LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Living in the United States provides a world of opportunities for many Latinos working to achieve the American dream. But many find they miss the food from their native countries.
13 Action News reporter Zora Asberry sat down with two Las Vegas restaurant owners, who are making it their mission to provide a taste of South America for all valley residents.
MADE IN ARGENTINA
Welcome to Made in Argentina. Brother and sister, Ezequiel and Maria-Candelaria Rodriguez manage the restaurant here on Valley View and Ali Baba Lane.
Their father, Pablo Rodriguez, started this popular place and learned what it takes to be in the service industry from an early age.
"He used to work in almost every single restaurant on the strip, trying to find the American dream... One day he was working at the MGM and the owner of the Allegiant Stadium was having a dinner over there, and he start talking about the place they were going to build the stadium, so my dad started listening and he said okay this is my shot," says Maria-Candelaria.
This spot used to be a popular Mediterranean restaurant. So, when Pablo bought the business, he decided to serve Argentinian food and include some Mediterranean dishes.
"Now, we have people that used to come for the Mediterranean food, just to ask for empanadas or the Milanesas, and even people from Argentina, they come here from all around America," says Maria-Candelaria.
TASTE OF HOME
"We try to be very similar to the food we eat in Argentina, I just came 11 months ago, so I still got the flavor in my tongue (laughs) so this is a little part of Argentina in Vegas, it's pretty cool," says Ezequiel.
The menu at Made in Argentina includes some classics.
"We serve Mate cocido, it's like a tea, like a green tea, the Milanesa, it's real classic Argentinean, when the kids go to a restaurant, we don't have a kids menu, The kids eat the Milanesa Napolitana! The Parrillada or Argentinian barbeque, the empanadas," says Ezequiel.
"The empanadas, I could eat empanadas all day every day," says Maria-Candelaria.
Empanadas are a stuffed pastry that can be salty or sweet. Some countries make their empanadas using meat or vegetables, while other countries eat fruit-filled empanadas as a desert.
In Argentina, where my family is from, empanadas like this are made with flour. But in Colombia, they make them with corn. Either way they both taste like home.
"It's very popular. Any Colombian falls for an empanada, especially if it's good... The Colombian empanada is made with corn, contrary to other countries, they can be made with shredded beef, or shredded chicken with a potato inside," says Daniel Saldivar.
He and his wife Aracely are owners of Aracely's Sazon on Jones and Twain. They decided to start their business after years of making food for their friends in their home.
"People who live in Las Vegas, especially from Colombia, they crave for food from their homeland, the food that their mom or their grandma made them," says Daniel.
They named the restaurant Aracely's Sazon to make it feel more like home.
"El restaurante es el nobre, mi nombre... The restaurant was made with the name, my name. because they were curious that the food came out so fresh. You could tell it was homemade," says Aracely.
"Bandeja Paisa is one of the most common dishes, the most popular dishes, it's got several items in it, including pork rind, sausage, steak, rice, beans avocado," says Daniel.
It's delicious food like this that brings people together, whether you're from South America or the U.S., you can find what you're looking for right here in Las Vegas.