Ribbon Cutting for new Chelan Restaurant is Today at 5:15 p.m.

by Loni Rahm – LCN Photo above of Paul Lopez and Mama Rosa

I admit to an inordinate level of curiosity. So when I saw activity inside and outside the restaurant space on Johnson between City Hall and KOZI, I was anxiously awaiting the reveal of what cuisine would be added to our community.

Turns out it is Oaxacan. It took me several tries to nail the pronunciation which is roughly “Wha-haw-kin”.

Oaxacan cuisine is a regional cuisine of Mexico, centered on the city of Oaxaca, the capital of the state of the same name located in southern Mexico. Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s major gastronomic, historical, and gastro-historical centers whose cuisine is known internationally.

Well known features of the cuisine include ingredients such as chocolate (often drunk in a hot preparation with spices and other flavorings), Oaxaca cheese, mezcal and grasshoppers (chapulines) with dishes such as tlayudas, Oaxacan style tamales and seven notable varieties of mole sauce.

Owner, Paul Lopez, is excited to share his Oaxacan food heritage with the Lake Chelan Valley. When asked about their specialties, he proudly announced “our mole sauces” and quickly pointed to the “Home Dishes” (platillos de la casa) section of his menu which includes delightful sounding items like Enchiladas Oaxaquenas, handmade Tamales, and Picaditas. The menu also includes a lunch menu (Monday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) and “Homemade Specials” (especiales de la casa).

When I asked him about any secret family recipes, Lopez grinned and told me he did better than a written recipe. He called to the kitchen and his mom, Rosa, came out. According to Lopez, she personally keeps the recipes authentic.

Fonda Oaxaquena is located at 127 E. Johnson Avenue in Chelan. They are currently open 7 days a week: Monday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. and Sundays they will open at 9:00 a.m. for breakfast.

The community is invited to the grand opening, ribbon cutting today (Friday, 5/3) at 5:15 p.m.