & Nesselbush Law, a Rhode Island State Senator and Municipal Court Judge for the City of Pawtucket. She hosts a Spanish language Saturday morning radio show on Latina 100.3 FM and the “¿Que Onda? con Donna” TV show.