What’s the natural next step after retiring from a career preparing fresh, wholesome Mexican food for other restaurants? Come out of retirement and open your own restaurant, of course!
And in March of 1981 that’s exactly what David and Phyllis Serra did when they opened the original Fiesta Tacos on Canal Street and Sampson in the heart of the Segundo Barrio. The small restaurant soon became a neighborhood favorite, with Mrs. Serra, better known as “Mama”, cooking classic family recipes by hand.
Mama had been cooking since she was a little girl, starting in Rio Café-Tortilleria, the family restaurant owned by her father, Ruperto Dominguez.
She loved the culinary arts and made a career of them as a manager of the now closed Petroleum Company Schlumberger and later as the cafe’s dietary manager at Memorial Hospital downtown. But the day came when Mama decided to retire and become a full-time mother, which lasted right up until her husband decided to open a restaurant and needed a chef. No one could make Mexican the way Mama could, and once she started cooking for Fiesta Tacos she never looked back.
In no time Fiesta Tacos became known as the go-to place in Houston for traditional, home-cooked Mexican cuisine, and Mama was the face and soul of it all.
After 13 years, the booming business moved to its present location on 34th Street, and the rest of Mama’s family and a few friends have joined in to make it the best place in town for classic, genuine Mexican food.