Mami Cheli's will be a casual Mexican restaurant that focuses on fresh ingredients, Ciprez said in an interview Monday. The restaurant is located at the former site of Applewood 2-Go pizza, between fitness studio Barre 3 and now-closed shoe-repair shop The Cobblery at the small El Camino Real shopping center.
Mami Cheli's will open this summer in downtown Menlo Park. Photo by Elena Kadvany.
Ciprez, who came to the United States from her native Colima, Mexico, when she was 20 years old, learned to cook at a young age from her grandmother.
"She taught me how to make tortillas," Ciprez said. "I love to cook."
She'll be making corn tortillas, salsas and even vegan meat in house at the restaurant. Mami Cheli's will serve a "simple" menu of tacos, quesadillas, burritos, tortas and pupusas (Ciprez’s former husband is from El Salvador, where she learned to make pupusas).
There will be vegetarian and vegan options. At the suggestion of her son, Ciprez is creating her own soy meat to make vegan pupusas with vegan cheese and beans.
The restaurant will be small, with seating for 12 to 18 people, according to a city use permit.
Ciprez hopes to be open at the end of July.